SOURCE: El Paso Corporation

El Paso Corporation

September 23, 2010 08:00 ET

El Paso Corporation Enters Wolfcamp Shale Oil Play

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - September 23, 2010) - El Paso Corporation (NYSE: EP) today announced that it was the winning bidder for leases covering approximately 123,100 acres in Reagan, Crockett, Upton and Irion counties in the September 22, 2010 University of Texas lease sale. The acquired leases target the Wolfcamp shale and add to approximately 12,000 net acres of existing leasehold in this play. El Paso now has a material position in a new oil shale program with significant resource and production potential.

"We are very excited to announce our entry into a promising new oil shale. Our acreage acquisition is the culmination of an extensive regional study by our technical team, and we expect it to become a new oil-focused core area," said Brent Smolik, president of El Paso Exploration & Production Company. "Today's announcement represents our second organic shale entry following our successful acquisition of more than 170,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford shale. The leasehold we have acquired has multiple pay opportunities and the combination of large contiguous blocks and a single royalty owner give us tremendous operational flexibility. We intend to leverage the successes we have had in our Haynesville and Eagle Ford shale programs, and we will update the market on our plans for the Wolfcamp shale during our third quarter earnings conference call on November 3, 2010." 

El Paso remains committed to managing its E&P program for returns and having E&P live within its means. In addition, the company remains committed to generating free cash flow in 2012. To that end, the $180 million cost of the acquired acreage will be funded over time through portfolio rationalization, and future development capital will compete with other programs in the portfolio.

El Paso Corporation provides natural gas and related energy products in a safe, efficient, and dependable manner. El Paso owns North America's largest interstate natural gas pipeline system and one of North America's largest independent natural gas producers. For more information, visit www.elpaso.com.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This release includes certain forward-looking statements and projections. The company has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and assumptions on which these statements and projections are based are current, reasonable, and complete. However, a variety of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, anticipated results or other expectations expressed in this release, including, without limitation, our ability to implement and achieve objectives in our 2010 plan and updated guidance, including our cash flow projections; our ability to meet production volume targets in our E&P segment; changes in commodity prices and basis differentials for oil, natural gas, and power; general economic and weather conditions in geographic regions or markets served by the company and its affiliates, or where operations of the company and its affiliates are located, including the risk of a global recession and negative impact on natural gas demand; the uncertainties associated with governmental regulation; competition; and other factors described in the company's (and its affiliates') SEC filings. While the company makes these statements and projections in good faith, neither the company nor its management can guarantee that anticipated future results will be achieved. Reference must be made to those filings for additional important factors that may affect actual results. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements made herein or any other forward-looking statements made by the company, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Contact Information

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    Bruce Connery
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    Office: (713) 420-5855

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    Office: (713) 420-6828