Anadarko declares force majeure on three deepwater drilling rigs in the GOM, refocuses onshore

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC) has declared a force majeure on three of its contracted deepwater drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in light of the recent deepwater drilling moratorium.

“We want to assure our stakeholders that we expect to meet our 2010 production targets and have already taken a number of actions to protect the value of our portfolio during the moratorium in the Gulf,” said Jim Hackett, chairman and CEO of Anadarko.

Firstly, Anadarko stopped drilling activities at its deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets. Also, the company has declared a force majeure on three of its deepwater rigs working in the Gulf of Mexico.

The fourth rig that Anadarko has contracted is going to be used in non-drilling activities, such as workover and completion.

Shift to Shale

“Although our Gulf of Mexico drilling activity has been suspended due to the moratorium, we are evaluating opportunities to reallocate some of the 2010 capital from the Gulf to other areas of our global portfolio, including our numerous onshore liquids-rich opportunities, and we remain committed to our world-wide exploration, appraisal and development programs.”

Anadarko holds extensive acreage onshore the US, including more than 1 million acres in the Marcellus, Haynesville and Eagle Ford Shale plays.

Gulf of Mexico Activity

“We share everyone’s desire to ensure the safety of deepwater drilling activity,” Hackett said. “Deepwater exploration, development and production in the Gulf are vitally important to our nation’s economy and energy security. These activities must be conducted safely and in a manner that protects the environment.”

Because of the deepwater drilling moratorium, Anadarko has stopped drilling operations at its three deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, which include Lucius, Callisto and Heidelberg.

Anadarko was working on the second of three appraisal wells on Lucius (Keathley canyon Block 875), which transected 650 net feet of oil pay. At 2,000 feet from total depth, the well had another target to test when drilling was ceased on the well.

On the Callisto well (Mississippi Canyon Block 875), Anadarko successfully completed the discovery and is tying back the well to the Independence Hub natural gas processing platform. With production expected to commence later this year, the Callisto well should produce 40 million cubic feet of natural gas a day.

While Anadarko had planned to redrill the Heidelberg (Green Canyon 903) appraisal well using the Ensco 8500 semisubmersible, the company had not spud the well before the initial drilling moratorium. Because of that, Anadarko moved the rig to Red Hawk to perform plugging and abandonment activities.

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