Shell Offshore, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, and its partners have made oil discovery at the Blacktip prospect in the deep water US Gulf of Mexico.


Image: The Perdido platform at sea. Photo: courtesy of Royal Dutch Shell plc.

Located approximately 6200ft of water, the Blacktip prospect was discovered in the Alaminos Canyon Block 380 approximately 48.2km from the Shell-operated Perdido platform and Whale discovery.

The Blacktip exploration well, a Wilcox discovery in the rich Perdido thrust belt, has encountered more than 400ft net oil pay with good reservoir and fluid characteristics.

Shell expects the new discovery to provide the opportunity to augment existing production in the Perdido area where the firm is already producing from Great White, Silvertip and Tobago fields.

Royal Dutch Shell upstream director Andy Brown said: “Blacktip is Shell’s second material discovery in the Perdido Corridor and is part of a continuing exploration strategy to add competitive deep water options to extend our heartlands.”

The partners are undertaking assessment for exploration well and an appraisal is being planned to further delineate the discovery and define development options.

Equinor North America exploration senior vice-president Bjørn Inge Braathen said: “We are very pleased with this discovery which confirms the potential in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and underpins Equinor’s strategy to exploit prolific basins and deepen in core areas.”

Shell operates the Blacktip block with 52.375% stake while other license partners include Chevron U.S.A. with 20% interest, Equinor Gulf of Mexico with 19.125% stake, and Repsol E&P USA with 8.5% interest.

The partners are continuing drilling at the Blacktip exploration well to further assess the structure’s potential.

Braathen added: “We await further results from the well and look forward to continue the collaboration with the operator and co-venturers to assess the full potential of the discovery and evaluate options for development.”

In the Gulf of Mexico, Shell has added more than one billion barrels of oil equivalent in the last decade through exploration.

The firm plans to increase its global deep-water production to more than 900,000 boe per day by 2020, from already discovered, established areas.