Shell reports another deep-water geyser at GOM Perdido

Another discovery for Royal Dutch Shell plc was the plethora of oil and natural gas discoveries in the rich, deep-water Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Perdido Overlap Belt.

Houston-based Shell Offshore Inc. has made an “important discovery on the Blacktip North prospect” in US waters. The well encountered approximately 300 net feet of “multi-level” oil. An evaluation is underway to define the development options.

“The Blacktip North prospect is the latest example of new resource discovery in our privileged corridors,” said Paul Goodfellow of Shell, executive vice president of Deep Water. “Our strategic positions, like the Perdido Corridor, are at the heart of value creation in the Gulf of Mexico, and they represent an opportunity to use our existing infrastructure to unlock the full value potential of our discoveries.”

The Blacktip North well, drilled to a total measured depth of 27,700 feet in Block 336 of Alaminos Canyon (AC), is operated by Shell (89.49%) with co-owner Repsol E&P USA LLC holding the remaining interest.

Blacktip North, 220 miles southeast of Houston, is approximately 4.5 miles northeast of the recently assessed Blacktip exploration well by Shell. Blacktip North is 25 miles northeast of the Shell Leopard Discovery and 30 miles northeast of the recently sanctioned host Whale. The well is also approximately 42 miles from the Perdido spar.

Shell is also active in the Mexican part of Perdido, which straddles the United States-Mexico maritime border.

The supermajor won five of the nine Perdido contracts offered in Mexico’s 2018 Round 2.4 auction under the previous government.

In 2019, CNH approved five exploration plans for deep and ultra-deep water areas operated by Shell, including four of the Perdido contracts, requiring a combined investment of at least $ 397 million from Shell and its partners.

The Trion discovery operated by BHP is also located in Perdido. Australia-based BHP earlier this year authorized spending of $ 258 million to advance the initial engineering and design phase of the project.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, meanwhile, has avoided deep-water development and international tenders for shallow-water and onshore projects with state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos, aka Pemex, as the protagonist. .

Perspectives Gusher

Shell has been working in the Perdido push belt for years. In 2010, production started from the Perdido spar, which at the time was the deepest offshore drilling and production facility in the world. The spar was the first production platform in the Lower Tertiary Trend, at the time a frontier area in the deepest waters of GOM and furthest from the shore.

The Perdido development was originally built in about 2,450 meters (8,000 feet) of water, which roughly equates to six Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other, Shell noted at the time.

The Blacktip, Blacktip North and Leopard discoveries “are all opportunities to increase production in the Perdido corridor, where the Shell Great White, Silvertip and Tobago fields are already producing,” management said.

In the federal GOM Lease Sale 257 held last month, the two highest bids, both from Anadarko US Offshore LLC, were for AC blocks in Perdido. The Occidental Petroleum Corp. offered over $ 10 million for one AC block, while for the other the offer was over $ 6 million.

Shell, the largest deepwater donor in the US offshore, now has eight deepwater production centers in GOM.

The energy major, with the goal of being zero carbon by 2050, has launched a Powering Progress strategy to “prosper through the energy transition,” the management said. Growing investments are planned in low carbon energy solutions. However, the plans must continue “to pursue the most energy efficient and profitable upstream investments.”

“We will support this strategy through exploration by maintaining a strong pipeline of high value near and primary discoveries complemented by highly selective border areas. “

Andrew Baker contributed to this story


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