McMoRan updates Gulf of Mexico activities

McMoRan Exploration Co. has issued an update on its shallow-water Gulf of Mexico exploration activities, including indications of potential hydrocarbon-bearing zones at the Blueberry Hill deep gas sidetrack location and in-progress drilling at the Davy Jones and Blackbeard East ultra-deep prospects.

Offshore staff

NEW ORLEANS– McMoRan Exploration Co. has issued an update on its shallow-water Gulf of Mexico exploration activities, including indications of potential hydrocarbon-bearing zones at the Blueberry Hill deep gas sidetrack location and in-progress drilling at the Davy Jones and Blackbeard East ultra-deep prospects.

The Blueberry Hill #9 STK1, located on Louisiana State Lease 340 in 10 ft of water, commenced drilling on April 26, 2010, and has been drilled to a true vertical depth (TVD) of 23,500 ft (24,279 ft measured depth). Log-while-drilling tools have indicated sands with high resistivity levels below 23,100 ft, which may be the beginning of a hydrocarbon-bearing interval.

McMoRan says it is setting a drilling liner above the identified sand section before evaluating the #9 STK1 well with wireline logs to determine the porosity of the identified sands and quantify potential net pay in the well. Because the current depth of the well is in a resistive sand, additional drilling is required to determine the thickness of the identified sand interval. The Blueberry Hill #9 STK1 has a proposed TVD of 24,000 ft.

The company says that the sands identified to date in the #9 STK1 well appear to be of similar age to the sands identified in previous Blueberry Hill wells drilled in 2009. The 2009 wells, located approximately 3,000 ft north of the #9 STK1 well, established hydrocarbons in three different zones between 21,300 ft and 22,500 ft. The data obtained in recent drilling indicates that there appears to be a sizeable fault separating the original three penetrations in 2009 from the well currently in progress.

McMoRan also reports that drilling has commenced on the Davy Jones offset appraisal well on South Marsh Island Block 234, two and a half miles southwest of the discovery well, which logged 200 net feet of pay in multiple Eocene/Paleocene (Wilcox) sands below 27,300 ft in January 2010. The offset appraisal well is currently drilling below 10,800 ft towards a proposed total depth of 29,950 ft, and is expected to test similar sections up-dip to the discovery well, as well as deeper objectives, including potential additional Wilcox and possibly Cretaceous (Tuscaloosa) sections. Davy Jones involves a large ultra-deep structure encompassing four OCS lease blocks (20,000 acres).

The Blackbeard East ultra-deep exploration well commenced drilling on March 8, 2010, and is currently drilling below 17,700 ft. The well, which is located in 80 ft of water on South Timbalier Block 144, has a proposed total depth of 29,950 ft and will target Middle and Deep Miocene objectives seen below 30,000 ft in Blackbeard West, nine miles away, as well as younger Miocene objectives.

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