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Noble Energy Hits Net Pay at Gunflint Well in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Noble Energy, Inc. today announced that the second appraisal well at Gunflint well in the Gulf of Mexico, successfully encountered 109 feet of net pay within the primary reservoir targets.

Results of drilling, wireline logs and reservoir data have confirmed an estimated gross resource range(1) of 65 to 90 million barrels of oil equivalent in the primary structure, which was in line with Company expectations. The Mississippi Canyon 992 #1 well, located one mile west of the original discovery well, was drilled to a total depth of approximately 32,800 feet in a water depth of 6,100 feet. Commercial hydrocarbons were not encountered in the deeper exploration objective. Additional exploration potential remains in an adjacent three-way structure to the north, a candidate for future exploration following development of the confirmed resources.

Once operations are completed, the well will be suspended for future use. The net cost of drilling the lower exploration zone was approximately $15 million, which will be expensed in the second quarter of 2013.

Susan Cunningham, Noble Energy’s Senior Vice President Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and Frontier Regions, commented, “Our appraisal program at Gunflint solidifies our plans for a subsea tieback development, with sanction planned for later this year. Along with our Big Bend discovery, we now have two major projects in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico targeting first production at the end of 2015. These developments represent significant value to our overall portfolio.”

Noble Energy plans to move the drilling rig to Troubadour, a low-risk amplitude prospect offsetting the Big Bend discovery, over the next several weeks. The well is expected to reach total depth late in the third quarter.

Noble Energy operates Gunflint with a 31.14 percent working interest. Other partners in the project are Ecopetrol America Inc. with 31.50 percent, Marathon Oil Company with 18.23 percent and Samson Offshore, LLC with 19.13 percent.

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USA: Apache Finds Huge Shale Gas Reserves in Liard Basin

Apache Corp. has found a huge amount (up to 48 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas in its Liard Basin properties in northeastern BC. All of the gas is targeted to ship to a proposed LNG plant which should be built at Kitimat, according to Refinery News.

As the company says, it is the best unconventional gas discovery in North America. They have rights to drill 430,000 acres within the region.

Because of the low gas price, it is expected that the drilling plans in the Liard region could be very slow.

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USA: Pacific Santa Ana Drillship Hits the Water

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Pacific Drilling S.A. has taken delivery of its newest drillship, the Pacific Santa Ana. The drillship features the most advanced drilling technology in the offshore drilling industry, including dual load path capability and dual gradient drilling upgrades.

The “PACIFIC SANTA ANA” is an upgraded Dual Activity Samsung 12000 design dynamically-positioned drillship capable of operating in moderate environments and water depths up to 3,657 m (12,000 ft) using 18¾” BOP and 21” OD FT-DGD drilling riser and equipped for single and/or Dual Gradient Drilling (DGD)

The Vessel is expected to commence operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in Spring 2012 under a 5 year contract with a Chevron subsidiary

Pacific Drilling CEO, Chris Beckett, stated, “We are very proud to announce the delivery of the Pacific Santa Ana. This drillship incorporates the newest advances in offshore drilling technology and is the first ultra-deepwater rig equipped for dual gradient drilling, an innovation that is expected to provide significant benefits in drilling safety and efficiency. The delivery of the Pacific Santa Ana, the fourth rig in our fleet, completes the first phase of Pacific Drilling’s growth strategy to become the industry’s preferred ultra-deepwater drilling contractor.”

The company currently operates four recently delivered drillships and has two additional drillships on order at Samsung to be delivered in 2013.

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Norway: Total Hits O&G

Total Hits O&G, Offshore Norway

Total E&P Norge AS, operator of production licence 127, has completed drilling wildcat well 6607/12-2 S. The well proved gas and oil.

Well 6607/12-2 S was drilled about eight kilometres west of the Norne field. The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Middle and Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks (Fangst and Båt group). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in Cretaceous reservoir rocks (Cromer Knoll group).

The well proved gas and oil in both the primary and secondary exploration targets with reservoir properties as expected.

Preliminary estimates of the size of the discovery are between 3 and 16 million Sm3 recoverable oil equivalents. Development of the discovery will be considered in conjunction with other fields in the area.

The well was not formation tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out.

Songa Delta

This is the second exploration well in production licence 127. The licence was awarded in licensing round 10 B in 1986.

The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 4245 metres below the sea surface and terminated in early Jurassic rocks (Åre formation). The water depth is 369 metres. The well will now be temporarily plugged and abandoned.

Well 6607/12-2 S was drilled by the Songa Delta drilling facility, which will now proceed to a shipyard for its 30-year certification, before proceeding to the North Sea to drill wildcat well 25/6-4 S. Det norske oljeselskap ASA is the operator there.

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