U.S. oil major
) has made a significant oil find in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico
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The WR98-1 Coronado wildcat exploration well - in Walker Ridge
Block 98 - was drilled to a total depth of 31,866 feet, in 6,127
feet of water. The probe is located about 190 miles off the coast
of Louisiana and about 12 miles southeast of the Shenandoah
discovery. The Coronado well is still undergoing appraisal and
further evaluation will be required to verify its full potential.
) is the operator of WR98-1 with a stake of 40%. Other partners
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
) and Venari Offshore LLC holding 35%, 15% and 10%, respectively.
The news came close on the heels of ConocoPhillips' recent major
oil discovery at its Shenandoah appraisal well 2 in the deepwater
GoM. The well in the Shenandoah Basin - WR51-2 - encountered more
than 1,000 feet of net oil pay in high-quality Lower
Tertiary-aged reservoirs. The well - located at Shenandoah oil
field in Walker Ridge Block 52 in the GoM - was drilled to 31,405
feet in about 5,800 feet of water.
ConocoPhillips' exploration success in the prolific Lower
Tertiary Trend is further substantiated with the Coronado
discovery. The company holds the largest lease in the area with
about 2 million net acres. Its remarkable results from the
Coronado and Shenandoah discoveries prove the value of its
portfolio in the GoM and highlight its future plans to grow
In 2013, the company intends to drill 5-8 wells, including the
Ardennes prospect and the Thorn well. Ardennes was spud in early
March, while the Thorn is scheduled for drilling in the second
quarter of this year. The Thorn well marks the company's re-entry
into the Gulf as an operator. ConocoPhillips remains on track
with major growth projects expected to offset production declines
and diversify its portfolio.
ConocoPhillips holds a Zacks Rank #3 (short-term Hold rating).
Another energy stock
Stone Energy Corporation
) holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to perform
better in the short term.