The discovery well encountered more than 450 net feet of oil pay over a gross hydrocarbon column of 1,400 feet, indicating that St. Malo is a major hydrocarbon accumulation.
The company said that it expects to begin an appraisal program in early 2004, based on the current evaluation of resource potential.
"The potential volumes at St. Malo give us the confidence to call this discovery a significant milestone in our Gulf of Mexico deepwater program," said Mike Bell, Unocal's vice president for the Deepwater USA unit. "St. Malo represents a valuable addition to our portfolio of discoveries, and we have excellent leverage in this emerging play with a robust portfolio of projects and leads in the Keathley Canyon, Green Canyon and Walker Ridge areas."
The St. Malo well spud on July 6 and was drilled to a depth of 29,066 feet in 100 days at an estimated gross cost of $62 million. The well is located in 6,900 feet of water about 250 miles south-southwest of New Orleans. The well was drilled from the Discoverer Spirit drillship.
Unocal is the operator and holds a 28.75-percent working interest in the prospect. Unocal's co-venturers in the St. Malo prospect are Petrobras with 25 percent; Devon Energy with 22.5 percent; ChevronTexaco with 12.5 percent; EnCana with 6.25 percent; ExxonMobil with 3.75 percent; and Eni with the remaining 1.25 percent.
Upon completion of the St. Malo well, Tansocean's drillship, Discoverer Spirit, will be released to move on to the ExxonMobil Hawkes appraisal well in Mississippi Canyon 508.
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