FREEPORT-MCMORAN IN THAILAND FOR FIRST E&D OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FM), New Orleans, plans to spend about $20 million for exploration off Thailand the next 3 years, marking its first oil and gas exploration venture outside North America. FM acquired Block B4/32 in the northern Gulf of Thailand through a recent takeover of Thaitex Petroleum Co., which was awarded the 5,000 sq km tract in Thailand's most recent exploration licensing round. FM is required to spend $6.5 million for exploration on the block during the next 3 years.

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