Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) has reached an agreement with BP Exploration & Production Inc. to acquire 50% of BP's interest in 17 deepwater exploration leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Each of the leases resides in the Atwater Valley protraction area, with Noble Energy acquiring a 50% working interest in 13 leases and an average 26% working interest in four leases.
As part of the transaction, Noble Energy is participating with a 50% working interest in the Bright prospect, which is currently drilling on Atwater Valley Block 362 in a water depth of approximately 5,600 feet. The initial well, targeting multiple Upper and Middle Miocene reservoirs, is anticipated to be drilled to a total depth of 13,500 feet.
The company's total estimated gross unrisked resource range (P75–P25) for the Bright prospect is 90 to 350 million barrels of oil equivalent. In addition to the Bright prospect, there are multiple follow-on exploration opportunities that have been identified on these newly acquired leases.
Global Hunter Securities analysts commented, “NBL has agreed to acquire a 50% WI in 17 of BP’s deepwater exploration leases in the Gulf of Mexico, located in the Atwater Valley area. As part of the transaction NBL will participate in the Bright prospect currently being drilled on Block 362 (5.6K ft water depth, 13.5K ft) targeting multiple Upper/Middle Miocene reservoirs; management estimates P75–P25 potential in the 90 MMboe–350 MMboe range.
“Takeaway: Positive that NBL has been given the opportunity to get in on BP’s deepwater prospects, which could have meaningful upside potential – we think this is a testament to the company’s quality of operations and stable platform.”