McMoRan updated its shallow water Gulf of Mexico exploration activities, including in-progress drilling at the Blackbeard East and Davy Jones ultra-deep prospects, the status of the Lafitte ultra-deep prospect and confirmation of pay at the Blueberry Hill deep gas well by wireline log.
The Blackbeard East ultra-deep exploration well commenced drilling on March 8, 2010, and is currently drilling below 24,800 feet. Recent drilling results have indicated that the well encountered several sands below 24,100 feet. The first sand was identified by log-while-drilling (LWD) tools and indicated a possible hydrocarbon bearing zone. The second sand was identified by mud logs after the LWD tool failed at approximately 24,550 feet. Wireline logs will be required to fully evaluate these sands.
The Blackbeard East well, which is located in 80 feet of water on South Timbalier Block 144, has a proposed total depth of 29,950 feet and is targeting Middle and Deep Miocene objectives seen below 30,000 feet in Blackbeard West, nine miles away, as well as younger Miocene objectives. McMoRan is funding 32.0 percent of the exploratory costs and holds a 38.5 percent working interest and 30.7 percent net revenue interest. Other working interest owners in Blackbeard East include: Plains Exploration & Production Company (31.5%), Energy XXI (18.0%), W.A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr. (10.0%) and a private investor (1.6%).
On April 7, 2010, McMoRan commenced drilling the Davy Jones offset appraisal well on South Marsh Island Block 234, two and a half miles southwest of the discovery well. The well has been drilled to 15,125 feet and McMoRan is currently setting an 11 7/8 inch liner. The well has a proposed total depth of 29,950 feet. The offset appraisal well (Davy Jones #2) is expected to test similar sections up-dip to the discovery well, as well as deeper objectives, including potential additional Wilcox and possibly Cretaceous (Tuscaloosa) sections.
Davy Jones involves a large ultra-deep structure encompassing four OCS lease blocks (20,000 acres). McMoRan is funding 28.7 percent of the drilling costs and holds a 32.7 percent working interest and 25.9 percent net revenue interest. Other working interest owners in Davy Jones include: PXP (27.7%), EXXI (15.8%), Nippon Oil Exploration USA Limited (12%), W.A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr. (8.8%) and a private investor (3%).
McMoRan is currently moving a drilling rig to the Lafitte ultra-deep location at Eugene Island Block 223 in 140 feet of water, where it expects to receive a permit imminently from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to commence drilling operations. The well has a proposed total depth of 29,950 feet and will target Middle and Deep Miocene objectives below the salt weld. McMoRan holds a 40.5 percent working interest and 32.8 percent net revenue interest in the prospect. Other working interest owners in Lafitte include: PXP (31.5%), EXXI (18.0%), and W.A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr. (10.0%).
McMoRan also announced that the Blueberry Hill #9STK1 deep gas well located on Louisiana State Lease 340 in approximately 10 feet of water has been drilled to a total vertical depth of 24,200 feet and has been logged with wireline logs. The wireline logs confirmed that the well encountered 105 net feet of hydrocarbon bearing sands with exceptional porosity in the Miocene as previously reported by LWD tools on August 3, 2010. McMoRan is currently completing the well and is targeting first production in the first quarter of 2011. McMoRan owns a 42.9 percent working interest and a 29.7 percent net revenue interest in the Blueberry Hill well. PXP holds a 47.9 percent working interest.
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