Noble Energy Inc.
) announced positive appraisal results from its Gunflint prospect
in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GoM). The second appraisal well,
Mississippi Canyon 992 #1, in the Gunflint block encountered 109
feet of net oil pay within the main reservoir targets.
Noble Energy, one of the major operators in the complex, owns
a 31.14% stake while Ecopetrol America Inc. holds 31.50% of
working interest. Other companies currently holding minor stakes
Marathon Oil Corp.
) with 18.23% and Samson Offshore, LLC with 19.13%. The company's
successful appraisal activities at the Carla discovery led to an
increase in Noble Energy's ownership interest in the Gunflint
block from the prior 26%.
Efficient drilling, wireline logs and reservoir data have
pegged the projected gross resource in the range of 65 to 90
million barrels of oil equivalent in the primary structure. This
was in line with Noble Energy's expectation.
The Mississippi Canyon well was drilled to a total depth of
32,800 feet at a water depth of 6,100 feet. It is situated one
mile west of the original discovery well. The net cost of
drilling the lower exploration area was $15 million, which will
be realized in the second quarter 2013.
With completion of operations, the well will be suspended for
future use. Although, the company did not encounter any
commercial hydrocarbons in the prospect, the exploration
potential is still encouraging. Noble Energy plans to exploit
another block, a three-way structure, located to the north,
following the development of the current resources.
Besides the Big Bend discovery, the company has two key
initiatives in the GoM with first production slated for the
latter part of 2015. The Gunflint appraisal will also help
promote the company's development of a subsea tieback project.
The approval for the project is expected by end 2013.
Noble Energy's resource portfolio in the GoM continues to act
as a catalyst to growth. Further more, the Swordfish block in the
GoM came into production after planned maintenance. These
operations will certainly help the company maintain its momentum,
However, the planned shutdown of the Galapagos operation for
maintenance for a month might prove disadvantageous for the
company. Currently, Noble Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3
Other oil and gas operators presently looking attractive are
Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy)
Anadarko Petroleum Corp
Houston, Texas-based Noble Energy operates internationally and
engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production,
and marketing of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas
ANADARKO PETROL (APC): Free Stock Analysis
ENCANA CORP (ECA): Free Stock Analysis Report
MARATHON OIL CP (MRO): Free Stock Analysis
NOBLE ENERGY (NBL): Free Stock Analysis
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