McMoRan Exploration Co. Updates Gulf of Mexico Exploration and Development Activities

  McMoRan Exploration Co. Updates Gulf of Mexico Exploration and Development
  Activities

Business Wire

NEW ORLEANS -- November 26, 2012

McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE: MMR) updated its ultra-deep exploration and
development activities in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Shelf
and onshore in the Gulf Coast area, including in progress flow testing
operations at Davy Jones No. 1, positive drilling results onshore at Lineham
Creek, new logging results from Blackbeard West No. 2 and in progress
operations at Lomond North.

McMoRan today provided an update on the Davy Jones No. 1 production test
currently in progress on South Marsh Island Block 230. As previously reported
in October 2012, McMoRan replaced heavy drilling mud in the hole with clear
completion fluid, which was required to suppress flow in the well while the
final steps were completed. On November 11, 2012, the well was opened for test
and flowed gas into an unmetered atmospheric tank before being flared. To
date, MMR has recovered completion fluids with weights of approximately 9 and
19 pounds per gallon and is initiating operations to inject a barite solvent
into the formation in order to clean out the perforations to achieve a
measureable flow test. McMoRan will provide updates as flow testing operations
progress and a measurable flow test is achieved.

As previously reported, McMoRan has drilled two successful sub-salt wells in
the Davy Jones field. The Davy Jones No. 1 well logged 200 net feet of pay in
multiple Wilcox sands, which were all full to base. The Davy Jones offset
appraisal well (Davy Jones No. 2), which is located two and a half miles
southwest of Davy Jones No. 1, confirmed 120 net feet of pay in multiple
Wilcox sands, indicating continuity across the major structural features of
the Davy Jones prospect, and also encountered 192 net feet of potential
hydrocarbons in the Tuscaloosa and Lower Cretaceous carbonate sections.

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 today announced that the Lineham Creek exploratory well, located
onshore in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, has encountered what appears to be
hydrocarbon bearing porous sands above 24,000 feet, as identified by wireline
logs. The well, which has been drilled to 25,250 feet, will be deepened to a
proposed total depth of 29,000 feet to evaluate Eocene and Paleocene
objectives. McMoRan is participating for a 36.0 percent working interest.
Other working interest owners include EXXI (9.0%) and W. A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr.
(5.0%).

The Blackbeard West No. 2 ultra-deep exploration well on Ship Shoal Block 188
is currently drilling below 25,200 feet. Recent logging data indicates that
the well has encountered additional potential hydrocarbon bearing sands at
approximately 25,000 feet. These sands are in addition to the previously
reported potential low-resistivity pay zones, including one of which is
approximately 80 feet thick and requires further evaluation. The well is
currently being deepened towards a proposed total depth of 25,500 feet to
evaluate deeper Miocene targets. McMoRan holds a 69.4 percent working interest
and a 53.1 percent net revenue interest in Ship Shoal Block 188. Other working
interest owners include EXXI (22.9%) and Moncrief Offshore LLC (7.7%).

The Lomond North ultra-deep prospect, which is located in the Highlander area
in St. Martin Parish, LA, is currently drilling below 10,700 feet. This
exploratory well has a proposed total depth of 30,000 feet and is targeting
Eocene, Paleocene and Cretaceous objectives below the salt weld. McMoRan
controls rights to approximately 80,000 gross acres in Iberia, St. Martin,
Assumption and Iberville Parishes, Louisiana. Lomond North is approximately 65
miles north of Davy Jones. McMoRan is operator and currently holds a 72.0
percent working interest. Other working interest owners include EXXI (18.0%)
and W. A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr. (10.0%).

McMoRan Exploration Co. is an independent public company engaged in the
exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil in the shallow
waters of the GOM Shelf and onshore in the Gulf Coast area. Additional
information about McMoRan is available on its internet website
www.mcmoran.com.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: This press release contains forward-looking statements
that involve a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those contained in the
forward-looking statements. We caution readers that forward-looking statements
are not guarantees of future performance or exploration and development
success, and our actual exploration experience and future financial results
may differ materially from those anticipated, projected or assumed in the
forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, but are
not limited to, statements regarding potential oil and gas discoveries, oil
and gas exploration, development and production activities and costs, amounts
and timing of capital expenditures, reclamation, indemnification and
environmental obligations and costs, the potential for or expectation of
successful flow tests, potential quarterly and annual production and flow
rates, reserve estimates, projected operating cash flows and liquidity, the
potential Main Pass Energy Hub^TM project and other statements that are not
historical facts. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated
by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them
do so, what impact they may have on our results of operations or financial
condition. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ
materially from those anticipated by forward-looking statements include, but
are not limited to, those associated with general economic and business
conditions, failure to realize expected value creation from acquired
properties, variations in the market demand for, and prices of, oil and
natural gas, drilling results, unanticipated fluctuations in flow rates of
producing wells due to mechanical or operational issues (including those
experienced at wells operated by third parties where we are a participant),
changes in oil and natural gas reserve expectations, the potential adoption of
new governmental regulations, unanticipated hazards for which we have limited
or no insurance coverage, failure of third party partners to fulfill their
capital and other commitments, the ability to satisfy future cash obligations
and environmental costs, adverse conditions, such as high temperatures and
pressure that could lead to mechanical failures or increased costs, the
ability to retain current or future lease acreage rights, access to capital to
fund drilling activities, the ability to obtain regulatory approvals and
significant project financing for the potential Main Pass Energy Hub^TM
project, as well as other general exploration and development risks and
hazards and other factors described in Part I, Item 1A. "Risk Factors"
included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31,
2011 filed with the SEC, as updated by McMoRan’s subsequent filings.

Investors are cautioned that many of the assumptions upon which our
forward-looking statements are based are likely to change after our
forward-looking statements are made, including for example the market prices
of oil and natural gas, which we cannot control, and production volumes and
costs, some aspects of which we may or may not be able to control. Further, we
may make changes to our business plans that could or will affect our results.
We caution investors that we do not intend to update our forward-looking
statements more frequently than quarterly, notwithstanding any changes in our
assumptions, changes in our business plans, our actual experience, or other
changes, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking
statements.

Contact:

McMoRan Exploration Co.
David P. Joint, 504-582-4203