HOUSTON, Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) ("PXP" or the "Company") today announces it has entered into a definitive agreement to participate in the significant and highly prospective exploration play offshore Morocco. Subject to customary closing conditions including the receipt of Moroccan governmental approvals, PXP will make a cash payment of $15 million to farm-in to Pura Vida Energy's (ASX:PVD) ("PVD") 75% working interest in the 2.7 million acre Mazagan permit area offshore Morocco. PXP will earn a 52% working interest and act as operator in exchange for funding 100% of the costs of certain specified exploration activities that will include a commitment to fund and drill two wells, and if agreed, various additional exploration operations subject to a maximum of $215 million. The first exploration well will primarily target the Toubkal prospect and is expected to be drilled in 2014. The Mazagan permit area lies off the coast of Morocco in the Essaouira Basin and includes numerous Mid Miocene and Lower Cretaceous prospects identified based on recently reprocessed 3D seismic data. An independent resource assessment completed by DeGolyer and MacNaughton in September 2012 estimated the gross unrisked mean prospective recoverable resources at over 7 billion barrels, including the 1.5 billion barrel gross unrisked mean prospective recoverable resource Toubkal Mid Miocene prospect. PXP is an independent oil and gas company primarily engaged in the activities of acquiring, developing, exploring and producing oil and gas in California, Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico. PXP is headquartered in Houston, Texas. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This press release contains forward-looking information regarding PXP that is intended to be covered by the safe harbor for "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that PXP expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements.