Noble Energy announced a non-commercial hydrocarbon find at its second deepwater Gunflint appraisal well in the US Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi Canyon 992 #1, located one mile west of the original discovery well, encountered 109 ft of net pay and was drilled to a total depth of 32,800 ft in 6,100 ft of water.
Results of drilling, wireline logs and reservoir data have confirmed an estimated gross resource range of 65 to 90 MMboe in the primary structure. Noble said that additional exploration potential remains in an adjacent three-way structure to the north, which could be a candidate for future exploration following development of the confirmed resources.
Susan Cunningham, Noble Energy's Senior Vice President Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and Frontier Regions, said, "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."
Once operations are completed, the Gunflint appraisal well will be suspended for future use. The net cost of drilling the lower exploration zone was approximately $15 million. Noble plans to move the drilling rig next to Troubadour, a low-risk amplitude prospect offsetting the Big Bend discovery. The well is expected to reach total depth late 3Q 2013.
Noble Energy operates Gunflint with a 31.14% working interest. Its partners on the project include Ecopetrol America Inc. (31.5%), Marathon Oil Company (18.23%), and Samson Offshore, LLC (19.13%).