Appraisal success in Gulf of Mexico supports low-cost development scheme

U.S. operator Beacon Offshore has completed the drilling of the Winterfell-2 appraisal well located on Block 943 in the Green Canyon area of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The well, which confirmed the greater potential in the area, could be brought online in two years due to the proximity of several existing and planned host facilities.

The Winterfell-2 well is located in approximately 1,600 meters of water and was drilled to a total depth of approximately 8,700 meters.

An affiliate of Beacon Offshore Energy is the operator of the Winterfell-2 well. Additional interest owners include Red Willow Offshore, Ridgewood Monarch North, CSL Exploration, LP, CL&F Offshore, Houston Energy, L.P., Beacon Offshore Energy Exploration, and Beacon Asset Holdings.

Winterfell discovery area in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico
Winterfell discovery area in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Source: Kosmos

Kosmos Energy, with a working interest of about 16.4 per cent, announced the completion of the Winterfell-2 well on Tuesday. The well was drilled to evaluate the adjacent fault block to the northwest of the original Winterfell discovery and was designed to test two horizons that were oil-bearing in the Winterfell-1 well, with an exploration tail into a deeper horizon. The original Winterfell discovery was made in early 2021, encountering approximately 26 metres of net oil pay in two intervals.

According to Kosmos, the Winterfell-2 well discovered approximately 40 meters of net oil pay in the first and second horizons with better oil saturation and porosity than pre-drill expectations. The exploration tail has discovered an additional oil-bearing horizon in a deeper reservoir which is also prospective in the blocks immediately to the north. The results of this appraisal well further define the resource potential in the central Winterfell area, with the current estimate around 100 million barrels gross.

Farm-down of two Gulf of Mexico blocks

Separately, Kosmos has farmed down interest in the two blocks immediately to the north of the Winterfell discovery in the Gulf of Mexico to the owners of the central Winterfell discovery in exchange for cash consideration and retention of an overriding royalty interest.

As explained by Kosmos, this aligns the partnership and provides the ability to further scale the development with low-risk follow-on drilling. Kosmos will retain a 35 per cent working interest in the two blocks, which have been significantly de-risked following the results of the Winterfell-1 and Winterfell-2 wells.

The Winterfell complex is located within tie-back distance to several existing and planned host facilities in the Gulf of Mexico and the partnership is working to define the development plan.

Andrew G. Inglis, Kosmos Energy’s chairman and CEO, said: “The positive result from Winterfell-2 appraisal well demonstrates the greater potential in the Winterfell area. The well results are encouraging and provide the support needed to advance a low-cost, lower-carbon development scheme that could be brought online in around two years.”