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Chevron Makes Major Oil Discovery In Deepwater Gulf Of Mexico

Chevron has struck a significant oil discovery at the Ballymore prospect in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the corporation said late on Tuesday.

The Ballymore prospect lies in the Mississippi Canyon area of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, some three miles from Chevron’s Blind Faith platform, in water depth of 6,536 feet. Chevron, operator of the Ballymore prospect with a 60-percent stake, and co-owner Total with 40 percent, are currently drilling a sidetrack well to further assess the discovery and begin to define development options, the U.S. supermajor said.

“This discovery is an important addition to our portfolio, especially with its combination of size, quality and proximity to existing infrastructure,” said Jeff Shellebarger, president of Chevron North America Exploration and Production.

“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”, Arnaud Breuillac, President Exploration & Production at Total, said in the French company’s statement about the discovery.

“Ballymore is the largest discovery by Total in the prolific Gulf of Mexico and bolsters our new exploration strategy put in place since 2015”, Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration at Total, said.

After three years of depressed investment and activity, the Gulf of Mexico is set to stage a comeback this year, energy consultants Wood Mackenzie said in a new insight earlier this month.

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The U.S. tax overhaul “drastically increased the fiscal competitiveness of deepwater Gulf of Mexico, relative to other offshore basins,” WoodMac said.

“Although deepwater Gulf of Mexico has taken quite a beating over the last three years, the industry has clawed its way back to being competitive by significantly cutting costs, improving efficiencies and tightening up the supply chain. 2018 will be a forward looking year for the sector as it lays the foundation for longer term resurgence in 2019 and beyond,” William Turner, Wood Mackenzie’s Senior Research Analyst and lead author of the insight, said.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Bill Simpson on January 31 2018 said:
    Like in Texas, there is probably a lot more oil down there in the deep water, where drilling hasn't been nearly as extensive as on land, or on the shallow continental shelf where many thousands of wells have been drilled. Horizontal wells might be able to get a lot more oil out of the existing fields too.

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