BHP Billiton's Shenzi well hits pay dirt in deepwater Gulf of Mexico

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 21 -- Australia's BHP Billiton Ltd. said the Shenzi discovery well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico has encountered a 465 ft gross hydrocarbon column with 140 ft of net pay.

The discovery well, which was drilled 125 miles off the Louisiana coast on Green Canyon Block 654, is in the Western Atwater Foldbelt area where BHP Billiton previously discovered oil and natural gas at Mad Dog, Atlantis, and Neptune (OGJ, Nov. 5, 2001, p. 84).

The Western Atwater Foldbelt is set to become a core producing area for BHP Billiton started in late 2004, a spokesman said.

BHP Billiton operates Shenzi and owns 44%, while BP PLC and Amerada Hess Corp. each hold 28% interest. Appraisal drilling will be necessary to determine the size of the find and the significance of the well, BHP Billiton said.

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