McMoRan logs new pays at gulf shelf deep program

By OGJ editors

Hydraulic perforating equipment malfunctioned during initial attempts to perforate and flow-test the Wilcox F sand at the Davy Jones indicated discovery well on South Marsh Island Block 230 in the Gulf of Mexico, said operator McMoRan Exploration Co., New Orleans.

Meanwhile, McMoRan logged two potential new hydrocarbon-bearing zones in the Upper Eocene section of the Lafitte well with a combined thickness of 65 net ft and fractured limestone in the Sparta interval. And it is drilling two other deep shelf exploratory wells.

In order to expedite the Davy Jones completion, McMoRan elected to move uphole to test another zone using electric-line perforating equipment while it evaluated future operations and plans for the F sand.

The company obtained a positive pressure response upon initial testing of Wilcox D sand, which began on Mar. 24. McMoRan plans to add perforations in the Wilcox C sand to commingle the zones. Results from the flow test will be reported as further progress is achieved.

McMoRan has drilled two successful subsalt wells in Davy Jones field. Davy Jones-1 logged 200 net ft of pay in multiple Wilcox sands that were all full to base. McMoRan expects to commence the completion of the No. 2 well in the second half of 2012.

Davy Jones-2, 2-1/2 miles southwest of Davy Jones-1, confirmed 120 net ft of pay in multiple Wilcox sands, indicating continuity across the major structural features of the Davy Jones prospect, and also encountered 192 net ft of potential hydrocarbons in the Tuscaloosa and Lower Cretaceous carbonate sections.

The Lafitte ultradeep exploratory well in 140 ft of water on Eugene Island Block 223 was spudded Oct. 3, 2010, and has been drilled to a total depth of 34,162 ft.

The newly logged Upper Eocene sands correlate to the Jackson and Yegua sections located onshore Louisiana and are older than the Oligocene Vicksburg interval seen in the Blackbeard East well. These are the first hydrocarbon bearing Upper Eocene sands encountered either on the gulf shelf or in the deepwater offshore Louisiana.

In addition to the new Upper Eocene sands, recent results also indicated that the well encountered 300 ft of fractured limestone in the Sparta interval that has indications of being hydrocarbon-bearing. This interval is equivalent to the Sparta interval seen at Blackbeard East and will require further evaluation and testing.

These results enhance the potential of McMoRan’s other acreage in the Lafitte strategic area, including McMoRan’s Barataria and Captain Blood ultradeep prospects. Barataria, covering 10,000 gross acres, is west-southwest of Lafitte, and Captain Blood, also 10,000 gross acres, is immediately south of Lafitte.

These new Upper Eocene sands and Sparta limestones are in addition to the total possibly productive net 211 ft of sands previously reported in the Lower Miocene including the Cris R and Oligocene (Frio) in the Lafitte well. Flow testing will be required to confirm the potential hydrocarbons and flow rates from these formations. The well will be temporarily abandoned while development options and potential delineation locations are evaluated.

The Blackbeard West-2 ultradeep exploratory well was spudded on Nov. 25, 2011, and has been drilled to 18,200 ft. The well, on Ship Shoal Block 188 in the Blackbeard West unit, targets Miocene-aged sands seen below the salt weld 13 miles east at Blackbeard East and has a proposed total depth of 26,000 ft.

The Lineham Creek exploration prospect onshore in Cameron Parish, La., was spudded on Dec. 31, 2011. Targeting Eocene and Paleocene objectives below the salt weld, the well is drilling below 10,400 ft towards a proposed total depth of 29,000 ft. Chevron USA Inc., operator, has a 50% working interest. McMoRan has 36%, Energy XXI (Bermuda) Ltd. 9%, and W. A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr. 5%.

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