Noble Energy group confirms potential at Gunflint

A group led by Noble Energy Inc., Houston, said its second Gunflint appraisal well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico confirmed an estimated gross resource of 65-90 million bbl of oil equivalent in the primary structure at 75th and 25th percentile probabilities, in line with the company’s expectations.

The Mississippi Canyon 992-1 well, 1 mile west of the discovery well, encountered 109 ft of net pay in the primary reservoir targets. Commercial hydrocarbons were not found in a deeper objective. Total depth is 32,800 ft in 6,100 ft of water.

Further exploratory potential remains in an adjacent three-way structure to the north, a candidate for future exploration following development of the confirmed resources.

Noble Energy will suspend the well for future use and expense the $15 million net cost of drilling the lower exploratory zone in the quarter ending June 30.

The company said the appraisal program solidifies its plans for a subsea tieback development at Gunflint, with sanction planned for later this year. The company targets first production at the end of 2015 at both the Gunflint and Big Bend discoveries in the deepwater gulf.

Gunflint participants are Noble Energy 31.14%, Ecopetrol America Inc. 31.5%, Marathon Oil Corp. 18.23%, and Samson Offshore LLC 19.13%.

Noble Energy will move the drilling rig to Troubadour, a low-risk amplitude prospect that offsets Big Bend, in the next several weeks. Troubadour is expected to reach total depth late in this year’s third quarter.

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