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Freeport-McMoRan's Prospects in Mississippi Canyon Yielding Strong Results

A well drilled at the Horn Mountain Deep project in the Gulf of Mexico's deepwater Mississippi Canyon may be capable of producing 30,000 boe/d, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. said Monday.

Initial production from the new well and two follow-on development wells is expected in first half of 2017, said exploration unit Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas (FM O&G). The latest well was drilled to a total depth of 16,925 feet. Logging while drilling logs indicated it encountered a total of 142 net feet of Middle Miocene oil pay.

Results indicate the "presence of sand sections deeper than known pay sections in the field," management noted. The operator's production facilities at Horn Mountain Deep are capable of processing 75,000 b/d of oil.

"The positive results at Horn Mountain Deep and our geophysical data support the existence of prolific Middle Miocene reservoir potential for several additional opportunities in the area, including the 100%-owned Sugar, Rose, Fiesta, Platinum and Peach prospects," said FM O&G. The Phoenix-based producer controls rights to more than 55,000 acres associated with these prospects.

Since beginning development activities last year at its three production platforms in the deepwater, FM O&G has drilled 12 wells, with three now on production. Plans are to complete and ramp up the remaining wells through 2017.

The success at Horn Mountain Deep follows results announced in July from three other wells drilled in the Horn Mountain area, including the Quebec/Victory, Kilo/Oscar and Horn Mountain Updip tieback prospects, which in aggregate may be capable of producing more than 27,000 boe/d. Initial production is expected by mid-2016.

FM O&G during 3Q2015 also has drilled its second successful development well at its 100%-owned King field in Mississippi Canyon south of its Marlin facility in 5,200 feet of water and a third development well is in progress. In aggregate, these wells could be capable of producing 20,000 boe/d, with initial production by the end of this year. Marlin is capable of processing 60,000 b/d.

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