Kerr-McGee Updates Deepwater Activity in the Gulf of Mexico

"Kerr-McGee's fourth-quarter drilling program includes 12 deepwater gulf exploratory and appraisal wells," said Kenneth Crouch, Kerr-McGee senior vice president. "As the largest U.S.-based independent leaseholder and producer in the deepwater gulf, we have a large prospect inventory and the deepwater expertise to further our success in this high-potential area."

In the Atwater Valley area, the first Merganser appraisal well drilled to a total depth of 21,740 feet in 8,000 feet of water encountered the same pay zone as seen in the discovery well. The well is currently being side-tracked to test the down-dip extent of the reservoir. Reserve estimates range from 200 billion to 400 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent. Kerr-McGee operates Merganser with 50% interest, and Ocean Energy, Inc. holds the remaining 50%.

Also in Atwater Valley, the Vortex well on block 261, in 8,300 feet of water, has reached its total depth of 21,140 feet, and logging activities are currently in progress. Kerr-McGee operates the exploratory well with one-third interest. Ocean and BHP Billiton also hold one-third each.

The Yorktown prospect, located in 2,500 feet of water on Mississippi Canyon block 842, was spud in late October toward a total depth of 25,000 feet. Pre-drill reserve estimates exceed 175 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE). Kerr-McGee and Ocean each hold 50% interest in the Ocean-operated Yorktown prospect.

The company recently completed the second successful appraisal well of its 100%-owned Hornet prospect on Green Canyon blocks 355, 378 and 379. The well is located in 3,600 feet of water and drilled to a total depth of 18,000 feet. The company expects to side-track this well as a third appraisal during the first quarter of 2003, following receipt of a 3-D pre-stacked depth migrated data set.

The rig is currently being moved from Hornet to the DeSoto prospect on East Breaks block 638. This satellite to the company's Boomvang field has pre-drill reserve estimates of 15 million to 25 million BOE and could be developed as a subsea tieback to the Boomvang spar facility. Kerr-McGee operates DeSoto with 50% interest, and Ocean holds the remaining interest.

The Santiago prospect was recently spud on Garden Banks block 399 in 2,700 feet of water. The well is expected to reach a total depth of 19,400 feet. Kerr-McGee operates Santiago with 100% interest. Pre-drill reserve estimates are 30 million to 70 million BOE.