FOR RELEASE: May 23, 2001 Barney Congdon

(504) 736-2595

Caryl Fagot

(504) 736-2590

Debra Winbush

(504) 736-2597

Two Records Are Set for Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

The Minerals Management Service (MMS), Gulf of Mexico Region, announced that the oil and gas industry has set a new world record for water depth in drilling and that the number of rigs drilling in deepwater in the Gulf of Mexico rose to a record high of 45.

According to MMS officials, Union Oil Company (Unocal) has set a new world record for drilling in deepwater. An exploration well for oil and gas is being drilled in 9,743 feet of water in Alaminos Canyon Block 903, less than four miles from the U.S.-Mexico boundary line. Drilling began on May 2nd, officials reported.