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Noble Energy's Deepwater Lorien Field Hits Production Target

Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. said last week that its Lorien field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, which began production on April 27, has now achieved its gross production target of 19,000 b/d of oil and 25 MMcf/d of natural gas. Noble's share of the production at Lorien is currently 9,900 bbl/d of oil and and 13 MMcfd of gas.

Located on Green Canyon Block 199 in 2,177 feet of water, Lorien is a two well subsea development with a 13 mile tieback to a nearby host. Noble Energy is the operator of Lorien with a 60% working interest. Hydro Gulf of Mexico LLC has a working interest of 30% and Davis Offshore LP has a working interest of 10%.

"Lorien is our third significant deepwater project to start production over the past seven months, following the start-up of Swordfish in October of last year and Ticonderoga in February," said Dave Stover, Noble Energy's senior vice president of North America. "The impact on our production and cash flow from the three developments is significant." He noted that the company is now producing over 24,000 bbl/d of oil and 40 MMcf/d of natural gas, net, from the three fields.

Earlier this month, the independent producer reported its highest ever quarterly net income of $226.1 million for the first quarter 2006, an increase of 106% compared to $110 million reported for the first quarter of 2005. International daily equivalent sales volumes increased 77% versus the first quarter of 2005 and North America sales volumes increased 113% over the first quarter last year, primarily as a result of the acquisition of Patina Oil & Gas, which closed May 16, 2005.

Noble Energy CEO Charles D. Davidson said strong organic growth over the last two years came from international developments in Equatorial Guinea, Israel, China and Ecuador. "In 2006, substantial organic growth will come from North America," he said. "Our deepwater Gulf of Mexico program is proving to be a substantial contributor with Swordfish, Lorien and Ticonderoga adding new production this year. In addition, our recently announced Redrock discovery and our current exploration well at Raton offer potentially significant upside from our current deepwater portfolio. Onshore in North America, our recent acquisition of United States Exploration will enhance our continuing successful operations in the Wattenberg field, while our Piceance, Buffalo Wallow and Billy Rose programs are adding to our already substantial onshore production."

He noted that the Swordfish and Ticonderoga deepwater developments, which commenced in October 2005 and February 2006, respectively, contributed 12,000 Boe/d of oil and natural gas during the first quarter of 2006.

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