McMoRan Exploration Co. Updates Operations at Davy Jones No. 1

  McMoRan Exploration Co. Updates Operations at Davy Jones No. 1

Business Wire

NEW ORLEANS -- December 03, 2012

McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE: MMR) provided an update on the Davy Jones No. 1
operations currently in progress on South Marsh Island Block 230. As
previously reported, the well was opened for testing in November 2012.
Completion fluids were recovered from the well but flow was believed to be
restricted by residual barite in the perforations (i.e. skin or formation
damage). Barite is a heavy component of drilling mud that was used to suppress
flow of the well.

Recent operations to stimulate the well by injecting a solvent to dissolve the
barite had limited success as a result of insufficient contact of the barite
with the solvent. McMoRan is initiating operations to use a propellant
stimulation gun to create fractures that will extend beyond the suspected
formation damage to attempt to unblock the perforations and if necessary
McMoRan may inject additional solvent to make contact and dissolve the barite.
McMoRan will provide updates as flow testing operations progress and a
measurable flow test is achieved.

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 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