McMoRan Exploration Co., New Orleans, said its Blackbeard East ultradeep exploratory bypass well on the Gulf of Mexico shelf encountered potential hydrocarbons in the Sparta carbonate section of Eocene and Vicksburg section of Oligocene.
Wireline logs, core, and sonic logs at Blackbeard East, drilled to a total depth of 33,318 ft true vertical depth in 80 ft of water on South Timbalier Block 144, indicate that the Sparta interval is 300 ft thick and appears to be a hydrocarbon-bearing fractured carbonate. The Vicksburg sand is credited with 10 net ft of pay over a 40-ft gross interval.
Flow testing will be required to confirm the potential hydrocarbons and flow rates from these limestone and sandstone formations, McMoRan noted.
These new intervals are in addition to the 178 net ft of hydrocarbons previously announced above 25,000 feet in the Miocene and the hydrocarbon bearing sands in the Oligocene (Frio) with good porosity below 30,000 ft.
A production liner will be set to total depth and the well will be temporarily abandoned while development options are evaluated. Pressure and temperature data below the salt weld between 19,500 ft and 24,600 ft at Blackbeard East indicate that a completion at these depths could utilize conventional equipment and technologies, the company said.
Meanwhile, completion activities at the Davy Jones-1 discovery well on South Marsh Island Block 230 are in an advanced stage. Oil-base drilling mud is being displaced with completion fluid.
McMoRan will run a pulsed neutron log, run perforating guns and production tubing, remove the blowout preventers, and installing a production tree. It will then pressure up the tubing to activate and fire the perforating guns to flow test the well.
McMoRan is drilling below 32,900 ft at the Lafitte ultradeep exploratory well in 140 ft of water on Eugene Island Block 223 and is evaluating pressure data and rotary sidewall cores obtained in January 2012 in the Cris R sand. The company has applied for a permit to deepen Lafitte to 34,000 ft to evaluate additional Oligocene and potential Eocene objectives. Flow tests will be required.