Unocal resumes drilling on ultradeepwater Trident prospect

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Oct. 11 -- Unocal Corp. said Transocean Sedco Forex Inc.'s Discoverer Spirit drillship resumed drilling Monday on the second appraisal well at the Trident ultradeepwater discovery in the Gulf of Mexico 185 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Tex. Discoverer Spirit had spudded the well Sept. 17. Resumption of drilling followed a 15-day delay caused by Tropical Storm Isidore and Hurricane Lili, each of which passed over the gulf one week apart earlier this month. Unocal expects that the appraisal well will take 45-60 days to complete.

The new well is on Alaminos Canyon Block 947, about 2 miles southwest of the original Block 903 discovery well, which was announced in July 2001 (OGJ Online, July 24, 2001). The discovery well is in 9,687 ft of water.

The first appraisal well, drilled on Block 903 in 9,727 ft of water—a world record depth—was spudded in late 2001 and completed in January (OGJ Online, Nov. 1, 2001).

The Trident prospect area covers seven blocks in Alaminos Canyon. Unocal is operator and has a 59.5% working interest in the prospect. Partners include Chevron USA Inc.

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