Noble announces Gulf of Mexico discoveries

Noble Energy has found oil and gas at two wells drilled deep in the Gulf of Mexico, the company reported Thursday.

Its Katmai exploration well discovered 154 net feet of crude oil in two reservoirs in the Miocene play, the Houston-based independent said. The discovery well is in 2,100 feet of water and has a total depth of 27,900 feet.

Their estimates indicate the well could produce 40 million to 100 million barrels of oil equivalent, but more exploration and drilling is needed to test the remaining potential, the company said.

Noble operates the Katmai and has a 50 percent interest. Ridgewood Energy Corp., an energy-focused private equity firm with offices in Houston and New Jersey, holds the remaining 50 percent stake.

The Dantzler-2 appraisal well found 122 net feet of crude oil in two Miocene reservoirs at a total depth of 18,210 feet in 6,600 feet of water, Noble announced. The company’s estimated production ranges from 65 to 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Noble has a 45 percent interest in the Dantzler, which it operates. Other owners include entities managed by Ridgewood Energy with 35 percent and W&T Energy VI, an independent oil and gas exploration company, with 20 percent.

The well has been incorporated into the company’s plans for the Rio Grande development area, where production is expected to begin on Noble’s Big Bend discovery in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“The results at Katmai and Dantzler highlight Noble Energy’s successful deepwater Gulf of Mexico program, which will contribute significant production and cash flow growth in the coming years,” Susan M. Cunningham, senior vice president at Noble said in a statement.