The aggressive drilling strategy of oil and gas major
) continues to generate positive results. The drilling activity
in the North Platte prospect on Garden Banks Block 959 in
offshore Gulf of Mexico has resulted in a find of several hundred
feet of net oil pay in Lower Tertiary sands.
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The North Platte prospect, located in a water depth of 4,400 feet
(1,340 m), was drilled to a total depth of 34,500 feet (10,520
m). The field is jointly owned by TOTAL (40%) and
Cobalt International Energy
). The latter is the operator of this field with a 60% interest.
Since the initial finding from this field was encouraging,
further appraisal wells will be drilled to confirm the size of
the discovery and commercial viability of the project.
This is the first of a kind discovery in the Lower Tertiary
Wilcox formation confirming the northern extension of the Wilcox
formation and the presence of liquid hydrocarbons in the region.
This in a way opens up another potential region for oil
exploration in the Gulf of Mexico where TOTAL already has
This new exploration well is part of TOTAL's exploration schedule
for the fourth quarter of 2012. The company will also carry on
additional drilling activities in Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kenya and
TOTAL continues to achieve drilling success in other fields too.
Recently, the company struck oil in the Garantiana prospect
located on Production License 554 (PL554) in the Norwegian North
Stepped-up drilling activity by the oil major will pave the way
for future growth and operational strength. However, the
operators need to be extremely cautious of the safety of offshore
operations. The Macondo oil spill by
) in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico should serve as a caveat for
the industry at large.
France-based TOTAL is one of the largest publicly traded,
globally integrated oil and gas companies based on production
volumes, proved reserves and market capitalization. The company
has exploration and production operations across five continents.
TOTAL S.A. currently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold