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Newfield Achieves Record Operating Results in 1997

HOUSTON, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Newfield Exploration Company (NYSE: NFX) today announced that year-end 1997 proved oil and gas reserves totaled 435.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent (Bcfe), an increase of 35% over the prior year's level of 323.3 Bcfe. Proved reserve additions in 1997 totaled 186.0 Bcfe, a 251% replacement of production.

Newfield's 1997 production was 74.0 Bcfe, a 31% increase over the 1996 level of 56.7 Bcfe. Oil and gas revenues rose 34% from $149.3 million in the prior year to $199.4 million during 1997. Earnings for the twelve months ended December 31, 1997 increased to $43.1 million, or $1.13 per share, versus $38.5 million, or $1.03 per share in 1996, before including a $2.5 million after tax charge in the fourth quarter 1997 for an unsuccessful well in China. Earnings for 1997, inclusive of the write-down required by full cost accounting rules, were $1.07 per share. Operating cash flow before changes in working capital rose to $161.9 million, or $4.26 per share, a 27% increase over the 1996 level of $125.2 million, or $3.35 per share.

"Newfield had an excellent year in 1997. We significantly added to our base of assets and generated record earnings and cash flow," commented Joe B. Foster, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Newfield. "We remain committed to adding value on a per share basis at Newfield and will continue to focus our opportunity generation efforts primarily in our core Gulf of Mexico area. As part of our diversification efforts, we increased our presence onshore South Louisiana, where we will be actively drilling in 1998, and we acquired Huffco International, L.L.C., our initial international venture."

Mr. Foster continued, "Our inventory of prospects is the largest in our history and we currently have 15-20 exploratory wells planned for 1998. Major development programs at Ship Shoal 354 and East Cameron 373 will be significant contributors to our planned 1998 production target of 85 Bcfe, which represents a 15% increase over 1997. Newfield will also be active developing two fourth quarter 1997 discoveries at East Cameron 286/287 and Main Pass 256, which are planned to add to production during 1999. As a result of this high level of projected activity, Newfield's planned capital expenditures for 1998 are $156 million, an increase over 1997's initial budget of $129 million."

Newfield's capital expenditures totaled $253 million in 1997, as compared to $164 million in the previous year. A total of 38 domestic wells were drilled during the year, including 18 exploratory wells, nine of which were productive.

Earnings for the three months ended December 31, 1997, prior to the ceiling test write-down in China, were $14.7 million, or $0.38 per share, compared to $13.9 million, or $0.37 per share, during the same period in 1996. Earnings for the 1997 period, after the effect of the write-down, were $12.2 million, or $0.32 per share. Operating cash flow before changes in working capital increased 23% from a level of $40.2 million, or $1.06 per share, for the fourth quarter 1996, to $49.7 million, or $1.30 per share, in the fourth quarter 1997.

Newfield explores, develops and acquires oil and gas properties, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico.

                         NEWFIELD EXPLORATION COMPANY
                               YEAR END RESULTS
                   (In Thousands Except Per Share Amounts)

                                      Three Months Ended      Year Ended
                                          December 3l,        December 31,
                                       1997        1996     1997        1996

    Revenues                         $60,264     $47,482  $199,399    $149,256

    Net Cash Provided by
     Operating Activities
     Before Changes in Operating
     Assets and Liabilities          $49,742     $40,185  $161,852    $125,226

    Earnings Before Taxes            $18,754     $21,532   $62,421     $59,286

    Net Earnings                     $12,228     $13,943   $40,603     $38,494

    Basic Earnings Per Share           $0.34       $0.40     $1.14       $1.10

    Diluted Earnings Per Share         $0.32       $0.37     $1.07       $1.03

    Weighted Average Basic Common
    Shares Outstanding                35,936      35,132    35,612      34,872

    Weighted Average Diluted
     Common Shares Outstanding        38,290      37,771    38,017      37,409

    Note: Earnings per share and weighted average common shares outstanding
          have been determined in accordance with SFAS No. 128.

Certain of the statements set forth in this press release regarding production targets and planned capital expenditures and activities are forward looking and are based upon assumptions and anticipated results that are subject to numerous uncertainties. Actual results may vary significantly from those anticipated due to many factors, including drilling results, oil and gas prices, industry conditions, the prices of goods and services, the availability of drilling rigs and other support services and the availability of capital resources. In addition, the drilling of oil and gas wells and the production of hydrocarbons are subject to governmental regulations and operating risks.
SOURCE Newfield Exploration Company
CONTACT: James P. Ulm, II of Newfield Exploration Company, 281-847-6000
WEBSITE: http: //www.newfld.com

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