40 rigs at work in water depths over 1,000 ft
The number of rigs drilling in at least 1,000 ft water depth in the Gulf of Mexico reached a record high of 40, according to the Mineral Management Service of the Department of the Interior. "This level of deepwater oil and gas activity illustrates the tremendous level of economic activity in the deepwater portion of the Gulf of Mexico," said MMS Director Walt Rosenbusch.
PetroQuest Energy purchased an 85% working interest in Ship Shoal 72 field in a $7.1 million transaction. ExxonMobil sold most of the interest, and a private company sold the remainder. The field, which includes about 14,500 acres, covers portions of five blocks. The property contains proved reserves of 8.6 Bcf. Several workovers and recompletions are planned for first quarter 2001.
ROV sets depth record
Oceaneering International said the HydraRegistered Millennium 6 remotely operated vehicle (ROV) set a water depth record for suction pile anchor installations. The Millennium 6, contracted to Shell, operated high-volume dredge pumps for full penetration of the suction piles into the seabed at Alaminos Canyon 557 in the Gulf of Mexico. The suction pile anchors were set in an average depth of 8,000 ft water depth and the ROV, contracted to BHP, descended to 8,835 ft to support the drillship Glomar C.R. Luigs, at work on Walker Ridge 425.
Cheniere, Aurora team
Cheniere Energy entered an agreement with Aurora Exploration for assistance in Cheniere's 3D seismic interpretation and prospect generation activities. Aurora will focus on Mustang Island, Matagorda, and West Cameron. Cheniere is also developing an exploration project offshore Texas similar to the project it developed off Louisiana.
Canyon Express update
Kværner received a letter of intent from Saipem for 28 million in electro-hydraulic steel tube umbilicals for the Canyon Express development. The Canyon Express development, operated by Elf Exploration Inc., combines the production from three deepwater oil fields.
BP-operated King's Peak, Elf-operated Aconcagua, and Marathon Oil Co.-operated Camden Hills are the three fields involved, and water depths range between 1,900 and 2,200 meters. The Canyon Express umbilical system will feature over 100 km of steel tube umbilicals, of which 73 km will be one continuous length. The umbilicals will be manufactured at Kværner's Oilfield Products unit at Moss in Norway, and the order is scheduled for delivery in summer 2001.
Atwood buys semisub
Atwood Oceanics purchased the semisubmersible Ocean Scout from Oceaneering Inter-national for $4.5 million. Atwood said it will upgrade the vessel to a semisubmersible tender unit, which could cost $40-60 million, depending on water depth and other operational requirements. The conversion and upgrade work, which could take up to a year, will not occur until a contract is secured, the company said.
Ensco 7500 begins work
Ensco International's newly constructed semisubmersible, Ensco 7500, has begun a three-year contract with Burlington Resources Inc. The rig, built by Friede Goldman Offshore Texas, is operating in East Breaks 599 in the Gulf of Mexico. The Ensco 7500 is a dynamically positioned semi rig capable of drilling in 8,000 ft of water. Construction and commissioning of the rig was completed for $217 million.
ECO plans newbuilds
Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) said it will build an anchor-handling vessel, six new 260-ft deepwater supply vessels, and two 165-ft fast supply vessels. The firm said it would also convert an existing vessel. ECO's affiliate shipyards in Louisiana will complete the construction. Cons-truction of the first four of the six 260-ft vessels has already begun. Three are to be delivered in 2001.
- High Island 37 No. 2 and High Island 37 No. 3 drilling revealed productive sands at the Cris R interval. Platform and facilities installation is being completed, with initial production expected to begin by year-end. The wells tested at a combined flow rate of 30 MMcf/d of gas and 150 b/d of condensate. IP Petroleum Co. Inc. operates the block, and American Resources, which is 75%-owned by Blue Dolphin Energy Co., has a 3.33% working interest.
- Galveston 418 No. 1 well found productive sands, and initial production is expected to begin in first quarter 2001. The well tested at 7.4 MMcf/d and no liquids. The William G. Helis Co. operates the block, and American Resources has a 6% working interest.
- Cyrus prospect partners reported an oil and gas discovery on High Island A-582. The discovery well, drilled to 15,147 ft, encountered over 230 net ft of oil and gas pay in four separate sands. Once development plans are final, platform construction will require 12-18 months. First production from the new platform is expected in 2002. High Island A-582 is in 440 ft water depth. Operator Texaco holds 46.7%, and Devon Energy Corp. holds 36.6%.
- McMoRan Exploration's Eugene Island 97 No. 1 exploratory well (Thunderbolt prospect) encountered 75 ft of net hydrocarbon pay. Additional wells will be needed to evaluate the discovery. Operator Ocean Energy holds 35%, McMoRan holds 38%, Samedan owns 25%, and an individual investor holds the remainder.
- Pogo Producing drilled two successful exploratory wells in Main Pass 61 and Main Pass 62. The Main Pass 61 wildcat, located in 92 ft water depth, discovered 96 ft of net oil pay. Pogo has 100% of this well. Pogo, Walter Oil & Gas, and Continental Land & Fur drilled the Ewing Bank 871 No. 1 discovery well in 932 ft water depth. Walter has 40%, Pogo has 50%, and Continental has 10%.
- Ocean Energy and Conoco said their Magnolia deepwater prospect in Garden Banks 783 confirmed a stand-alone commerciality of a discovery made in May 1999. The Garden Banks 783 No. 2 appraisal well, a 6,000-ft westerly step-out from the original find, was drilled to 17,435 ft and encountered oil-bearing sands in excess of 400 net ft, with 300 net ft in one continuous unit. The sidetrack encountered 400 net ft of oil-bearing sand. Operator Conoco holds 75% and Ocean Energy holds 25% in the block.