Kosmos Announces Oil at Winterfell Well

The Gulf of Mexico discovery, a product of infrastructure-led exploration, boasts 100 million bbl of gross potential.

Map of Kosmos Green Canyon oil fields

Dallas-based E&P independent Kosmos Energy announced on 19 January an oil discovery in deepwater US Gulf of Mexico.

The Winterfell discovery well, the product of infrastructure-led exploration (ILX), was drilled to a total depth of approximately 23,000 ft and is located in approximately 5,300 ft of water. This subsalt Upper Miocene prospect in offshore Louisiana encountered approximately 85 ft of net oil pay in two intervals.

ILX exploration, which has featured prominently in upstream operators’ portfolios in recent years of relatively low oil prices, is exploration around producing hubs that can be hooked up to those facilities easily and cheaply. The development sidesteps the need for costly and time-consuming individual hub construction.

Kosmos CEO Andrew G. Inglis said that Winterfell “validat[es] our proven basin exploration strategy, which is focused on low-cost, short-cycle, low-carbon development solutions.”

The Winterfell well was funded by a portion of the proceeds from the partial sale of Kosmos’ frontier exploration portfolio.

Kosmos, which has a minority 17.5% working interest in the well, does not operate producing platforms but instead operates subsea tiebacks or well hookups to platforms owned and operated by other companies.

“The well in Green Canyon Block 944 derisks prospectivity in several neighboring blocks held by Kosmos,” its CEO continued, “with approximately 100 million bbl of gross potential within Kosmos’ acreage position.”

The discovery is located within tieback distance to several existing and planned host facilities, including Oxy’s Heidelberg facility, which a spokesperson said is “one nearby option” for development.

The company also plans to drill the Zora ILX well, another ILX project in the Gulf of Mexico, later this year. That well is located in the US Gulf’s DeSoto Canyon area east of the Winterfell hub and will be drilled with partner Ridgewood Energy.

Winterfell is operated by an affiliate of privately held Beacon Offshore Energy, which will work with partners on an appraisal plan and development options.

Additional interest owners include Red Willow Offshore, Ridgewood Monarch North, CSL Exploration, CL&F Offshore, and Houston Energy.