Producer Quartet Makes Deep-Water Discovery
Pioneer Natural Resources Co. of Dallas, Mariner Energy of
Houston, CNG Producing of New Orleans and Westport Oil and Gas
participated in a deep-water Gulf of Mexico discovery on the
Devil's Tower Prospect in Mississippi Canyon 773, about 140 miles
southeast of New Orleans in 5,610 feet of water. A Pioneer
spokesperson said the partners agreed to not disclose the type of
Appraisal drilling is expected to begin in the second quarter.
Pioneer has a 15.8% working interest in the discovery. Mariner, the
operator, holds a 50% interest with other partners CNG (30%) and
Devil's Tower is Pioneer's second successful exploration well
drilled in the last year in the deep-water Gulf. In early 1999,
Pioneer participated in the Aconcagua discovery in Mississippi
Canyon 305. The appraisal well for the Aconcagua discovery is
expected to spud within the next week. The partners in this
discovery, Elf Exploration Inc. (Operator with 50%), Pioneer (25%)
and Mariner (25%) expect to sanction the development project in
June of this year.
Aconcagua is one of three deep-water gas fields included in the
recently announced Canyon Express joint development project. The
other fields are Marathon Oil's Camden Hills in Mississippi Canyon
348 and BP Amoco's Kings Peak in Mississippi Canyon 217.
Anticipated production of 500 MMcf/d of gas will flow to the
Elf-operated Virgo platform in Viosca Knoll 823. First production
is anticipated in early 2002.
The Devils Tower discovery gives Mariner seven exploratory
successes out of thirteen wells drilled in the Deepwater Gulf since
becoming an independent company in mid-1996. Devil's Tower is the
fifth successful deep-water project for CNG, one of the top six
producers in the deep-water Gulf. It is preceded by two successful
deep-water Gulf producing projects --- Popeye in Green Canyon Block
116 and Neptune in Viosca Knoll Block 826, along with two
deep-water development projects --- North Marlin in Viosca Knoll
Block 827 and Einset in Viosca Knoll Block 872-873.
Joe Fisher, Houston
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