NEW ORLEANS – McMoRan Exploration Co. has updated its exploration and development activities and also provided an update on its cumulative findings to date from its shallow-water, ultra-deep exploration and development activities on the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) shelf.
McMoRan says it has been actively pursuing large ultra-deep targets located in the shallow waters of the GoM below the salt weld (i.e. listric fault) at depths generally below 25,000 ft (7,620 m) since 2008.
The company says that the data gained to date from four wells confirms its geologic model and the highly prospective nature of this emerging geologic trend. Prior to McMoRan’s involvement in the ultra-deep, there had been only two wells drilled on the shelf targeting these objectives; one did not reach its targeted depth and the other was outside of the company’s focus area.
Importantly, McMoRan says that its results to date have indicated the potential for large accumulations of hydrocarbons at these deeper depths in the shallow waters of the GoM, which is expected to reduce the risk of future activities.
In addition, the data indicates the presence below salt of geologic formations including Middle/Lower Miocene, Wilcox, Frio, Tuscaloosa and Cretaceous Carbonate. These formations have been prolific onshore, in the deepwater Gulf and in international locations. McMoRan says it is encouraged by the results, which indicate the potential for prospects with high-quality reservoirs on large structures with multi-Tcfe of gross unrisked potential. The company says it intends to conduct further drilling and flow testing to determine with greater certainty the ultimate potential of this emerging geologic trend.
Some of the company’s shallow-water, ultra-deep exploration activities have included the Davy Jones offset appraisal well (Davy Jones No. 2), located in South Marsh Island block 234; and the Blackbeard East ultra-deep exploration well, located in 80 ft (24 m) of water in South Timbalier block 144.