Jan. 03. - Murphy Announces 2003 Capital Program

Source Press Release
Company Murphy Oil Corporation 
Tags Strategy - Downstream, Strategy - Upstream
Date January 16, 2003

Murphy Oil Corporation announced a capital program of $952 million for 2003, an increase of approximately 10% from 2002.

Over 75% of the capital budget will be allocated to upstream operations. Murphy’s exploration expenditures are expected to be $248 million and include continued funding of its deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling program, natural gas exploration in Western Canada and an extensive drilling program in deepwater Malaysia on Blocks K and H off the coast of Sabah. Murphy’s development expenditures are expected to be $486 million and represent an increase of 27% over 2002 levels. Driving this increase are deepwater Gulf of Mexico projects at Front Runner (Green Canyon Blocks 338/339, 37.5%), Medusa (Mississippi Canyon Blocks 538/582, 60%) and Habanero (Garden Banks Block 341, 33.75%), the West Patricia development (85%) in shallow-water Malaysia, and the Phase III expansion of the Syncrude operation (5%). Production increases expected from these projects will begin with Medusa, to be placed onstream at mid-year 2003. Habanero is slated to begin producing in the third quarter of 2003, Front Runner is estimated to start up in the first half of 2004, and  Syncrude will initiate periodic increases that continue through 2007.

Capital expenditures for refining and marketing operations are budgeted to be $216 million in 2003, a decrease of 8% over 2002 levels. The primary use of funds is two-fold: the continuing build out of the Murphy USA program at Wal-Mart stores and completion of a clean fuels project at the Company’s refinery in Meraux, Louisiana. At year-end 2002, 506 Murphy USA stations were in operation in the U.S., with an additional 100 new builds scheduled for 2003. The clean fuels project at Meraux will allow the refinery to meet future standards for ultra-low sulfur gasoline and distillate upon completion in mid-2003. In conjunction with this upgrade, the refinery’s crude processing capacity will be expanded by 25,000 barrels per day to 125,000 barrels per day.

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