Louisiana well tab $60 million to 30,000 ft

Meridian Resource Corp., Houston, and others are gearing up to drill an ultradeep wildcat near New Orleans for which the dry hole cost is an estimated $60 million.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 13 -- Meridian Resource Corp., Houston, and others are gearing up to drill an ultradeep wildcat near New Orleans for which the dry hole cost is an estimated $60 million.

The well is projected to 30,000 ft to test a Jurassic Cotton Valley four-way closure in the Biloxi Marshlands area. It is to spud in early second quarter 2008 on the Deep Archtop Prospect in St. Bernard Parish. Meridian generated the prospect and began marketing it in January.

The prospect, imaged by 3D seismic surveys, has more than 14,400 acres of closure and potential recovery of as much as 5 tcf of gas.

"The shallow marshlands water location provides the potential for significant savings in drilling the test well and post development infrastructure," the company said.

Meridian said it will spend the coming year in predrill work, followed by 300-plus days to drill the well.

Offshore projects of similar size typically cost much more and require longer periods of time to construct the necessary pipelines and production facilities, the company noted. Meridian owns production facilities and pipelines in the immediate area.

Meridian intends to retain and pay its share of 20% working interest to casing point in this well. It did not disclose the other participants.

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