Kerr-McGee late Monday announced a natural gas discovery in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The No. 1 well, located in Atwater Valley Block 140 in the Claymore prospect, drilled to a total depth of 25,000 feet and encountered more than 150 feet of net pay in multiple zones.

According to Kerr-McGee COO Dave Hager, initial data indicates the reservoir contains dry gas and "very high rock quality." Hager said the company plans to finalize the evaluation of the well and "immediately" drill a side-track appraisal well to define the aerial extent and potential resources. Hager said the well is the first in Kerr-McGee's subsalt program in the deepwater GOM, "and this discovery provides momentum as we execute our exploration program that includes four to five additional high-impact subsalt targets this year."

Claymore is located in 3,700 feet of water, 150 miles southeast of New Orleans. No other details were available. Kerr-McGee operates the lease with a 33.5% working interest. Dominion Exploration & Production Inc. owns 31.5% interest, Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC holds 25% interest, and Woodside Energy (USA) Inc. holds a 10% stake. The rig will remain on location and begin drilling the side-track appraisal well, about 4,600 feet to the northeast of the discovery well to test the down-dip limit of the reservoir.

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