Noble finds GOM gas

Noble Energy Inc. has hit 50ft of net natural gas pay in a high-quality Miocene reservoir at its Troubadour prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The well was drilled to a total depth of 19,510ft by the ultradeepwater semisubmersible ENSCO 8501. The well is located in Noble Energy's Rio Grande complex, which includes the Big Bend and Troubadour prospects, in 7,273ft of water on Mississippi Canyon Block 699.

Discovered gross resources in this area are now estimated at between 50-100MMboe, with 75% representing oil volumes. Noble's Susan Cunningham, senior vice president deepwater Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and Frontier Regions, said the development will be planned as a subsea tieback to an existing host facility.

"Initial project sanction is targeted by the end of this year and first production is planned toward the end of 2015," she said.

The Troubadour discovery well is being temporarily abandoned for future development.  Following completion of operations at Troubadour, Noble Energy plans to move the ENSCO 8501 to the Dantzler prospect on Mississippi Canyon 738/782.  Dantzler is operated by Noble Energy with a 65% participating interest and is targeting a resource range of between 50-220MMboe gross.  Results from the exploration well are anticipated by the end of 2013.

Noble Energy operates Big Bend with a 54% participating interest and Troubadour with a 60%.  Its partners on Big Bend include Red Willow Offshore, LLC (15.4%), Houston Energy Deepwater Ventures V, LLC (10.6%) and W&T Energy VI, LLC (20%).  W&T Energy VI, LLC and Deep Gulf Energy II, LLC hold 20% interest each in Troubadour.

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