Chevron discovers gas trend in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs in Gulf

Apr 22, 1998 02:00 AM

Chevron U.S.A. Production Co. has discovered a significant new natural gas trend offshore Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Viosca Knoll Carbonate Trend is exciting and unique to the Gulf of Mexico - in part because of its size, and in part because exploratory drilling has discovered the first offshore natural gas reserves to originate from Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. These particular geologic aged reservoirs have never before produced in the US Gulf, however, they have been highly productive onshore in Texas, Louisiana and in Mexico.
Peter Robertson, president of Chevron U.S.A. Production Co.., explained that the significance of this lies in the probability that there are additional, yet-undiscovered reserves of Lower Cretaceous natural gas in the area.
"We are extremely pleased to have discovered this exciting new trend on the mature shelf, and are tremendously optimistic about its upside potential," said the Chevron executive, who suggested that reserves in Viosca Knoll could measure in excess of 1 tcf (gross trend) of natural gas. Robertson said that Chevron will continue exploration and development activities in the area in 1998 and 1999 to better determine and fully exploit the reserve potential of the Carbonate Trend.
"Chevron is batting a thousand in this area of the Gulf," said Robertson, who noted that in the past 18 months the company has made 4 successive discoveries in the 4 wildcat exploratory wells it has drilled. Robertson pointed out that through its discoveries over the past 4 years, Chevron has compiled the largest contiguous leasehold by any single company in the shallow waters of the US Gulf.

Since 1994, Chevron has made 5 "new field" discoveries - 4 within the past 18 months - in the Carbonate trend: one in Mobile Block 991, and the remainder at Viosca Knoll in Blocks 68, 114, 251, and 252. Combined, these 5 discoveries have recoverable reserve potential of over 600 bn cf (gross trend) of natural gas.
The wildcat discovery wells have encounteredintervals of natural gas ranging in thickness between 35 and 115 feet, at depths of approximately 15,000 feet, from Lower Cretaceous reservoirs in the James Formation. The wells are located approximately 25 miles south of Pascagoula, Miss., in water approximately 120 feet deep.
The Viosca Knoll Block 68 discovery well, drilled in June 1997, will be the first of the 5 discovery wells to begin production, and is expected to be brought onstream in early May.
Viosca Knoll is contiguous to and lies due south of the giant Norphlet natural gas trend, which is also operated by Chevron and estimated to contain 9 tcf of natural gas. Due to its proximity to Norphlet and other offshore production, natural gas from Viosca Knoll could be tied into existing infrastructure, an highly positive economic feature of producing from the new trend.
The discovery well on Mobile Block 991 will be brought onto production in June. Two of the other Viosca Knoll discovery wells (Blocks 114 and 251) will be tested later this year.

Chevron is operator and holds the dominant working interest in 71 leases (350,000 gross acres) in the Carbonate Trend, extending from Northwest to Southeast, with 5 additional leases yet to be awarded from the March 18, 1997, Federal OCS lease sale. In more than half the leases, Chevron holds a 100 % working interest; in the remaining leases, the company holds working interests ranging from 50 % to 80 %, primarily in partnership with Samedan Oil Corp., a subsidiary of Noble Affiliates.

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