Dana Point Comes Up Dry

Unocal reports that it has concluded drilling operations at its deepwater exploration well on the Dana Point prospect in Walker Ridge block 678 in the Gulf of Mexico.

The well was completed as a dry hole. Although the well reached its objectives and penetrated hydrocarbon-bearing zones, the company said it does not appear to hold commercial quantities of pay. Evaluation of data from the Dana Point well is continuing.

"We remain enthusiastic about the potential of the remaining inventory of drilling prospects in the ultra-deepwater Gulf, despite the disappointing initial results at Dana Point," said Mike Bell, vice president for Unocal Deepwater USA.

Bell said that the well would be temporarily plugged and abandoned while the company conducts a full evaluation of the well data.

The Dana Point well was drilled in 7,036 feet of water to a total depth of 26,850 feet in 119 days at an estimated gross cost of $51 million (Unocal, $36 million). Unocal's proportionate costs of the well were included in the revised fourth quarter 2000 earnings estimate announced on Jan. 4, 2001. Unocal is operator and holds an 80-percent working interest in Walker Ridge block 678. Ocean Energy, Inc., holds the remaining 20-percent working interest in the Dana Point well.

The company plans to move the Discoverer Spirit drillship to the Dendara prospect, located in Green Canyon blocks 785 and 786, the next well in Unocal's 2001 deepwater exploration program. Unocal is operator and holds a 75-percent working interest in the two blocks.