Chevron strengthens efforts with new drillship, Australia, Angola discoveries

Mikaila Adams
Associate Editor, OGFJ

Chevron Corp.'s offshore efforts have been ramped up with discoveries in Australia and Angola. Further developments will be fueled in the Gulf of Mexico with the launch of a the ultra-deepwater drillship, Discoverer Clear Leader.

Chevron Australia Pty Ltd. made two natural gas discoveries in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia, where Chevron is a leading lease holder.

The Clio-2 well, located 90 miles off the coast of Western Australia, near the Clio-1 well discovered by Chevron in 2006, is situated in 3,200 feet of water and drilled to a total depth of 14,400 feet. The well discovered 375 feet of net gas pay. Chevron Australia is the operator with 66.66% interest while Shell Development (Australia) holds the remaining interest.

The company also made a discovery with the Kentish Knock-1 well. Drilled in approximately 4,000 feet of water to a total depth of approximately 8,300 feet, the well encountered roughly 110 feet of net gas pay. The discovery at the Kentish Knock prospect is located about 185 miles from the Western Australian coastline. Chevron Australia also operates the area with a 50% interest while Shell Development (Australia) holds the remaining 50%.

Both discovery wells were drilled by Atwood Oceanics' Atwood Eagle semisubmersible drilling rig.

The Australia discoveries come on the heels of another recent Chevron discovery offshore Angola. The company, along with its affiliate Cabinda Gulf Oil Co. Ltd. and its partners, made a discovery in Block 0 located adjacent to the Cabinda coastline in Angola. 

Closer to home, the Discoverer Clear Leader, an ultra-deepwater drillship newly built to Chevron's specifications, has begun work for Chevron in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico under a five-year contract with Transocean. The vessel is capable of drilling wells in 12,000 feet of water to a total depth of 40,000 feet.

The drillship will begin work for Chevron at several of its deepwater projects, including Tahiti and Jack/St. Malo.

The Discoverer Clear Leader is the first of two new drillships to be commissioned for Chevron. The second vessel, the Discoverer Inspiration, is expected to be delivered in early 2010.

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