Davy Jones offset penetrates thickening sands

By OGJ editors
-- McMoRan Exploration Co., New Orleans, said its Davy Jones offset appraisal well on South Marsh Island Block 234 in the Gulf of Mexico has encountered thickening sands that correlate to those found in the discovery well.

The Davy Jones-2 well is drilling below 27,900 ft true vertical depth. Early data from wireline logs over the interval 25,400 ft to 27,300 ft indicate more than 200 ft of gross sand and 100 net ft of sand, based on intermittent porosity data available, in multiple Wilcox zones that appear to be hydrocarbon-bearing.

More data will be required to complete the evaluation, and McMoRan continues to analyze the logs.

Paleo and log data indicate the offset well to be 1,300 ft structurally high to the Davy Jones-1 discovery well and confirm the major structural features of the Davy Jones prospect, McMoRan said. All but one of the sands in the discovery well appear to be present in the offset well, which would confirm sand continuity on the Davy Jones feature.

This information also suggests that the Wilcox sands at Davy Jones could be sheet sands, not channel sands, and could be present at other McMoRan prospects on its acreage position in the Davy Jones trend. These results support the wedge effect seen on other large subsalt structures in the Gulf of Mexico, where sands generally thicken on the flanks of the structure (see map, OGJ, Nov. 10, 2008, p. 42).

Davy Jones-2 is 2½ miles southwest of Davy Jones-1. Based on analogies with a number of other large subsurface structures in the gulf, McMoRan sees potential for thicker sands on the northern part of the structure, which is closer to the depositional source.

McMoRan is deepening the well to evaluate further objectives, including possibly the Upper Cretaceous (Tuscaloosa) sections. Paleo data at 27,742 ft indicate the Davy Jones-2 well is in the Midway formation, a geologic interval below the Wilcox and above the Upper Cretaceous (Tuscaloosa).

McMoRan’s interpretation indicates that the Upper Cretaceous (Tuscaloosa) section, if present in deeper horizons on the shelf at Davy Jones, would be correlative with the prolific Tuscaloosa trend onshore South Louisiana. If confirmed, McMoRan believes the combination of productive Wilcox and Tuscaloosa sands on the same structure could enhance the prospectivity of Davy Jones and the value of McMoRan’s other ultradeep prospects on its acreage position within the Davy Jones trend.

As previously reported, in January 2010 McMoRan logged 200 net ft of pay in multiple Wilcox sands in Davy Jones-1 on South Marsh Island Block 230. In March 2010, a production liner was set and the well was temporarily abandoned to prepare for completion. McMoRan has ordered long-lead time and specialty items, including a 25,000 psi production tree, safety valve, and blowout preventer, and expects to complete and flow test the well by yearend 2011.

Davy Jones involves a large, ultradeep structure encompassing four federal lease blocks or 20,000 acres. McMoRan holds a 60.4% working interest and 47.9% net revenue interest in Davy Jones. Other working interest owners in Davy Jones include Energy XXI 15.8%, Nippon Oil Exploration USA Ltd. 12%, W.A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr. 8.8%, and a private investor 3%.

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