Chevron, Total Log Big Discovery in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

The two supermajors and offshore powerhouses are assessing the latest Gulf of Mexico discovery.

The Ballymore well was drilled to a TD of 8898 m by Pacific Drilling’s Sharav deepwater drillship. Source: Chevron.

A sidetrack well is under way in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to assess the Chevron-operated Ballymore prospect following a big oil discovery.

The Ballymore discovery well reached total depth of 8,898 m and encountered 205 m of net oil pay in a high-quality Norphlet reservoir, partner Total said. The prospect lies in 2,000 m of water and 120 km off Louisiana on four blocks in the Norphlet formation, including Block MC 607 where the discovery was made.

Norphlet includes Shell’s Appomattox discovery, which is expected to produce oil by the end of the decade. Shell’s other Norphlet discoveries include Vicksburg, Rydberg, and Fort Sumter. 

“This major discovery gives us access to large oil resources and follow-on potential in the emerging Norphlet play,” said Arnaud Breuillac, Total president, exploration and production. “While already deemed commercially viable, we will work together on the appraisal of this discovery and a cost-effective scheme to ensure a rapid, low breakeven development.”

Chevron has a 60% working interest in Ballymore. Total E&P USA has a 40% stake, acquired last year as part of a deal with Chevron that included seven prospects covering 16 blocks in the Norphlet and Wilcox formations.

Total last week announced that it is further expanding its gulf footprint by purchasing Samson Offshore Anchor and its 12.5% interest in four blocks covering the Anchor discovery. It is also adding a 25% stake in Jack field as part of its $7.45-billion deal to buy Maersk Oil. That deal also makes Total among the largest North Sea operators.