McMoRan Exploration Co.’s JB Mountain Offset, located in South Marsh Island Block 223, has drilled to a total measured depth of 21,896 feet, and wireline logs indicate that the well encountered “significant intervals” of hydrocarbon pay in the Gyrodina sand section.

The wireline logs confirmed that the hydrocarbon intervals are structurally high to the original JB Mountain well, and because of the location of the well near existing production facilities, production can be brought on-line rapidly, McMoRan officials said. The JB Mountain Offset well began drilling in June 2003 and is located less than one mile southeast of the initial JB Mountain discovery well. Production from the initial well began in early June 2003, and production currently is 50 MMcfe/d.

“This is our third successful deep gas well within the last 12 months in an area where McMoRan has rights to approximately 80,000 acres,” said James R. Moffett, McMoRan’s co-chairman. “We look forward to the follow-on drilling opportunities on our large acreage position.”

The JB Mountain and Mound Point deep-gas fields are located in 10-feet water depths, in an area where McMoRan is a participant in an exploration farm-out program with El Paso Production Co. El Paso currently controls approximately 45,000 acres within an approximate 80,000-acre exploratory area, including portions of Outer Continental Shelf Lease 310 and portions of the adjoining Louisiana State Lease 340. McMoRan currently holds a 55% working interest and a 38.8% net revenue interest in the JB Mountain field and a 30.4% working interest and a 21.6% net revenue interest in the Mound Point field.

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