Unocal Wraps Up Drilling at Two Gulf of Mexico Wells

Unocal has concluded drilling operations on two Gulf of Mexico exploratory wells.

The deepwater Myrtle Beach prospect, located in Green Canyon block 943, and the deep shelf test on the House Payment prospect in Eugene Island block 40 did not encounter commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. Unocal expects to charge the costs of the wells to expense in the first quarter 2004.

The company said the Discoverer Spirit deepwater drill ship is moving from Myrtle Beach to Alaminos Canyon block 859 to drill the Tobago prospect. The Tobago well will test a structure between the Trident and Great White oil discoveries.

In addition to Tobago, Unocal's deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling plan for 2004 includes an appraisal well on the St. Malo discovery in Walker Ridge block 678 and Sardinia, a lower Tertiary test in Keathley Canyon block 681.

Unocal operated the Myrtle Beach well, with a 25.6-percent working interest. Co-venturers included Exxon Mobil Corporation (27.8%), Amerada Hess Corporation (20%), Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc. (10%), Maxus (U.S.) Exploration Company (10%), and another co-venturer (6.6%).

At House Payment, Unocal was operator and held a 50.2-percent working interest. Co-venturers were The Houston Exploration Company (33.3%), and Devon Energy Corporation (16.5%).