HOUSTON – Steve Thurston, Chevron’s vice president, Deepwater Exploration & Projects, discussed the company’s recent success in the Gulf of Mexico with the Jack/ St. Malo fields at the recent Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
Thurston said called the GoM a “world-class basin,” with 24 Bboe discovered to date, and another 14 Bboe to be produced in the future.
“The salt canopy is a blessing and a curse because it traps oil, but it’s hard on seismic exploration and complicates drilling,” he explained while discussing the properties of the Gulf.
The challenges of the Gulf required the operator, who also acted as the fields’ general contractor, to “be creative” when developing the Jack/St. Malo fields, he said. The fields are about 25 mi (40 km) apart, and are around 280 mi (450 km) south of New Orleans in about 7,000 ft (2,100 m) water.
Early on, Chevron decided that a joint, staged development was necessary to “capture the synergies of the fields” and “capture upside potential.”
Stage one of five has been installed, with seven of the 10 wells installed. The ocean bottom node seismic, part of stage two, is also complete. The next steps would be to bring on two new wells plus the related subsea equipment.
According to Thurston, another part of the company’s development strategy for the Jack/St. Malo fields was to selectively focus on key technology, including seismic imaging and fracing technology.
Future developments for the Jack/St. Malo fields likely include an option for water injection; production expansion; increased power generation; and multi-phase seafloor pumps.