press release

Unocal raises 4Q 2000 earnings estimate to 95 cents-$1.05 per share

El Segundo, Calif., Jan. 4, 2001 -- Unocal Corporation (NYSE: UCL) today said it expects adjusted operating earnings (excluding special items) for the fourth quarter 2000 will be between 95 cents and $1.05 per share. This compares with an earlier estimate (Oct. 25, 2000) of 90 to 95 cents per share.

Unocal's fourth quarter ended on Dec. 31, 2000.

The increase in expected earnings is the result of higher-than-anticipated crude oil and natural gas prices and lower dry hole expenses.

The revised earnings estimate assumes an expected average price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil of $32.65 per barrel and an average Henry Hub natural gas price of $5.50 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) in the fourth quarter. The earlier estimate assumed an average WTI price of $31.00 per barrel and a Henry Hub natural gas price of $5.00 per mcf.

Pretax dry hole expenses are estimated at $55 to $60 million, down from $75 million in the original estimate. The deepwater exploration well on the Dana Point prospect in the Gulf of Mexico is still drilling. The company expects to issue results of that drilling as soon as they are known.

Offsetting lower dry hole costs is higher aftertax expense of $20 million (8 cents per share).

The revised earnings estimate does not include any special items.

Unocal expects to announce its fourth quarter and full-year 2000 earnings on Jan. 25, 2001, prior to the open of NYSE trading. The company will conduct a conference call for investors at 1 p.m. PST (4 p.m. EST) the same day. The conference call will be webcast on the Internet.

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements about Unocal's earnings, commodity prices, and dry hole expenses. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. The statements are based upon Unocal's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward looking statements. Actual results could differ materially as a result of factors discussed in Unocal's 1999 Form 10-K and subsequent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of the company's SEC filings are available from the company by calling 800-252-2233. The reports are also available on the Unocal web site,

Updated: January 2001