NEW ORLEANS -- Operators have announced 12 discoveries in the Lower Tertiary Trend in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, according to the MMS.
The agency says Lower Tertiary formations were deposited from about 65 million to around 35 to 23 million years ago. Discoveries in the Gulf's Lower Tertiary have been made in variable depths, from 15,000 to 30,000 ft.
"This is an exciting new trend in the Gulf of Mexico, and the recent announcement by Chevron and its partners of the results of the Jack 2 well provides additional proof of its great potential," says Johnnie Burton, MMS director.
"This trend began to materialize in 2001 and 2002 with several discoveries in the Alaminos Canyon and Walker Ridge areas and now has extended to Keathley Canyon. The area could be as wide as 300 mi and involve as many as 3,000 blocks that the MMS administers."
Until these recent discovery announcements, the reserve contribution of the Lower Tertiary in the Gulf was negligible, according to the MMS. Around 99% of the GOM's proved reserves were found in sediments of less than 23 million years of Miocene age (Upper Tertiary) and younger, while 1% of its proved reserves are in older than 65 million years (Jurassic and Cretaceous age) sediment, which are primarily in nearshore areas offshore Louisiana and Alabama.
According to the MMS, widespread industry interest in the Jack well test and the discovery by BP on its Kaskida prospect in 5,860 ft of water lead to heavy bidding activity at the Western Gulf Lease Sale 200 in August.
At the sale, 82 tracts received bids in the Keathley Canyon area. In addition, the highest bid at the sale was offered by BP at $21 million for KC 58; Petrobras bid $12.8 million for KC 59; and Shell bid $6 million for KC 56. These bids further illustrate industry's high interest in this area, adds the MMS.