Benita downdip appraisal confirms commercial pay

Noble Energy's Benita oil appraisal well I-5 has encountered approximately 42 ft (13 m) of net oil pay, defined the water-oil contact, and moved the lowest known oil down structure approximately 28 ft (9 m), according to Noble.

Offshore Staff

HOUSTON -- Noble Energy's Benita oil appraisal well I-5 has encountered approximately 42 ft (13 m) of net oil pay, defined the water-oil contact, and moved the lowest known oil down structure approximately 28 ft (9 m), according to Noble.

Test results from the "high-quality" Miocene reservoir in block I offshore Equatorial Guinea yielded flow rates of 6,250 b/d and 5.4 MMcf/d of natural gas, with production rates limited by test equipment, the company says. Based on test information gathered, the Benita development wells are anticipated to produce approximately 10,000 b/d. Samples taken indicated a crude oil gravity of 30 degrees.

Meanwhile, deepwater rigSedco 700 is preparing to drill the Diega prospect, an additional Miocene target north of Benita on block I. Diega, located in 2,165 ft (660 m) of water with a proposed well depth of 10,500 ft (3200 m), has a gross resource potential of between 20 and 80 MMboe, according to Noble Energy.

"We are very encouraged with the results from the Benita downdip oil appraisal," says Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy's chairman, president, and CEO. Flow tests have confirmed our initial expectations that Benita could produce at a rate of 50,000 b/d from just five wells. We are moving forward with the engineering and production studies to submit a plan of development by the end of the year, with hopes to sanction the project in 2009. Our target for first production from Benita remains 2012."

06/05/2008

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