Nexen Petroleum announced that appraisal drilling on the Gunnison prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico has resulted in a significant westerly extension of this discovery. The Garden Banks 668 No. 2 well, drilled one mile west of the discovery well, and a follow-up sidetrack to the No. 2 well, drilled in an updip position 1.5 miles from the discovery well, confirmed the lateral extent and continuity of the reservoirs encountered in the discovery well. The No. 2 well has been suspended as a potential future production well.
"These were important wells," said Charlie Fischer, Nexen's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "In addition to confirming the lateral extent and continuity of the reservoirs, they confirmed our seismic model of the area giving us confidence in our original estimate of Gunnison area reserves in the 150 million to 250 million equivalent barrels range. This will make development of Gunnison an attractive commercial project."
A second appraisal well, the Garden Banks 668 No. 3 located approximately 2.5 miles west of the discovery well, is currently drilling. This well will further evaluate the lateral extent of the Gunnison reservoirs, as well as test a separate prospect named Durango. Following completion of this well, the Transocean Richardson will drill the Garden Banks 668 No. 4 location to appraise the downdip extent of the Gunnison reservoirs. This drilling program is designed to confirm the commercial reserve threshold and enable the joint venture to commit to facilities construction.
"We have a very attractive acreage position within the Gunnison sub-basin and see significant additional upside in the larger area," said Fischer. "In addition, with interests in more than 100 blocks throughout the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico we have one of the largest acreage holdings in this region and are well positioned to expand upon our success there. This year Nexen anticipates drilling six to eight more exploration wells in deep water."
Nexen has a 30% interest in Garden Banks blocks 667, 668, and 669 which contain the Gunnison discovery and the Durango and Dawson prospects. Nexen's partners in the blocks include Kerr-McGee as operator with a 50% interest, and Cal Dive International, Inc. with a 20% interest.
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