Shell Makes Large Deepwater Discovery in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

deepwater poseidon drillship
Shell’s Dover discovery was drilled by the Deepwater Poseidon, a new build rig, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Royal Dutch Shell

Royal Dutch Shell has announced a large deepwater discovery in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico approximately 170 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

Shell Offshore Inc. said Thursday the exploration discovery was made in the Norphlet geologic play at the 100 percent Shell-controlled Dover well.

The well was drilled in Mississippi Canyon Block 612, located approximately 170 miles (273 kilometers) offshore southeast of New Orleans, in a water depth of 7,500 feet (2,280 meters) to a total vertical drilling depth of 29,000 feet (8,839 meters) measured depth. The discovery was more than 800 net feet of pay (244 meters), Shell said.

The Dover discovery is Shell’s sixth in the Norphlet.

Shell says the discovery is located approximately 13 miles from the Appomattox host platform, making it an attractive potential tieback.

“Dover showcases our expertise in discovering new, commercial resources in a heartland helping deliver our deep water growth priority,” said Andy Brown, Upstream Director for Royal Dutch Shell. “By focusing on near-field exploration opportunities in the Norphlet, we are adding to our resource base in a prolific basin that will be anchored by the Appomattox development.”

Shell’s semi-submersible Appomattox host platform has now arrived on location in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and is expected to start production before the end of 2019.

“Shell’s major, deep-water hubs are well positioned for production expansion through near-field exploration and additional subsea tiebacks,” the company says. “The company expects its global, deep-water production to exceed 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020, from already discovered, established areas.”

The Appomattox host platform is owned by Shell (79%) and Nexen Petroleum Offshore USA Inc. (21%).