Oil major Shell has made a significant oil discovery at the Blacktip prospect in the deep water U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
Shell said on Wednesday that evaluation is ongoing and appraisal planning is underway to further delineate the discovery and define development options.
“Blacktip is Shell’s second material discovery in the Perdido Corridor and is part of a continuing exploration strategy to add competitive deep water options to extend our heartlands,” said Andy Brown, Upstream Director for Royal Dutch Shell.
Blacktip is a Wilcox discovery in the Perdido thrust belt and was discovered in the Alaminos Canyon Block 380, approximately 30 miles from the Perdido platform and Whale discovery. The find presents the opportunity to augment existing production in the Perdido area where Shell’s Great White, Silvertip and Tobago fields are already producing.
Drilling at the initial Blacktip well is still underway and has to date encountered more than 400 feet net oil pay with good reservoir and fluid characteristics. The well is currently being deepened to further assess the structure’s potential.
Blacktip is operated by Shell (52.375%) and co-owned by Chevron (20%), Equinor (19.125%), and Repsol (8.5%).
This discovery in a Shell heartland adds to the company’s Paleogene exploration success in the Perdido area. Through exploration, Shell has added more than one billion barrels of oil equivalent in the last decade in the Gulf of Mexico. The company’s global deep-water production is on track to exceed 900,000 boe per day by 2020, from already discovered, established areas.
The Blacktip discovery is located approximately 250-miles (400-kilometers) south of Houston in approximately 6200-feet (1900-meters) of water.
In a separate statement on Wednesday, Equinor’s Bjørn Inge Braathen, senior vice president for exploration in North America, said: “We are very pleased with this discovery which confirms the potential in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and underpins Equinor’s strategy to exploit prolific basins and deepen in core areas.”
Braathen added: “We await further results from the well and look forward to continue the collaboration with the operator and co-venturers to assess the full potential of the discovery and evaluate options for development.”
Equinor is planning to drill the Monument Paleogene prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in 2019.