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Cobalt looks for North Platte partner

Written by  Monday, 08 May 2017 15:00

Cobalt International Energy has opened a data room for its deepwater US Gulf of Mexico North Platte field as it announced the latest appraisal well drilling results on the field.

Cobalt, which says the field, with an estimated 500-800 MMbbl resource range, making it one of the 10 largest field in the Gulf of Mexico, is looking to sell off from 20% to its entire 60% ownership in the field. A bid date is set for early July.

Image from Cobalt.

Tim Cutt, Cobalt CEO, said in the firm's Q1 2017 earnings call that sidetrack #2 of the North Platte #4 well had intersected "high-quality, lower tertiary Sands, that are full to base with oil.” The well, about 1.2 mi north of the discovery well, proves that the high-quality oil bearing sands extend across the crest of the field, Cutt said.

“We are currently conducting bypass operations to collect core samples to complete the appraisal program on the eastern flank of the field. Through extensive appraisal drilling, we have determined that the true vertical thickness of the reservoir quality sands range from approximately 500ft on the crest to approximately 1000ft on the flanks of the field,” Cutt said.

“Prior to incorporating the new data from North Platte #4, sidetrack #2, the probabilistic mean recoverable volume is estimated at 650 MMboe... North Platte is one of the most attractive oilfields on the global market in terms of size, quality and physical terms.”

When speaking of North Platte, Cutt said that it's just fundamentally different. “It's one of the large, what's called a four-way closure in the Gulf of Mexico, where it's actually kind of sealed dome, it has faulting around the perimeter, but it's kind of a four-way closure to the oil migrates to the top, that's in very simple terms,” Cutt said. “We started the appraisal program with a #1 well in the Northwest, we then came down to the southwest with the #3 well, went to the crest of the field with the #3 sidetrack, came across to the southeast with the #4 well, which found oil field base. We just now have gone a mile - over a mile north and we drilled substantially down dip.”

Over at Anadarko Petroleum’s Shenandoah, also in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Cobalt said that the company is currently in the preliminary stages of working with its partners to understand the operator's intension, and working to evaluate multiple ways to progress efforts at Shenandoah.

“The Shenandoah partnership, having completed its appraisal drilling program, is evaluating well results to properly determine the optimal development path forward for the field. Although the Shenandoah #6 and the #6 sidetrack wellbores were wet, Cobalt believe that the appraised resources will justify a right-sized standalone facility or a tied back to an existing facility. The Shenandoah appraisal program to date has established a recoverable resource of approximately 200 MMboe,” Cutt said.

Cutt also said that the untested western flank of the field offers additional potential. “Cobalt's assessment of the field's total recoverable resource range is 200-300 MMboe. However, the fully appraised 200 MMboe resource is economic, with the appropriate development concept and with current market rates for drilling, fabrication and installation,” Cutt said. “We are currently running development economics for a 60,000 b/d, assuming a 15-20 boe development cost and a US$5-$10/bbl operating cost, at consensus pricing of $70-$80/bbl from 2023 forward.”

Under this scenario, Cutt said that the Shenandoah development is economically justified, and that Cobalt is working with its partners to evaluate and reach alignment on the options available to us to progress the development of the Shenandoah field.

“We have progressed the Shenandoah marketing process, hosted companies in the physical data room and had set a bid date for mid-June. The recent appraisal results have been incorporated into that data room,” Cutt said.

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