press release

Unocal announces new oil production from Yemen's East Shabwa block

El Segundo, Calif., Dec. 18, 1997 - Unocal Corporation today announced the start of crude oil production from the Kharir field in the East Shabwa contract area in the Republic of Yemen.

Gross production from four wells is averaging about 17,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). This is expected to increase to 20,000 bopd in early January when additional wells are slated to come on production. Unocal Yemen, Ltd., holds a 28.57 percent working interest in the project. Oil production is scheduled to come from three commercial fields - Kharir, Atuf Northwest and Wadi Taribah - on the East Shabwa block. The Kharir field is a multi-field complex consisting of four main oil reservoirs.

Unocal and its co-venturers signed a production-sharing contract for the East Shabwa block in 1987 with the government of Yemen. Under the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA), Total Yemen, S.A., is operator and holds a 28.57 percent working interest. Other participants are Comeco Petroleum Limited, 28.57 percent, and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. (Kufpec), 14.29 percent.

"The East Shabwa block shares the same prolific petroleum system with the Masila field, operated by another company, that is producing 190,000 barrels of oil per day," said David C. Peters, Unocal's project manager for Yemen. "We expect to add to the proved reserves at East Shabwa through additional drilling."

The JOA participants have retained 230,000 acres in the East Shabwa development area.

Forward-looking statements, including estimates of resources, production and future project activities, in this news release are based on assumptions concerning geology, drilling success, government approvals and other considerations. Actual results could differ materially.

Updated: December 1997