A sidetrack appraisal well at the Heidelberg prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has successfully confirmed an extension of up to 1,500 acres, an Anadarko Petroleum Corp. executive said Thursday.

The Woodlands, TX-based producer in March said it planned to begin front-end engineering and design (FEED) work this year to develop the Heidelberg prospect in Green Canyon Block 859 in anticipation of sanctioning the project later this year (see Daily GPI, March 14). The sidetrack well, which was drilled about 1.3 miles from the Heidelberg discovery in Green Canyon Block 903, was drilled to a total depth of about 30,440 feet in water depths of 5,260 feet.

“The Heidelberg sidetrack appraisal well was successfully drilled and defined the down-dip limits of the Heidelberg field,” said worldwide operations chief Chuck Meloy. “This well extends the oil/water contact down structure by approximately 700 feet, and continues to validate the field’s estimated resource range, while providing support for the option of a standalone development.

“Anadarko and Heidelberg’s co-owners have initiated pre-FEED work to evaluate development solutions with the objective of advancing commercialization of this emerging mega project.”

Heidelberg, in the Middle Miocene trend in about 5,000 feet of water, was discovered in early 2009 after Anadarko and its partners at that time drilled the prospect to a total depth of 28,500 feet (see Daily GPI, Feb. 3, 2009). Heidelberg is near Anadarko’s 100%-owned Constitution field in Green Canyon, where the first well in 2006 began producing at a rate of 12 MMcf/d of gas and 15,000 b/d of oil (see Daily GPI, March 31, 2006).

Anadarko operates the Heidelberg block with a 44.25% working interest. Apache Deepwater LLC and Eni SpA each have 12.5% stakes, Statoil ASA holds a 12% interest, while ExxonMobil Corp. and Cobalt International Energy LP each hold a 9.375% stake.

Canaccord Genuity’s John Gerdes said in a note the sidetrack well “successfully defined the down-dip limits of the field” and “continued to validate the field’s estimated resource range” of more than 200 million boe. “We believe the test meaningfully increases the probability of standalone development, though conservatively do not include a development in our economic model” for Anadarko.

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