Shell Strikes Oil in Gulf of Mexico

Royal Dutch Shell plc announced Wednesday in The Hague, Netherlands, that its Vicksburg deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico has been a success, having encountered more than 500 feet of net oil pay after being drilled to a depth of 26,385 feet.

Shell said that, in total, the Vicksburg A discovery – located 75 miles offshore in the De Soto Canyon Block 393 – is estimated to contain potentially recoverable resources of more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The discovery adds to the 500 million barrels of oil equivalent in potentially recoverable resources that have already been found at the nearby Appomattox discovery.

"The results of the Vicksburg well strengthen our existing deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration portfolio and should contribute to the nearby Appomattox discovery," Mark Shuster, executive vice president for Shell Upstream Americas
Exploration, said in a company statement.

Shell is the operator at Vicksburg A with a 75-percent interest. Nexen holds the remaining 25 percent. The companies plan to follow up the Vicksburg A well with a sidetrack well to test the Corinth prospect, a separate fault block from the Vicksburg discovery.

Shell has recently been stepping up its Gulf of Mexico activities. According to RigLogix, in late April the firm had seven deepwater rigs under contract – the highest number of rigs for an operator in the region.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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