Marking the start of a five-year, $400 million Gulf of Mexico(GOM) exploration and production (E&ampP) assault, Conoco announcedthe exchange of interest in several deep-water blocks with Exxonand the debut of the Deepwater Pathfinder, a drillship capable ofreaching 10,000-foot depths. In the exchange, Conoco acquired 50%of 29 Exxon-owned blocks and Exxon acquired 50% of 30 Conoco-ownedblocks. The undeveloped acreage is in Green Canyon, Garden Banks,Walker Ridge and Keathley Canyon. Terms of the transaction were notdisclosed. With this addition, Conoco holds interest in 295 blocksin the GOM, amounting to 1.2 million net acres.

“The Gulf of Mexico continues to be one of the great growthopportunities for oil and gas in the U.S.,” said Rob McKee,Conoco’s executive vice president, “and these newly acquiredinterests are perfectly aligned with our exploration strategy tofocus on deep-water.

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