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BP closes out 2013 with deepwater finds in Gulf of Mexico and offshore Angola; new activity offshore Brazil

1 January 2014

BP said that 2013 had been its most successful year for new field exploration for almost a decade. During the year, BP participated in 15 completed wildcat exploration wells, resulting in 7 potentially commercial discoveries—a new field exploration success rate of more than 40%. In mid-December 2013, BP announced its discovery in the Gila prospect, its latest in the Paleogene in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico.

Earlier in December, Cobalt International Energy announced a significant discovery at its Lontra well in the pre-salt play offshore Angola, in which BP holds a 30% interest. BP also confirmed the recently-announced Pitu oil discovery in the frontier deepwater of the Potiguar basin off Brazil’s equatorial margin, announced by Petrobras.

Map_showing_locations_of_Gila_Lontra_Pitu
Click to enlarge.

Gila. BP co-owns the Gila prospect with ConocoPhillips. This is BP’s third discovery in recent years in the emerging Paleogene trend in the Gulf of Mexico, following Kaskida in 2006 and Tiber in 2009.

The Gila discovery was made by an exploration well on Keathley Canyon Block 93, about 300 miles (483 miles) southwest of New Orleans, in approximately 4,900 feet (1,494 meters) of water.

The well, which penetrated multiple Paleogene-aged reservoir sands, was drilled to a total depth of 29,221 feet (8,907 meters). Appraisal drilling, including completion of drilling through the Paleocene section, will be required to determine the size and potential commerciality of the discovery.

BP owns a majority interest in the Gila discovery which is located approximately 25 miles west of Tiber, also located in the Keathley Canyon area. The lease for Keathley Canyon Block 93 was acquired in the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease OCS Sale 187 in 2003.

BP deepened its equity in the Gila prospect and accessed the BM-CAL-13 lease as part of the acquisition of Devon Energy’s interests in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and Azerbaijan, announced in 2010.

Lontra
Lontra. Click to enlarge.

Lontra. Estimated post-drill resource range for Lontra is 700 million to 1.1+ billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to Cobalt. During the recently completed drill stem test, the Lontra well produced at a stabilized flow rate of 2,500 barrels per day of condensate and 39 million cubic feet per day of gas. The flow rates were significantly restricted by the surface test facilities on the SSV Catarina drilling rig.

The Lontra #1 exploratory well was drilled to a total depth of 4,195 meters (13,763 feet) and penetrated approximately 75 meters (250 feet) of net pay in a very high quality reservoir section. The discovery well encountered both a high liquids content gas interval and an oil interval. The drill stem test was conducted in the high liquids content gas interval in order to acquire data on the flow capacity and fluid composition of this interval.

While further appraisal drilling will be required to determine the ultimate size of the Lontra field, it is clear that Lontra is a discovery on a global scale. The exceptional reservoir system that we have discovered ranks among the best that we have seen. Although the field contains more gas than our pre-drill estimates, it is beneficial that Lontra is offshore near Luanda, where we believe there is a potentially large emerging market for gas.

—Joseph H. Bryant, Cobalt’s Chairman and CEO

Pitu. The discovery was made while drilling well 1-BRSA-1205-RNS (1-RNS-158), informally known as Pitu, at a water depth of 1,731 meters (5,679 feet) and 55 km (34 miles) off the coast of Rio Grande do Norte state. The Pitu well is operated by Petrobras; in July, BP announced its farm-in to a 40% interest in the block subject to final regulatory approval by Brazil’s ANP.

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