Devon Energy Corp. has increased its stake to 50% in the deepwater Cascade discovery of the emerging lower Tertiary trend of the Gulf of Mexico. Cascade was discovered by Devon and partners BHP Billiton and Petrobras America Inc. in mid-2002 (see Daily GPI, June 4, 2002).

Earlier this month, Devon and Petrobras bought out BHP Billiton’s working interest in the 23,000-acre Cascade field for an undisclosed amount. Cascade covers Walker Ridge blocks 205, 206, 249 and 250. In late July, the Minerals Management Service approved a Cascade Unit Agreement and a Suspension of Production (SOP) to protect the unit from lease expiration and to authorize commercial development.

“Our extensive knowledge of the lower Tertiary play, growing confidence in the performance of the reservoir and our partnership with one of the leading producers in deepwater developments encouraged us to increase our share of Cascade and move the project ahead quickly,” said Devon’s Stephen J. Hadden, senior vice president, exploration and production. “We plan to fast-track development and see first production into an FPSO [floating production, storage and offloading unit] before the end of the decade.”

The 2002 Cascade discovery encountered more than 450 net feet of pay and was followed by two delineation wells in 2005. The two wells drilled in 2005 encountered 200 net feet and 500 net feet of pay, respectively. Future plans for Cascade include drilling a fourth well as part of a phased-development plan. Devon is forecasting first production from two wells in late 2009.

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