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Gulf of Mexico: W&T Offshore Makes Discovery at Mahogany Field

W&T Offshore, Inc. announced that it has made a subsalt discovery in a deep shelf exploratory target beneath its Ship Shoal 349 “Mahogany” Field.

The SS 359 A-14 well has exceeded the Company’s expectations and is currently producing from the targeted T-Sand (in excess of 17,200′ total vertical depth), at an initial flow back rate of 3,030 barrels of oil per day and 5.6 million cubic feet of gas per day, for a total of approximately 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day (3,310 Boe per day net of royalty to W&T) with a flowing tubing pressure of approximately 9,400 psi surface pressure. The T-Sand is the deepest sand discovered in this field, as there is additional pay identified in the M-Sand, N-Sand, and O-Sand, all of which represent future reserve additions to the Company. The well also penetrated a thicker than expected P-sand interval (the main field pay sand) which will also serve as a future recompletion. In total, the A-14 well logged over 370 feet of net oil pay, with the T-Sand accounting for 108 feet of the total net pay. Success from the A-14 T-sand will stimulate additional drilling in 2014 to exploit the four newly discovered oil sands that were encountered in the A-14 well. W&T holds a 100% working interest in the field.

Tracy Krohn, W&T Offshore’s Chairman and CEO, stated, “Our exploration team utilized our subsalt imaging technology to identify and deliver this subsalt discovery which is a deep shelf exploration extension to our producing Mahogany Field. This new oil discovery is part of our organic growth plan and adds substantial value to the Company. We found a very high quality oil sand in the T-sand reservoir with great flow characteristics. Another key value driver on this project is our ability to produce this discovery immediately through our existing infrastructure at Mahogany. We are evaluating additional targets in this highly prolific field based upon our continuing success and look forward to our next exploratory well at Mahogany, the A-15 well, which should begin drilling in in September.”

The platform rig at Mahogany is currently working on a major recompletion in the A-4 well, designed to bring a behind pipe P-Sand interval into production at an expected rate of 1,000 Boe per day, net of royalties to W&T with an anticipated production date of August or September. Following the A-4 recomplete the Company expects to spud the A-15 subsalt exploratory well, a multi-horizon target that is anticipated to encounter multiple stacked oil sand targets. The A-15 well is scheduled to reach total depth near the end of 2013 or early 2014 with a target IP rate of 1,390 Boe per day, net of royalty to W&T. The unrisked reserve potential associated with the A-15 well is anticipated to be in the range of 1.8 to 6.2 million Boe.

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Gulf of Mexico: Shell Announces Successful Exploratory Well at Vicksburg Discovery

Shell announces a successful exploratory well at Vicksburg in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well is located 75 miles (120 kilometers) offshore in the De Soto Canyon Block 393 in 7,446 feet (2,269 meters) of water. It was drilled to a total depth of 26,385 feet (8,042 meters) and encountered more than 500 feet (152 meters) of net oil pay.

In total, the Vicksburg “A” discovery is estimated to hold potentially recoverable resources of more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). It adds to the more than 500 mmboe of potentially recoverable resources that have already been discovered and appraised at the nearby Appomattox discovery. Vicksburg “A” is a separate accumulation from both Appomattox and the 2007 Vicksburg “B” discovery.

“The results of the Vicksburg well strengthen our existing deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration portfolio and should contribute to the nearby Appomattox discovery,” said Mark Shuster, Executive Vice President Shell Upstream Americas Exploration.

Shell (the operator with a 75% interest) and Nexen, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, (25% interest), are following up the Vicksburg “A” well with a sidetrack well to test the Corinth prospect, a separate fault block from the Vicksburg discovery. Further exploration drilling targeting tie-backs to Appomattox will follow.

Press Release, July 03, 2013; Image: Shell

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Noble Energy Makes Oil Discovery at Big Bend Prospect in U.S. Gulf

Noble Energy, Inc.  today announced a discovery at the Big Bend exploration prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well, located in 7,200 feet of water on Mississippi Canyon Block 698, was drilled to a total depth of 15,989 feet. Open-hole logging identified approximately 150 feet of net oil pay in two high-quality Miocene reservoirs.

Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO, said, “The discovery at Big Bend is an exciting follow-up to our recent success at Galapagos. The well results appear at least as good as our pre-drill mean resource expectations and de-risked our offset prospect Troubadour. The combination of excellent reservoir properties, fluid characteristics and our high working interest in this project will contribute significant production and cash flow for our business.”

Noble Energy operates with a 54 percent working interest in Big Bend. Other interest owners are W&T Energy VI, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of W&T Offshore Inc.) with 20 percent, Red Willow Offshore, LLC with 15.4 percent and Houston Energy Deepwater Ventures V, LLC with 10.6 percent.

Noble Energy Makes Oil Discovery at Big Bend Prospect in U.S. Gulf| Offshore Energy Today.

 

Statoil stepping up in the Arctic

Statoil is stepping up its Arctic activities and will drill nine wells during a non-stop 2013 Norwegian Barents exploration campaign. The company plans to meet development challenges here by tripling its Arctic technology research budget.

 

Statoil’s exploration experience in the Barents is already extensive. Of the 94 exploration wells drilled in the Norwegian Barents Sea so far, Statoil has been involved in 89. Nine more Statoil-operated wells are on their way here next year.

“After our Skrugard and Havis discoveries we still see attractive opportunities here,” says Statoil Exploration executive vice president Tim Dodson.

“This is a less challenging area, as the Norwegian Barents is one of the only Arctic areas with a year-round ice-free zone. We also see the possibility of utilising knowledge gained here for Arctic prospects elsewhere later on – just like we’ve already done with Snøhvit.”

Statoil will start drilling in Nunatak in the Skrugard area in December, and will drill and complete four wells in this area over a six-month period.

“These wells are time critical, as any additional resources will make the Skrugard development even more robust,” says Dodson.

The campaign will then continue with the drilling of two-three wells in the Hoop frontier exploration area further north in the Barents in the summer of 2013. These will be the northernmost wells ever drilled in Norway.

The 2013 Barents drilling campaign finishes in the most mature province of the Barents: the Hammerfest basin. Statoil will carry out growth exploration close to the existing Snøhvit and Goliat discoveries here.

Arctic drilling unit

In addition to increasing its drilling activities, Statoil has created a technology road map to prepare for activities in even harsher Arctic areas.
This includes:

  • A tripling of the current Arctic research budget – from NOK 80 million (in 2012) to NOK 250 million (in 2013)
  • A research cruise to north east Greenland in September
  • The maturing of an Arctic drill unit concept

Some of the technology highlights include work to allow for cost-effective 3D seismic for exploration prospect evaluation in ice, and the continuing development of a tailor-made, Arctic drill unit.

The work on the future drilling unit is based on Statoil’s experience with developing specialised category rigs for the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

The unit will be one that can operate in a wide range of water depths across the Arctic, and will involve integrated operations in drifting ice.

Functions here are to include a management system to reduce ice impact, an optimised drilling package for faster drilling and increased rig availability, and solutions to ensure that the rig maintains its position. At present no robust solution for dynamic positioning dedicated for ice operation exists.

“When we see a technology need, we try to fill the gap ourselves. We have now directed our strategic focus towards developing technology for exploration and production in ice. A new dedicated unit has been established to solve these challenges,” says Statoil Technology, Projects and Drilling executive vice president Margareth Øvrum.

Capacity is key

“We’ve secured a five-year contract for Seadrill‘s West Hercules drilling rig. The rig is currently being prepared for Arctic conditions, and can be used to drill consecutively in the region for years to come,” Dodson says.

Broad exploration experience in the Barents Sea and available rig capacity make Statoil well prepared for the 22nd licence round on the NCS. Applications are due in early December, while the awarding of new licences will take place in spring 2013. Seventy-two blocks in the Barents will be on offer.

“The Skrugard discovery has reignited interest in the Barents. A number of major companies that had left the area will be looking to make their way back in. The competition will be fierce, but we’ve built up a strong track record here, and our application will reflect this,” Dodson says.

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Borders & Southern Prepares for Darwin Discovery Appraisal (Falkland Islands)

Borders & Southern Prepares for Darwin Discovery Appraisal (Falkland Islands)| Offshore Energy Today

Borders & Southern has announced the results of the Darwin fluid sample analysis. As previously reported, well 61/17-1 encountered a good quality sandstone reservoir comprising 67.8m of net pay with an average porosity of 22%. The gas condensate reservoir was sampled at four separate levels with 3 fluid samples taken at each level.

The initial condensate yield from the Darwin gas samples, as measured in a laboratory separator test, varies from 123 to 140 stb/MMscf. The API gravity of the condensate is 46 to 49 degrees. Based on the condensate yield and ongoing reservoir modelling, the Company estimates the recoverable volume of condensate to be 130 to 250 million barrels with a mid case of 190 million barrels.

Following these positive laboratory results, the Board will approve a work programme that includes appraisal drilling of the Darwin discovery. Additional wells are necessary to confirm the initial resource estimates and establish a commercial development. In the coming months, activity will focus on a comprehensive technical evaluation of all the data collected from well 61/17-1 and a review of potential development concepts along with project economics.

These results have exciting implications for the Company’s prospect and lead inventory and particularly for those prospects in the Lower Cretaceous play fairway to the south of the Falkland Islands. Borders & Southern’s prospect inventory contains further relatively low risk structural prospects of a similar size to Darwin along with stratigraphically trapped fans of slightly higher risk but larger scale. Some of these prospects will be targeted in the next drilling phase with the objective of adding to the discovered resources of Darwin and building a core development area.

“Discussions with a seismic contractor regarding the acquisition of additional 3D seismic are in progress and we plan to have a vessel in the Falklands at the start of 2013 to commence the survey,”said Borders & Southern in a statement.

This survey will focus on similar prospects to Darwin currently outside our existing 3D area. Whilst the final costs of the 2012 drilling programme will not be fully known until after the demobilisation of the rig later in the year, the Company can state that it is fully funded for the 3D seismic acquisition and processing, the reprocessing of the Company’s 2007 3D seismic data and all the technical studies that need to be undertaken on the samples collected from the two wells.

Given the encouraging results from the Darwin well, the Company will start planning the next drilling programme, which is likely to include both exploration and appraisal wells. The company has said that the the timing of drilling will be dependent on rig availability, but “realistically this will not occur before 2014“. The Company is currently exploring the best way to fund the next phase of the programme, including the possibility of now bringing in partners.

Borders & Southern Prepares for Darwin Discovery Appraisal (Falkland Islands)| Offshore Energy Today.

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