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FactBox: Gulf Projects Hit By Drilling Ban

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(Reuters) – Oil and gas producers with operations in the Gulf of Mexico have re-examined drilling plans for 2010 and beyond to determine what is affected by the U.S. government’s six-month moratorium on drilling.

The initial 30-day ban on deepwater drilling was extended by six months as BP ramped up efforts to corral thousands of barrels of oil leaking into the Gulf each day from a ruptured deepwater well a mile (1.6 km) beneath the water’s surface.

Planned wells affected by the ban could be exploratory, which search for oil and gas; appraisal, which evaluate what is found; and development, which could be a new production well at an established field or an injection well to boost existing production.

Here are examples of 2010 drilling operations by major Gulf producers that have been delayed by the ban:

BP (BP.L: Quote) (BP.N: Quote)

* Tiber: Potential exceeds 1 billion barrels of oil, but new well to appraise this September 2009 discovery nearly 7 miles (11 km) down had to be postponed. Water depth: 4,132 feet (1,259 meters). Location: Keathley Canyon Block 102, about 200 miles (322 km) southeast of Galveston, Texas.

CHEVRON (CVX.N: Quote)

* Buckskin: Potential oil deposit 300 feet (91 meters) thick nearly 6 miles (10 km) down, but appraisal well to confirm postponed. Water depth: 8,920 feet (2,719 meters). Location: Keathley Canyon 872, about 190 miles (305 km) southeast of Houston.

* Moccasin: Promising seismic data, but exploratory well suspended. Water depth: 6,750 feet (2,057 meters). Location: Keathley Canyon 736, about 190 miles (305 km) southeast of Houston.

SHELL (RDSa.L: Quote)

* Tobago: Project capacity 100,000 barrels per day of oil and 20 million cubic feet of natural gas after production started in March, but new well to expand development postponed. Water depth: 9,627 feet (2,934 meters). Location: Alaminos Canyon 859, about 220 miles (354 km) south of Galveston.

* Vito: Potentially productive hydrocarbon deposit 600 feet thick 6 miles (10 km) down, but new drilling to carry out appraisal, development postponed. Water depth: 4,038 feet (1,231 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 984, about 150 miles (241 km) southeast of New Orleans.

* Appomattox: Potentially productive oil deposit 530 feet (162 meters) thick 5 miles (8 km) down but appraisal well to confirm its value postponed. Water depth: 7,127 feet (2,200 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 392, about 170 miles (273 km) southeast of New Orleans.

EXXON MOBIL (XOM.N: Quote)

* Hadrian: Promising seismic data in Lower Tertiary play, 5-mile (8-km) deep well abandoned in 2005, new exploratory well with rig capable of reaching 7-mile (11-km) depth suspended. Water depth: 6,941 feet (2,116 meters). Location: Keathley Canyon 919, about 293 miles (472 km) southwest of New Orleans.

* Hoover/Diana: Development well postponed to sustain 10-year-old project’s production levels of 80,000 barrels per day of oil and 200 million cubic feet of gas. Water depth: 4,800 feet (1,464 meters). Location: East Breaks 945, Alaminos Canyon 25, about 160 miles (257 km) south of Galveston, Texas.

ANADARKO (APC.N: Quote)

* Lucius: Potential oil and gas deposit 600 feet (183 meter) thick in first appraisal well, but second appraisal well postponed. Water depth: 6,840 feet (2,085 meters). Location: Keathley Canyon 875, about 195 miles (313 km) southeast of Houston.

* Heidelberg: Potential of 200 feet (61 meter) thick oil deposit in this February 2009 discovery, but redrilling an appraisal well postponed. Water depth: 5,272 feet (1,607 meters). Location: Green Canyon 903, about 190 miles (305 km) southwest of New Orleans.

ATP OIL & GAS (ATPG.O: Quote)

* Telemark Hub: Potential oil and gas deposit 266 feet (81 meter) thick, platform capacity is 25,000 bpd of oil and 60 MMcfd of natural gas. Drilling delayed until early 2011 for production wells in Mirage and Morgus fields to be tied back to Telemark. Water depth 3,900 feet (1,189 meters). Location: Hub in Atwater Canyon 63, Mirage and Morgus in Mississippi Canyon 941 and 942, about 170 miles (275 km) southeast of New Orleans.

* Canyon Express Hub: Potential to raise gas production from 65 MMcfd to 500 MMcfd ultimately. Had planned to start additional well in second quarter. Water depth: 6,500 to 7,000 feet (1,980 to 2,130 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 217 and 305, about 120 miles (193 km) south of New Orleans.

* Gomez Hub: Potential to raise production from 4,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 20,000 barrels per day of oil and 100 million cubic feet of gas. Drilling later in 2010 and early 2011 on two production wells postponed. Water depth: 3,000 feet (914 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 711, about 120 miles (193 km) southeast of New Orleans.

BHP BILLITON (BLT.L: Quote) (BHP.AX: Quote)

* Shenzi: Potential capacity of hub is 100,000 barrels per day of oil and 50 million cubic feet per day of gas, but development well suspended mid-drill and eight-well development plan interrupted. Water depth: 4,400 feet (1,341) meters. Location Green Canyon Blocks 609, 610, 652, 653, 654, about 230 miles (370 km) south of New Orleans.

COBALT INTERNATIONAL ENERGY (CIE.N: Quote)

* North Platte – Estimated 550 million barrels of oil equivalent in the Lower Tertiary trend, but exploration well postponed due to moratorium. Water depth: 4,900 feet (1,494 meters). Location: Garden Banks 915, 916, 958, 959 and 960, about 250 miles (402 km) southwest of New Orleans.

* Ligurian – Second exploration well delayed. Total of three planned in assessment of Heidelberg discovery and deeper trends. Water depth 5,500 feet (1,676 meters). Location: Green Canyon 814 and 858, about 250 miles (402 km) south of New Orleans.

ENI U.S. OPERATING (ENI.MI: Quote)

* Allegheny: Work planned or underway in existing field when accident happened. According to U.S. Minerals Management Service records, work stopped after moratorium imposed. Water depth: 3,226 feet (983 meters). Location: Green Canyon 254, about 130 miles (209 km) south of New Orleans.

* Appaloosa: Suspended seven-well drilling plan on gas and condensate prospect. First production planned May 15 from first well. Unclear if started. Projected peak output 7,000 bpd of oil and 6.6 Mmcfd of gas, projected average 1,420 bpd of oil and 1.29 MMcfd of gas over 15 years. Water depth: 2,750 to 2,900 feet (838 to 884 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 459, 460, about 125 miles (200 km) southeast of New Orleans.

MARATHON OIL (MRO.N: Quote)

* Innsbruck: Drilling postponed on exploratory well for the field, slowing planned five-well program. Water depth: 5,970 feet (1,820 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 993, about 160 miles (257 km) southeast of New Orleans.

MURPHY EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION (MUR.N: Quote)

* Front Runner: Work suspended on well to expand, sustain existing field brought on line in December 2004. Water depth: 3,350 feet (1,021 meters). Location: Green Canyon 338, about 150 miles (241 km) south of New Orleans.

NOBLE ENERGY (NBL.N: Quote)

* Galapagos: Estimated 130 million barrels of oil equivalent (oil and gas), with an additional 130 million potentially available. Suspended third well, dubbed Santiago, expected to reach target depth by July. Water depth: 6,450 feet (1,966 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 519 and 562, about 200 miles (322 km) southeast of New Orleans.

* Deep Blue: Exploratory well drilled to depth of 6 miles (10 km) but sidetrack appraisal well delayed. Water depth: 5,100 feet (1,554 meters). Location: Green Canyon 723, about 200 miles (322 km) south of New Orleans.

* Gunflint: Potential 550 feet (168 meter) of net hydrocarbon pay in multiple high-quality reservoirs, more than twice the thickness originally expected. Two appraisal wells planned but delayed. Water depth: 6,000 feet (1,829 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 948, about 190 miles (310 km) southeast of New Orleans.

STATOIL HYDRO USA E&P (STL.OL: Quote)

* Krakatoa: Exploration well. Drilling suspended before reaching target depth. Water depth: 2,036 feet (621 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 540, about 100 miles (161 km) southeast of New Orleans.

* Tucker: Exploration well. Drilling into highly prospective Lower Tertiary suspended before reaching target depth. Water depth: 6,500 feet (1,981 meters). Location: Walker Ridge 543 and 544, about 240 miles (386 km) south of New Orleans.

STONE ENERGY (SGY.N: Quote)

* Amberjack: Older field, diminishing production totaled 126,712 barrels of oil and 66.6 million cubic feet of gas in March. New well to sustain production suspended unfinished, plan to drill more wells delayed. Water depth: 1,000 feet (305 meters). Location: Mississippi Canyon 109, about 190 miles (306 km) southeast of New Orleans.

WALTER OIL & GAS

* Hummingbird: Exploration well, temporarily abandoned. Water depth: 1,200 feet (366 meters). Location: Ewing Bank 834, about 130 miles (209 km) south of New Orleans. (Reporting by Bruce Nichols and Kristen Hays; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Posted in: Daily News

About the Author:

The Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (known before 2006 as LIOGA) was organized in 1992 to represent the Independent and service sectors of the oil and gas industry in Louisiana; this representation includes exploration, production and oilfield services. Our primary goal is to provide our industry with a working environment that will enhance the industry. LOGA services its membership by creating incentives for Louisiana’s oil & gas industry, warding off tax increases, changing existing burdensome regulations, and educating the public and government of the importance of the oil and gas industry in the state of Louisiana.

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