press release

Spirit Energy 76 acquires additional interest in Van Field units; production increases

Sugar Land, Texas, April 16, 1998 - Unocal Corporation's Spirit Energy 76 unit today said it has acquired an additional 9.2-percent working interest in the Van Field in Van Zandt County, Texas, from Shell Western E&P, Inc.

The acquisition raises Spirit Energy 76's average working interest in the five units comprising the Van Field to 91 percent and adds nearly 1.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE) to Spirit Energy 76's total resource potential. The acquisition includes more than 1.2 MMBOE in proved reserves.

Spirit Energy 76, operator of the Van Field, has conducted extensive infill drilling, well refracturing and workovers to increase gross production from the field by 4,300 barrels of oil per day equivalent (BOE/d) to nearly 9,500 BOE/d in the past year. The new interest will add more than 350 BOE/d in production.

In addition to development work in the shallow (3,000-foot) Woodbine and Austin Chalk reservoirs, Spirit Energy 76 has proved up deeper reservoirs (6,000-feet) in the Rodessa, Carlisle and James formations. To date, Spirit Energy 76 has drilled 12 deep wells and plans 12 more for 1998. Spirit Energy 76 holds a 100 percent working interest in these deeper zones that are now under development.

The Van Field was discovered in 1929. "The field has produced more than 550 million BOE (MMBOE), and our team has continued to identify potential new resources in this prolific field," said Jack W. Schanck, president of Spirit Energy 76. "The refracturing and infill programs in the Austin Chalk are expected to continue to add reserves in the field."

The field includes five units: Van Shallow Unit, South Van Lewisville Unit, Van Field Unit, Southwest Van Lewisville Unit, and the Central Van Woodbine Unit.

Spirit Energy 76 is Unocal Corporation's Lower 48 U.S. oil and gas exploration and production unit. Spirit employs approximately 1,300 people and operates 300 offshore platforms and approximately 2,700 active wells in 355 fields in the United States.

Forward-looking statements and estimates of future financial and operating results in this news release are based on assumptions concerning market, competitive, regulatory, environmental, operational and other considerations. Actual results could differ materially.

Updated: April 1998