Total announces a significant oil discovery at its North Platte prospect on Garden Banks Block 959 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The discovery well encountered several hundred feet of net oil pay in Lower Tertiary sands which included several high-quality intervals.
Total estimates this discovery can have a potential of several hundred million barrels of oil. Further appraisal will be needed to confirm its size and commerciality.
“The North Platte discovery represents another example of Total’s bold exploration strategy targeting large exploration opportunities. It also demonstrates the efficiency of our alliance with Cobalt signed in 2009,” said Marc Blaizot, Total’s Senior Vice President Exploration.
Total is in a strategic alliance with Cobalt International Energy to explore for oil in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The North Platte discovery is the first Lower Tertiary Wilcox formation well drilled by the Alliance. The results of the well confirm the northern extension of the Wilcox formation and the presence of liquid hydrocarbons. Therefore, this validates the major potential of this new exploration area of the Gulf of Mexico in which Total holds a substantial acreage position with several follow-on prospects.
North Platte is located in a water depth of approximately 4,400 feet (1,340 m) and was drilled to a total depth of approximately 34,500 feet (10,520 m). Total holds a 40% interest in the North Platte discovery along with Cobalt (60%, operator).
13 Mar 2012, 7.06 pm GMT
New York, 13 March (Argus) — Chevron said its efforts to boost recoveries in the Lower Tertiary trend of the US Gulf of Mexico may double the amount of crude and natural gas extracted from its $7.5bn Jack/St Malo development.
The October 2010 decision to go forward with Jack/St Malo was predicated on recovering less than 10pc of the crude and gas in place, or about 500mn barrels of oil equivalent (boe) over the life of the deepwater development. Technological advances may drive recoveries to more than 20pc, or 1bn boe, Chevron North American upstream president Gary Luquette said today.
“We have effectively added a half billion barrels to Jack/St Malo, and we’re looking to apply what we’ve learned here to other Lower Tertiary developments,” Luquette said.
Deepwater projects will be key in Chevron’s plan to boost upstream production by 20pc, to 3.3mn boe/d, by 2017. The company aims to increase its global deepwater output to 470,000 boe/d from 375,000 boe/d. The Jack/St Malo platform, which will have a tieback to at least one other field, will have capacity to handle 170,000 b/d of oil and 42.5mn cubic feet/day of gas.
Lessons learned from early struggles with the Shell-operated Perdido development, which began production in March 2010, will help with other Lower Tertiary projects in the Gulf, Luquette said. Perdido was slower to ramp up than planned, but now is at more than 90,000 boe/d.
Chevron intervened to make design changes to the Hess-operated Tubular Bells project, also in the Lower Tertiary trend, increasing the major’s confidence that the development will be done on budget and on plan, Luquette said.
Jack/St Malo and Tubular Bells are both scheduled to commence production in 2014, as is the Chevron-operated Big Foot project in the Lower Tertiary.
Lower Tertiary oil deposits are beneath a thick salt canopy, making exploration more difficult, and are characterized by high pressure, high temperature and low porosity.
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Chevron Corporation announced a new oil discovery at the Moccasin prospect in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Keathley Canyon Block 736 Well No. 1 encountered more than 380 feet of net pay in the Lower Tertiary Wilcox Sands. The well is located approximately 216 miles off the Louisiana coast in 6,759 feet of water and was drilled to a depth of 31,545 feet.
“The Moccasin discovery underscores the importance of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico as a source of domestic energy for the United States and as a focus area for Chevron’s worldwide exploration portfolio,” said George Kirkland, vice chairman, Chevron Corporation. “Moccasin is an important addition to our queue of high-quality opportunities around the globe.”
Chevron began drilling the Moccasin well in March 2010. That activity was stopped in June 2010 when the U.S. government imposed a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Drilling resumed in March 2011 after the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement approved Chevron’s revised drilling permit application.
The well results are still being evaluated, and additional work will be needed to determine the extent of the resource. Chevron, with a 43.75 percent working interest in the prospect, was the operator of the Moccasin discovery well. Other Moccasin owners are BP, with 43.75 percent, and Samson Offshore Company, with 12.5 percent.
Chevron is one of the largest leaseholders in the Gulf of Mexico and is currently developing the $7.5 billion Jack/St. Malo and the $4.1 billion Big Foot projects.
Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif.