ExxonMobil hits large Keathley discovery, two more

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 8
– ExxonMobil Corp. has a natural gas discovery and two oil discoveries in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, one of which is among the largest gulf discoveries in the past decade.

The company estimated more than 700 million bbl of oil equivalent, more than 85% oil, to be recoverable on Keathley Canyon blocks 919 and 918 about 250 miles southwest of New Orleans and 90 miles north of Mexican waters.

The KC919-3 wildcat, ExxonMobil’s first post-moratorium deepwater exploratory well in the gulf, confirmed the presence of a second oil accumulation in Keathley Canyon 919. The well cut more than 475 ft of net oil pay and a minor amount of gas in predominantly Pliocene high-quality sandstone reservoirs. The well, which is still drilling, is in 7,000 ft of water.

Drilling in early 2010 encountered oil and gas at Hadrian North in KC919 and extending into KC918, with more than 550 ft of net oil pay and a minor amount of gas in high-quality Pliocene and Upper Miocene sandstone reservoirs.

ExxonMobil encountered 200 ft of gas pay in Pliocene sandstone reservoirs at its Hadrian South prospect in Keathley Canyon 964 while drilling in 2009.

“We estimate a recoverable resource of more than 700 million boe combined in our Keathley Canyon blocks,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Co. “We plan to work with our joint venture partners and other lessees in the area to determine the best way to safely develop these resources as rapidly as possible,” Greenlee said.

ExxonMobil is operator of KC918, KC919, KC963, and KC964 with 50% working interest. Eni Petroleum US LLC and Petrobras America Inc. each holds a 25% working interest in KC919, KC963, and KC964, and Petrobras America holds 50% in KC918. The blocks are near the southwestern part of the Walker Ridge planning area.

ExxonMobil has drilled 36 deepwater wells in the gulf the past decade in 4,000-8,700 ft of water.

“As one of the largest lease holders in the Gulf of Mexico with interests in over 370 leases, we are committed to the continued safe exploration and development of this important national resource,” Greenlee said.

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