Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and ConocoPhillips said late Tuesday that their Shenandoah-2 well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico could prove to be one of their largest discoveries in the Gulf.
The well in the Shenandoah Basin has more than 1,000 feet of net oil pay, a measure of the vertical thickness of a hydrocarbon-bearing area.
Bob Daniels, Anadarko senior vice president for deepwater and international exploration, said the find is of higher quality than those previously discovered in the Lower Tertiary.
“With ownership in the successful Shenandoah wells, the adjacent Yucatan prospect and the very encouraging results from the nearby Coronado well, Anadarko is strategically positioned in the Shenandoah Basin, which has the potential to become one of the most prolific new areas in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico,” Daniels said in a statement.
Anadarko is the operator of the Shenandoah-2 well, as well as the Shenandoah-1 well, which is located just more than a mile away, with a 30 percent working interest. ConocoPhillips also has a 30 percent working interest.
The Shenandoah-2 well, located in Walker Ridge block 51, was drilled to 31,405 feet in about 5,800 feet of water, according to the company.
Daniels said Anadarko will conduct more appraisal drilling to advance “this potentially giant project.”
Anadarko, one of the nation’s largest independent oil and gas companies, is based in The Woodlands. In announcing its 2013 capital spending projections last month, the company said it would target about 60 percent of its capital spending to U.S. onshore exploration, primarily the Wattenberg and the Eagle Ford shales.
An additional 15 percent was directed to the Gulf of Mexico, where Anadarko has long been a key player. ConocoPhillips is one of the largest leaseholders in the Gulf; the company said it holds about two million acres.
Larry Archibald, senior vice president for exploration for ConocoPhillips, said the Shenandoah-2 results suggest the company’s strategy is a good one.
“We believe this discovery could be material and, together with the doubling of our deepwater Gulf of Mexico acreage position in the last two years, reinforces our global exploration strategy of getting into the right plays early in their life-cycle,” he said in a statement.
In addition to Anadarko and ConocoPhillips, other co-owners of the Shenandoah-2 well include Cobalt International Energy, with a 20 percent working interest, and Venari Resources and Marathon Oil Co., each with a 10 percent working interest.
Anadarko also has a working interest in two other wells in the Shenandoah basin.