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McMoRan Exploration Co. Reports Second-Quarter/Six-Month 2012 Results

Davy Jones involves a large ultra-deep structure encompassing four OCS lease blocks (20,000 acres). McMoRan is the operator and holds a 63.4 percent working interest and a 50.2 percent net revenue interest in Davy Jones. Other working interest owners in Davy Jones include: Energy XXI (NASDAQ: EXXI) (15.8%), JX Nippon Oil Exploration (Gulf) Limited (12%) and Moncrief Offshore LLC (8.8%). McMoRan’s total investment in Davy Jones, which includes $474.8 million in allocated property acquisition costs, totaled $905.5 million at June 30, 2012.

McMoRan expects to submit development plans for Blackbeard East to BSEE during the third quarter of 2012. As previously reported, the Blackbeard East ultra-deep exploration by-pass well was drilled to a total depth of 33,318 feet in January 2012. Exploration results from the well indicate the presence of hydrocarbons below the salt weld in geologic formations including Upper/Middle Miocene, Frio, Vicksburg, and Sparta carbonate. Pressure and temperature data below the salt weld in the Miocene sands between 19,500 feet and 24,600 feet at Blackbeard East indicate that a completion at these depths could utilize conventional equipment and technologies. These exploration results enhance the potential of McMoRan’s other acreage in the Blackbeard strategic area, including McMoRan’s Blackbeard West No. 2, Barbosa and Queen Anne’s Revenge ultra-deep prospects.

Blackbeard East is located in 80 feet of water on South Timbalier Block 144. McMoRan holds a 72.0 percent working interest and a 57.4 percent net revenue interest in the well. Other working interest owners in Blackbeard East include EXXI (18.0%) and Moncrief Offshore LLC (10.0%). McMoRan’s total investment in Blackbeard East, which includes $130.5 million in allocated property acquisition costs, totaled $303.0 million at June 30, 2012.

McMoRan expects to submit development plans for Lafitte to BSEE during the third quarter of 2012. As previously reported, the Lafitte ultra-deep exploration well, which is located on Eugene Island Block 223 in 140 feet of water, was drilled to a total depth of 34,162 feet in March 2012. Exploration results from the well indicate the presence of hydrocarbons below the salt weld in geologic formations including Middle/Lower Miocene, Frio, Upper Eocene, and Sparta carbonate. The Upper Eocene sands are the first hydrocarbon bearing Upper Eocene sands encountered either on the GOM Shelf or in the deepwater offshore Louisiana. These exploration results enhance the potential of McMoRan’s other acreage in the Lafitte strategic area, including McMoRan’s Barataria and Captain Blood ultra-deep prospects. Barataria (10,000 gross acres) is located west southwest of Lafitte and Captain Blood (10,000 gross acres) is located immediately south of Lafitte.

McMoRan holds a 72.0 percent working interest and a 58.3 percent net revenue interest in Lafitte. Other working interest owners in Lafitte include EXXI (18.0%) and Moncrief Offshore LLC (10.0%). McMoRan’s total investment in Lafitte, which includes $35.8 million in allocated property acquisition costs, totaled $192.3 million at June 30, 2012.

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