Venoco gauges oil at Coal Oil Point, sees further potential

Venoco Inc., Denver, said it has tested oil briefly from the Coal Oil Point geologic structure in the 3242-19 well drilled northeastward from Platform Holly in California’s Santa Barbara Channel and sees further potential on the structure.

The successfully completed well was designed to penetrate two fault blocks at Coal Oil Point. The wellbore intersected the northern fault block in only the lowermost Monterey zone M7 and encountered the southern fault block only in the uppermost Monterey zone M1.

Venoco completed the well in two sections, the first of which was in the northern fault block and was wet and the second of which was in the southern fault block and was successful.

The well was on production for 15 days prior to the Platform Holly annual maintenance shutdown and averaged 220 b/d of oil over that period. Subsequent to the shutdown, production averaged 100 b/d.

Ed O’Donnell, Venoco’s chief executive officer, said, “We are very encouraged by the positive results…. Since the second section of the well intersected and was completed in the uppermost interval of seven Monterey zones, which is typically not the most productive zone, we believe the success of this well strongly indicates that additional opportunities exist for further development of the fault block.

“We will continue to analyze the results from this well to help us better understand those opportunities and aid us in constructing our development plan for the area,” O’Donnell said.

Companywide oil production fell 9% to 8,543 b/d in the quarter ended Sept. 30 from the prior quarter’s output due to mechanical issues or repairs at South Ellwood, Sockeye, West Montalvo, and Dos Cuadras fields.

The company had relatively minimal onshore Monterey capital expenditures in the quarter of $1 million or 3% of the quarter’s outlays.

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