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Looking to spread its presence in the Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Energy Inc. (OEI) entered into a drilling agreement with Duke Energy Hydrocarbons, LLC to jointly develop 13 OEI drilling prospects in the outer continental shelf. The Duke subsidiary agreed to participate with up to 50% non-operating working interest in the program. The two companies anticipate drilling costs will exceed $40 million for the rest of 1999.

A joint venture of Venus Exploration Inc. and EXCO Resources Inc. has completed a $28.5 million acquisition of Louisiana-based oil and gas properties from Apache Corp. Venus and EXCO each will own 50% of the venture and EXCO will be the operator. The properties are in the Vernon Field of Jackson Parish, LA, which contains 18 gas wells, producing an aggregate of about 6.5 MMcf/d net to the interest being acquired by the venture.

The Energy Information Administration released its Annual Energy Review last week chronicling 50 years of changes in the U.S. energy industry. The report is available at on EIA's web site. For printed copes call EIA's National Energy Information Center, (202) 586-8800.

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