Byron hits pay in Gulf of Mexico well. Further operations on hold due to coronavirus

Oil and gas company Byron Energy has hit oil and gas pay in the F5 well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, but decided to suspend further activities due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Enterprise 264, formerly known as Hercules 264; Source: Hercules

The SM71 F5 well, located at the South Marsh Island 71 field, was drilled by the Enterprise 264 rig currently on location at the SM71 F platform.

Byron’s partner in the well, Otto Energy, said on Monday that drilling operations on the well resumed March 17 after testing the surface casing shoe at a depth of 3,610 feet measured depth (MD). The well reached final, total depth of 8,505 feet MD – 7,591 feet true vertical depth (TVD) – on March 21.

The primary D5 Sand target was penetrated within 50 feet of the predicted depth at 8,225 feet MD (7,330 feet TVD) and log while drilling (LWD) tools logged a total of 39 feet MD of net gas pay (36 feet of true vertical thickness net gas pay).

According to the company, LWD data is insufficient to determine the extent to which the intersected pay may potentially connect to a lower, thicker D5 reservoir sequence.

In addition to the gas pay, the well intersected 16 feet MD of net oil pay (12 feet of TVT net oil pay) in the I3 sand and 25 feet MD (20 feet of TVT net oil pay) in the J sand reservoirs. The result in these two sands verifies the extent of the I3 and J Sand reserves as previously mapped and logged in the SM71 F1 well.

It is worth noting that the companies elected that the open hole portion of the F5 be temporarily abandoned for use as a future side-track.

Otto added that the data acquired in the F5 well would be used to determine whether to side-track within the F5 fault block slightly down-dip and away from the fault at the current location in the D5 reservoir to encounter the full D5 reservoir section that may be missing in this location or step-out into the main producing fault block and commission an acceleration well in the I3, J, and D5 reservoir.

The joint venture also considered the uncertainty of continuing current operations in light of increasing concerns related to the impact of the COVID-19 on operations.

In particular, a planned crew change would be required if the rig was to continue operations introducing the heightened risk of operational interruptions during a critical phase of operations.

The F5 wellbore will be temporarily abandoned in a manner that allows it to be efficiently sidetracked in the future when the uncertainty relating to the COVID-19 pandemic has dissipated and when oil price volatility stabilizes.

Otto Energy managing director and CEO, Matthew Allen, said: “Otto is pleased with the operational performance that the operator has achieved in rapidly deteriorating conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is prudent that operations are suspended at this stage and the results to date are incorporated into future plans to utilize the F5 well bore in the most efficient manner.”

Otto has a 50 percent working interest and a 40.625 percent net revenue interest in SM71. Byron Energy is the operator and holds the remaining interest in SM71.

It is worth reminding that Otto Energy decided in late February to participate in the drilling of the F5 after refusing to participate in Byron’s F4 well.

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