said that it continues to be encouraged after successfully
completing the first appraisal well at the Trident deepwater Gulf of Mexico
discovery in Alaminos Canyon Block 903. The well, located approximately one
and a-half miles northwest of the original discovery, was drilled to a total
depth of 20,500 feet in 9,727 feet of water.
"The combination of lateral continuity and quality of reservoir rock
encountered in this well is a cause for optimism," said Mike Bell, vice
president of Unocal's Deepwater USA business unit. "This is an important step
forward on the path to establishing commerciality. However, significant work
lies ahead before we have a commercial development plan that gives us the
confidence to move forward."
The objectives of the appraisal well were to test the downdip extent of
the productive intervals found in the Trident discovery well and to gather
critical information about reservoir quality. The appraisal well encountered
the same hydrocarbon-bearing intervals found in the discovery well, a
favorable indication of lateral reservoir continuity. The well penetrated
oil-water transition zones.
In one of the key findings, preliminary analysis of the core data confirms
the presence of good quality reservoir rock in the key uppermost pay zones in
the structure. Tests conducted on oil samples taken from the appraisal well
indicate the same fluid quality of 40 degrees API gravity found in the
discovery well, which is an important factor in future development economics.
The company said it may drill a second appraisal well at Trident as early
as the second half of 2002 and plans to put significant effort into analyzing
deepwater development options, including the likely use of FPSO technology.
The appraisal well was drilled in 68 days at a gross cost of $32 million.
Unocal is operator and has a 59.5-percent working interest in the prospect.
Co-venturers include Chevron U.S.A. Production Company, 15%; Ocean
Energy, Inc., 12.75%; Agip Petroleum Co., the American subsidiary
of Eni SpA, 8.5%; and Phillips Petroleum Company, 4.25%.