Shell and Total announce major deepwater oil discoveries

Shell's find is located in the Whale deepwater well while Total's find is situated at the Ballymore prospect, both in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico
Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
Mexico City
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On Wednesday, oil major Royal Dutch Shell and French oil and energy group Total announced major deepwater oil discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell said its U.S. unit had made one of its biggest oil discoveries in the past decade in the Whale deepwater well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The Whale is operated by Shell and co-owned by U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp.

“Evaluation of the discovery was ongoing, and appraisal drilling is underway to further delineate the discovery and define development options,” Shell Offshore Inc. said in a statement without giving figures.

Shell has three Gulf of Mexico deepwater projects under construction―Appomattox, Kaikias, and Coulomb Phase 2. It has added more than one billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) resources in the last decade in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company said it expected global deepwater production to exceed 900,000 boe per day by 2020, from already established areas.

For its part, Total said that it had made a significant oil discovery at the Ballymore prospect in the deep offshore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, its largest discovery in the area.

“This major discovery gives us access to large oil resources and follows on potential in the emerging Norphlet play,” Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s President for Exploration and Production, said in a statement.

“While already deemed commercially viable, we will work together on the appraisal of this discovery and a cost-effective scheme to ensure a rapid, low breakeven development,” he added.

An assessment of the resource estimate was ongoing, the company said, adding that the discovery will bolster Total’s new exploration strategy put in place since 2015.

The Ballymore prospect covers four blocks in the Norphlet play, including Block MC 607 where the discovery was made.

Total’s acquisition of a 40% working interest in Ballymore was part of an exploration agreement along with Chevron, which has 60%, signed in September 2017.



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