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Spinnaker Discovers 'Significant' Gas in Mississippi Canyon Area

Houston-based Spinnaker Exploration Co. said last Tuesday that it has discovered natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) about 100 miles southeast of Venice, LA. The field, in Mississippi Canyon Block 961, is situated 12 miles west-southwest of the future platform site of the Independence Hub project, and Spinnaker expects to ramp up production in 2007 when the hub is completed.

Spinnaker is part of the Atwater Valley Producers Group, which executed agreements with Enterprise Products Partners LP's Independence Hub last year to develop multiple deepwater gas discoveries in the Eastern GOM (see NGI, Nov. 15, 2004).

Spinnaker's discovery was made at the "Q" prospect in 7,925 feet of water, where Spinnaker owns a 50% working interest and is the operator. Dominion Exploration & Production Inc. is joint owner. Although it did not estimate the output, Spinnaker said it believes the discovery is "significant to its potential reserves and production."

In line with its pre-drill prognosis, Spinnaker said the discovery well found approximately 110 feet of true vertical thickness of pay in a continuous, high-quality middle Miocene reservoir at a depth of 17,644 feet. The discovery well now is being sidetracked to an up-dip position in the reservoir to test sand continuity. If successful, the sidetrack wellbore will be cased and utilized for production.

The latest discovery is Spinnaker's third in the Independence Hub project area. The company has previously announced and dedicated the Spiderman and San Jacinto discoveries, which are currently being developed, to the Independence Hub project.

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