Nexen, CNOOC form Gulf of Mexico joint venture

By OGJ editors

Nexen Inc. formed a joint venture with China’s CNOOC Ltd. in the Gulf of Mexico, giving CNOOC a working interest in as many as six deepwater exploration wells.

Terms of the partnership were not discussed. CNOOC said Nexen is operator of the joint venture.

The partnership includes the Kakuna well, now being drilled, and the Angel Fire well, which is expected to spud in 2012.

CNOOC will obtain 20% working interest in Kakuna, Angel Fire, and Cypress wells. It also may participate in three additional exploration wells with a 10-25% working interest.

The venture does not include any interest in Nexen’s Appomattox discovery or the related Norphlet formation prospects.

Marvin Romanow, Nexen's president and chief executive officer, said, “We are seeing a gradual return to normal activity in the gulf. Nexen's strategy in the Gulf of Mexico is to mature prospects at a high working interest, and then utilize joint venture agreements like this one to reduce our interest to our target level of 25-30%.”

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