Noble Energy has said that the BP-operated Bright exploration well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico did not encounter any hydrocarbons after reaching the targeted Upper and Middle Miocene objectives.

The well, which was drilled to a total depth of 13,500ft on Atwater Valley Block 362, has been plugged and abandoned.

The entire well assessment and drilling results will be integrated into Noble Energy’s geologic models to identify future exploration plans on the Atwater Valley acreage.

"The well, which was drilled to a total depth of 13,500ft on Atwater Valley Block 362, has been plugged and abandoned."

BP Exploration & Production operates the well with a 50% working interest while Noble Energy owns the remaining stake.

Noble Energy expects exploration expense in the third quarter of this year to remain between $150m and $250m.

The company had earlier estimated gross unrisked resources of 90 million barrels to 350 million barrels of oil equivalent for the Bright prospect.

Noble Energy Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, and Frontier senior vice president Susan Cunningham said: "While we are disappointed with the results of the Bright well, we remain extremely encouraged by the recent success of our exploration programme in the Gulf.

"We look forward to results at our Katmai and Dantzler exploration wells later this month."

US-based Noble Energy recently agreed to acquire ownership in 17 deepwater exploration leases in the Gulf of Mexico from BP Exploration & Production.

The acquisition includes a 50% working interest in 13 leases and an average 26% working interest in four leases, all of which are situated in the Atwater Valley protraction area.

Defence Technology