Ultra deep well shows 13.000 barrels a day for Chevron

Fuel Fix:
Chevron said Thursday that a test well it drilled through a thick layer of salt more than 5 miles below sea level had a high rate of oil production, an indicator of the promise of an emerging field in the Gulf of Mexico.

The test well at the St. Malo field, located about 280 miles south of New Orleans, had a production rate of more than 13,000 barrels of oil per day, the company said.

The well was drilled in waters 7,000 feet deep and reached 20,000 feet below the seafloor. At a total depth of more than 5 miles, the well is part of a growing effort by energy companies to reach for more challenging reserves in layers of rock that are difficult to read and massively expensive to target.

Seismic readings of deep geologic formations located under thick layers of salt are especially challenging to produce and analyze. And drilling at extreme depths involves the high expenses of ultradeep-water drillships and the challenges of high pressure and heat in underground rock formations. Setting up those fields for production requires companies to remotely install networks of undersea machines more than a mile underwater that manage the flow of oil to multibillion-dollar production platforms.

The daily cost of simply operating an ultradeep-water drillship regularly exceeds $500,000, and can climb higher than $650,000.
Chevron has hit on some other deep water wells in the past.  This shows some of the potential in this part of the Gulf of Mexico.  A production platform for this field and other nearby fields is expected to produce 94,000 barrels a day.  I suspect there are other potential wells if Obama would get out of the way, and quite blocking drilling on federal controlled sites.


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