updated 6/16/2011 8:46:04 AM ET 2011-06-16T12:46:04

  • Operatorship Awarded on West Delta Fields
  • Production Exceeds 46,500 BOE/d

HOUSTON, June 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Energy XXI (Nasdaq:EXXI) (LSE:EXXI) today provided an operational update, including results of the first recompletion at the South Pass 89 field and drilling of the Onyx prospect at the Main Pass 73 field.

Energy XXI Logo (EPR)




In addition, the company announced it has been granted operatorship of the West Delta 30 and West Delta 73 fields obtained in the ExxonMobil asset acquisition in December 2010. "Gaining control of these fields allows us to move forward with our production optimization and capital programs," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Schiller said. "We expect to have the last field, South Timbalier 54, under our control by the end of the month."

Exploration and Development Activity

Within the company's core producing properties, located offshore Louisiana, the first of a six-well recompletion program at the South Pass 89 field has been successful. The A-15 well is currently flowing 18 million cubic feet per day and 300 barrels of condensate per day, with 3,100 pounds of flowing tubing pressure. The well, forecast to deliver 800 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/d) net, is producing 2,500 BOE/d net. These production levels equal the company's pre-work estimate for the entire six-well program.

At the Grand Isle 16 field, the company perforated a prospective natural gas zone in the J 21 well, which instead tested mostly oil at approximately 1,200 BOE/d. That well has been shut in until a platform rig is mobilized to complete work. In addition, the Rowan EXL 3 rig, previously working for McMoRan, will be mobilized to Grand Isle 16 to perform three recompletions that have been identified to optimize production.

Quarter-to-date, production has averaged approximately 42,500 BOE/d, benefitting from the success at South Pass 89 and other previously announced recompletions. Current production exceeds 46,500 BOE/d. This production level has been achieved despite the fact Energy XXI did not have operational control over the West Delta 73 and South Timbalier 54 fields, which are the largest fields added in the December 2010 acquisition.

Near-term production also should be augmented by two successful wells at the Main Pass 73 field. The Onyx well was drilled to 5,635 feet and encountered two pay zones that were previously modeled as salt. The well was completed and initial testing is beginning today.  The rig currently is being moved to begin completion operations on the Ashton well which, as previously announced, encountered seven pay zones. Combined initial production from Ashton and Onyx is expected to approximate 1,500 BOE/d within the next 30 days.

Within the shallow-water, ultra-deep Gulf of Mexico shelf program, the McMoRan-operated partnership (in which Energy XXI has various interests) has continued activity at the Blackbeard East and Lafitte exploratory wells and the offset appraisal well at Davy Jones.

The Davy Jones offset well, located on South Marsh Island Block 234 in 20 feet of water, has been drilled and cased to 30,450 feet. Logging operations have been completed and the logs are being evaluated. As previously announced, wireline logs indicated over 200 feet of gross sand and approximately 100 net feet of sand, based on porosity data available, in multiple Wilcox zones that appear to be hydrocarbon bearing. Below the identified Wilcox section the well encountered Upper Cretaceous, Tuscaloosa and Lower Cretaceous sections. The well is being readied for production once equipment has been procured, with expected first production to occur during the second quarter of calendar 2012.  Energy XXI has a 15.8 percent working interest and 12.6 percent net revenue interest in Davy Jones.

The Blackbeard East exploration well, located in 80 feet of water on South Timbalier Block 144, was drilled to 32,559 feet before encountering mechanical issues. McMoRan is continuing to make progress recovering drill pipe and tools stuck in the hole. After recovering 1,866 feet of stuck pipe, the remaining 1,374 feet of pipe and tools appear to have slipped further down the wellbore. The operator has washed and reamed the wellbore to a depth of 29,227 feet and has yet to reencounter the top of the stuck pipe.  Progress to date provides encouragement that the wellbore may be preserved to the previous depth and deepened to the permitted depth of 34,000 feet. Energy XXI has an 18 percent working interest and 14.35 percent net revenue interest in Blackbeard East.

 The Lafitte exploration well commenced drilling on Oct. 3, 2010 towards a proposed total depth of 29,950 feet, targeting Miocene objectives below the salt weld. A liner has been run below the salt to 22,982 feet and the well is currently drilling at 23,645 feet.. Lafitte is located on Eugene Island Block 223 in 140 feet of water. Energy XXI has an 18 percent working interest and a 14.6 percent net revenue interest.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements included in this release relating to future plans, projects, events or conditions and all other statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon current expectations and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including changes in long-term oil and gas prices or other market conditions affecting the oil and gas industry, reservoir performance, the outcome of commercial negotiations and changes in technical or operating conditions, among others, that could cause actual results, including project plans and related expenditures and resource recoveries, to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Energy XXI assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update the information contained herein except as required by law.

Competent Person Disclosure

The technical information contained in this announcement relating to operations adheres to the standard set by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Tom O'Donnell, Vice President of Exploitation, a registered Petroleum Engineer, is the qualified person who has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in this announcement.

About the Company

Energy XXI is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company whose growth strategy emphasizes acquisitions, enhanced by its value-added organic drilling program. The company's properties are located in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico waters and the Gulf Coast onshore. Seymour Pierce is Energy XXI's listing broker in the United Kingdom.  To learn more, visit the Energy XXI website at www.EnergyXXI.com .

The Energy XXI logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3587

GLOSSARY

Barrel – unit of measure for oil and petroleum products, equivalent to 42 U.S. gallons.

Bcfe – billion cubic feet equivalent, used to equate liquid barrels to natural gas volumes at a general conversion rate of 6,000 cubic feet of gas per barrel.

BOE – barrels of oil equivalent, used to equate natural gas volumes to liquid barrels at a general conversion rate of 6,000 cubic feet of gas per barrel.

BOE/d – barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Field – an area consisting of a single reservoir or multiple reservoirs all grouped on, or related to, the same individual geological structural feature or stratigraphic condition. The field name refers to the surface area, although it may refer to both the surface and the underground productive formations.

MBOE – thousand barrels of oil equivalent.

MMBOE – million barrels of oil equivalent.

MD – measured depth.

Net Pay – cumulative hydrocarbon-bearing formations.

Net Revenue Interest – the percentage of production revenue allocated to the working interest after first deducting proceeds allocated to royalty and overriding interest.

Spud – to begin drilling a well.

TD – target total depth of a well.

TD'd – to finish drilling a well.

TVD – total vertical depth.

Working Interest – the interest held in lands by virtue of a lease, operating agreement, fee title or otherwise, under which the owner of the interest is vested with the right to explore for, develop, produce and own oil, gas or other minerals and bears the proportional cost of such operations.

Workover / Recompletion – operations on a producing well to restore or increase production. A workover or recompletion may be performed to stimulate the well, remove sand or wax from the wellbore, to mechanically repair the well, or for other reasons.

CONTACT: ENQUIRIES OF THE COMPANY
         Energy XXI
         Stewart Lawrence
         Vice President, Investor Relations and Communications
         713-351-3006
         slawrence@energyxxi.com
         Greg Smith
         Director, Investor Relations
         713-351-3149
         gsmith@energyxxi.com
         
         Seymour Pierce
         Nominated Adviser: Jonathan Wright, Jeremy Porter
         Corporate Broking: Richard Redmayne
         Tel: +44 (0) 20 7107 8000
         
         Pelham Bell Pottinger
         James Henderson
         jhenderson@pelhambellpottinger.co.uk
         Mark Antelme
         mantelme@pelhambellpottinger.co.uk
         +44 (0) 20 7861 3232

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