North Platte is giant Lower Tertiary gulf oil discovery

Cobalt International Energy Inc. has made a Lower Tertiary Wilcox oil discovery in the southeastern part of the Garden Banks planning area in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The discovery’s potential is several hundred million barrels of oil, said Total SA, which has a 40% nonoperated interest in the project in which Cobalt is operator with 60%.

Extensive wireline evaluation indicates that the well on its North Platte prospect on Garden Banks Block 959 encountered several hundred feet of net oil pay in multiple Inboard Lower Tertiary sands, Cobalt said. That thickness is in line with the predrill estimate, the company said.

James H. Painter, executive vice-president, Gulf of Mexico, said, “North Platte was one of the most challenging wells that the industry has drilled in the Gulf of Mexico, and to have drilled this well to total depth in a safe manner and in near record time is especially gratifying.”

North Platte went to 34,500 ft in 4,400 ft of water. Cobalt had a rig preparing to spud North Platte in May 2010 when the Department of the Interior implemented the 2010 drilling moratorium, requiring Cobalt to move off the rig.

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