As oil and gas exploration continues in high gear mode to erase the supply/demand imbalance, Kerr-McGee Corp. reported that it has increased its international position in high potential trends by nearly 10% so far in 2001. The Oklahoma City-based company said it has acquired interests in more than 3 million additional deepwater acres around the globe.

In March, Kerr-McGee was awarded 23 blocks in a Minerals Management Service lease sale in the Central Gulf of Mexico (see NGI, April 2). The company said it remains the largest independent leaseholder in the Gulf with interests in more than 525 blocks. It noted it is also the largest independent holder of deepwater blocks among independents with interests in 335 blocks on more than 1.8 million gross acres.

The company’s Brazilian subsidiary, along with partners Esso Brasileira de Petroleo Limitada and Petroleo Brasileira S.A., were the high bidders for Block BM-ES-9 in the ANP bid round three in Brazil. The block is located in water depths ranging from 4,400 to 9,600 feet, approximately 100 miles offshore in the Espirito Santo Basin. Through the bid, Kerr-McGee will own a 30% stake in the 550,000-acre block, with Esso as operator. Including this acquisition, Kerr-McGee will own interests in three blocks in Brazil totaling more than four million acres.

The company and its subsidiaries have also been busy offshore of Gabon. Kerr-McGee Olonga Ltd. recently acquired a 25% interest in the 2.4 million-acre Olonga Marin block, which lies about 90 miles offshore Gabon in water depths ranging from 7,500 to 9,200 feet. With the purchase, the company will now own three adjacent blocksin the area totaling more than 5.5 million acres.

“The addition of these blocks will further enhance Kerr-McGee’s extensive inventory of high-quality deepwater exploration prospects and provides additional opportunities to enhance our drilling opportunities,” said Luke R. Corbett, Kerr-McGee CEO. “This new acreage will increase our worldwide deepwater inventory to more than 35 million gross acres located in proven, high-potential trends of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil, Gabon, Nova Scotia, Morocco, Benin, Australia and Thailand.”

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