US Gulf leads world deepwater discovery count

The past year and eight months have seen 69 deepwater wells drilled around the world, 44 in 2002 and 25 through August 2003, according to Infield Systems Ltd.

Major reserves found off Australia

The past year and eight months have seen 69 deepwater wells drilled around the world, 44 in 2002 and 25 through August 2003, according to Infield Systems Ltd. Their tabulation of discoveries shows that the most deepwater finds have been made in the US sector of the Gulf of Mexico. Of the 28 wells listed, 19 were drilled in 2002, with the remaining nine drilled in 2003. US operators are on track for a similar number of deepwater discoveries for 2003.

One Gulf of Mexico highlight is Anadarko's Atlas discovery in Lloyd Ridge block 50. This well was drilled in 9,000 ft of water, the deepest water depth drilled in the survey period. The well discovered 32 MMboe.

The next most prolific region is West Africa with 16 discoveries over the survey period. Spread over four countries, the region was lead by Angola with nine discoveries, five in 2002 and four through August 2003. Nigeria produced four deepwater discoveries and Equatorial Guinea had two. Ivory Coast had one discovery in 5,981 ft water depth.

Latin America and the Mediterranean regions tied at seven discoveries each, in Brazil and Egypt respectively. The West Delta Deep Marine area off Egypt has been especially rich for Apache, where they had four discoveries in 2002.

Asia and Australia had 11 discoveries scattered between India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia. Of special note is ExxonMobil's Jansz 2 well off Australia's northwest shelf. This discovery found reserves of 3.6 Bboe, truly it is in a class by itself. With major reserves of this caliber hidden in the challenging environments of deepwater, the search for large, prolific, new fields will continue and continue to be successful.

Click here to view the Survey of Deepwater Discoveries from January 2002 through August 2003.

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