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MITCHELL TO REORGANIZE EXPLORATION OPERATIONS AS PART OF OVERALL PLAN TO IMPROVE COMPETITIVENESS

 MITCHELL TO REORGANIZE EXPLORATION OPERATIONS AS PART OF
 OVERALL PLAN TO IMPROVE COMPETITIVENESS
 THE WOODLANDS, Texas, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. (AMEX: MND) today reported that it is reorganizing its exploration and production division to emphasize development of its existing oil and gas properties while trimming back on exploration.
 The reorganization is a major step in an overall plan to improve the company's competitiveness and enhance shareholder value, said Chairman and President George P. Mitchell. The plan should be fully implemented during the current fiscal year, he stated, and will include the disposition of certain non-strategic assets and economizing in other areas of company operations. As a first step in the reorganization, a voluntary early retirement program will be offered to eligible salaried employees in the exploration and production division.
 Mitchell pointed to chronically depressed market prices for natural gas as the primary reason for the reorganization. "Our company is partly insulated from the low prices because we sell most of our gas under contracts at good prices and because our gas processing operations actually benefit from low market prices," he said. "We've been hoping that the situation would improve, but it is increasingly apparent that it is in the company's best interest to reduce our exploration activity consistent with current market conditions, work on our excellent inventory of development prospects, and possibly acquire
additional properties that we could further develop." Under current conditions, he added, it is more economical to purchase reserves than to explore for them.
 The company has a substantial backlog of development well locations in its existing properties, Mitchell said. Depending on costs and other factors, the estimated locations range in number from nearly 700 to more than 1,300. In its last fiscal year, the company participated in 163 wells.
 Mitchell said the downsizing and other aspects of the reorganization are expected to improve the exploration and production division's operating earnings and to reduce its ongoing capital needs. In addition, he noted, it will help the company toward its current-year goal of funding normal operations from cash flow so that the overall debt level can be maintained or reduced.
 The cost of the reorganization and other aspects of the plan will entail a first-quarter charge against earnings, Mitchell said, but the amount has not yet been determined. No additional information on the program is being made available at this time.
 Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. is a large independent producer of natural gas, gas liquids and crude oil. The company also is an important real estate developer in the Houston-Galveston region.
 -0- 4/6/92
 /CONTACT: Tony Lentini or Charles Simpson of Mitchell Energy & Development, 713-377-5650/
 (MND) CO: Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: RCN


TQ -- NY032 -- 5293 04/06/92 10:39 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 6, 1992
Words:463
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