Stone Energy Corp. hired an ENSCO drilling rig for its Cardona program at Mississippi Canyon block 29, the company announced on April 8, 2013.
The Ensco 8500 series dynamically-positioned deepwater drilling rig is expected to spud Stone's first Cardona well in 2H 2013, which will be followed by the drilling of the Cardona South well, Stone Energy said. Both wells will be tied back to Stone's 100% owned Pompano platform with production to follow in late 2014.
"The signing of the Ensco contract allows us to move forward to more fully develop the reserves around the Pompano platform," said Chairman, President and CEO David Welch. "These Stone-operated deepwater wells allow us to be in control of the planning and timing of the Cardona project. After years of preparation, we look forward to progressing our deepwater development and exploration efforts."
Stone holds a 65% working interest in the Cardona wells and will serve as operator.
Additionally, Stone hired the ENSCO 81 jack-up to begin a 3-4 well drilling program to commence next month. Stone said it expects to drill the Hammerlock oil prospect located on South Timbalier 100, followed by the Taildancer oil prospect located on Ship Shoal 113. The company also expects the Parker 50B inland barge rig to spud an infield oil well prospect in the Stone-operated Clovelly field in May. Stone maintains a 94% working interest in Hammerlock and a 100% working interest in both Taildancer and Clovelly fields.
Stone also announced that the third well at the La Cantera deep gas field has entered completions stage. The well was drilled to 18,000ft and is expected to enter production by June. Combined with the first two wells, gross production from this field is projected at over 100 MMcfe/d (over 25 MMcfe per day net) when the third well commences production. Stone holds a 34.6% non-operated working interest in La Cantera.
This news comes weeks after Stone Energy announced it was the high bidder on 11 blocks during the recent Outer Continental Shelf Lease Sale 227 in March. Out of 11 blocks, 10 are deepwater blocks, the majority of which are located in the Mississippi Canyon area. In all, Stone bid approximately US$38.4 million for the blocks, which are expected to add 62,732 gross acres and 46,796 net acres to Stone's leasehold inventory.