Noble drillship kicks off drilling ops in Gulf of Mexico

U.S.-headquartered oil and gas exploration and production player LLOG Exploration has started drilling an exploration/appraisal well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico with one of Noble Corporation’s drillships.

Noble Valiant drillship; Source: Noble Corporation

The spudding of the Who Dat East, MC 509-1 (LLOG), exploration/appraisal well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico began at the end of April 2024, weeks after LLOG, as the operator of the Who Dat East and Who Dat South joint ventures, confirmed the approval of the drilling operations at the Who Dat East appraisal/exploration well and the Who Dat South exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico. The first asset lies approximately 27 kilometers east of the Who Dat floating production system (FPS).

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The well, which aims to appraise a gas/condensate discovery made in 2001 at Who Dat East and test additional prospective reservoir targets in the Middle Miocene section, is being drilled with the Noble Valiant drillship, in a water depth of approximately 1,300 meters. The well will be drilled as a deviated hole with a total measured depth of around 7,900 meters and will take about 55 – 60 days to drill and evaluate.

Afterward, the well may be suspended as a potential future producer, subject to the results. The Who Dat East asset is estimated to contain 17 MMboe of gross unrisked 2C contingent resources and 35 MMboe of gross unrisked 2U prospective resources, with an aggregate geological probability of success estimated to be 62%. The Who Dat East JV participants are LLOG (operator, 40%), Karoon (40%), and Westlawn (20%). According to Karoon, the well is anticipated to cost $50 – 56 million net to the company, including a 2-for-1 carry capped at $23 million.

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On the other hand, the MC 545-1 exploration well in the Who Dat South prospect, located about 11 kilometers southwest of the Who Dat FPS, is slated to be drilled towards the end of 2Q 2024, using Seadrill’s West Neptune drillship. This well will test two targets in the Miocene section, with the shallower target being similar to the reservoir in the G-1 well in Who Dat.

Located in 800 meters of water offshore Louisiana within federal waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the LLOG-operated Who Dat conventional deepwater oil and gas development, which came on stream in 2011, produces around 60% oil and 40% gas from nine wells. The hydrocarbon production is processed through the FPS and transported to markets through common carrier pipelines.