Noble Energy cheers Big Bend results

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – Noble Energy reported a discovery at the deepwater Gulf of Mexico Big Bend prospect in Mississippi Canyon block 698.

The exploration well, drilled in 7,200 ft (2,195 m) water depths to a total depth of 15,989 ft (4,873 m), encountered around 150 ft (46 m) of net oil pay in two high-quality Miocene reservoirs.

Noble was less successful offshore the Falkland Islands, where the Scotia exploration well turned up a disappointing 164 ft (50 m) of low-quality Cretaceous reservoir. The well, drilled to a depth of 18,226 ft (5,555 m), was P&A'd by Northern Area licenses operator Falklands Oil and Gas.

Noble Energy senior VP of exploration and business innovation Susan Cunningham said the company was noetheless “encouraged” by the Scotia well results.

“Although we did not see a substantial amount of reservoir section, virtually all sandstones with significant porosity in and below the target contained hydrocarbons. Following our imminent acquisition of 3D seismic, we will integrate well results and assess the economic viability of this particular prospect,” Cunningham said.

In March 2013, Noble Energy, which holds a 35% interest in the Northern Area licenses, will become operator of the license. Falklands Oil and Gas has 40% interest and Edison International holds 25%.

The Big Bend well results “appear at least as good as our pre-drill mean resource expectations” and provide momentum for development of the company’s nearby Troubadour prospect, said Noble Energy chairman and CEO Charles Davidson.

Noble has said the combined fields could hold an estimated 90 MMboe. The company has a 54% operated interest in Big Bend, with partners W&T Energy (20%), Red Willow Offshore (15.4%) and Houston Energy Deepwater Ventures (10.6%). Noble operates Troubadour with 87.5% interest.

11/27/2012

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