Noble Energy announces discovery in deepwater Gulf

Noble Energy announced Tuesday an oil discovery in its Big Bend exploration prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The find lies beneath 7,200 feet of water in the Mississippi Canyon Block 698. The well, drilled to a total depth of 15,989 feet, encountered 150 feet of net oil pay, Noble Energy said.

Noble Energy is majority owner and operator in the Big Bend exploration project, with 54 percent working interest. The project is jointly owned with W&T Energy VI, Red Willow Offshore, and Houston Energy Deepwater Ventures V.

“The combination of excellent reservoir properties, fluid characteristics and our high working interest in this project will contribute significant production and cash flow for our business,” said CEO Charles D. Davidson in a written statement.

The announcement came amid disappointing results from another offshore well with Noble Energy  interest. The Scotia exploration well, located east of the Falkland Islands in the south Atlantic Ocean, was drilled to a depth of 18,226 and yielded 164 feet of low-quality reservoir, Noble reported.

The well operator, Falklands Oil and Gas, said Scotia would be plugged and abandoned. Noble Energy has 35 percent interest in the well and will become operator of the Northern Area Licenses in March.

Susan M. Cunningham, senior vice president of exploration and business innovation, said despite the low quality of the reservoir, the results provide information useful for determining the economic viability of the prospect.

“Although we did not see a substantial amount of reservoir section, virtually all sandstones with significant porosity in and below the target contained hydrocarbons,” Cunningham said in a written statement.