The first success, the High Island 55L #6 well, was drilled as a straight hole to a depth of 8,118 feet. The #6 well was drilled from the same rig location as the High Island 55L #4 success earlier in the quarter, in 45 feet of water approximately 65 miles east-southeast of Houston. The well encountered a total of 39 feet of apparent oil and natural gas pay in two intervals. EPL holds a 35% working interest in the well, and Vintage Petroleum the operator, holds the remaining 65%. The operator is currently installing a caisson and plans to drill the third of a three well program in the first quarter of 2004. The #6 well will be tied back to an existing platform, and production is expected in the first half of 2004.
The South Marsh Island 109 #3 well, the Company's third exploratory well on the block this year, was a success. The #3 well, drilled from the same location as the #1 and #2 successes earlier in the year, reached a measured depth of 10,759 feet (10,220 true vertical depth). The well is located in 189 feet of water about 230 miles southwest of New Orleans. EPL has a 27% working interest in the project. Hunt Petroleum is the operator and has a 54% working interest; the remaining working interest of 19% is held by Cheyenne International Corporation. Production from the three successes on the block is expected in the second half of 2004. Any additional drilling will occur after the new facilities are installed in mid-2004.
The Company also announced that the Grand Isle 20 #B-4 well was a dry hole. This well was drilled to a measured depth of 14,473 feet (11,041 feet true vertical depth) and penetrated the objective sand, but no hydrocarbons were present. The well has since been abandoned and the rig has moved off location. EPL is the operator and holds a 94% working interest. The Company expects to realize a net dry hole cost of approximately $2.6 million on the well.
For the year to date, EPL has successfully drilled 15 out of 18 exploratory wells, for an overall exploratory success rate of 83%. The Company currently has rig operations underway on six additional exploratory prospects.
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