Shell Offshore has made an oil discovery at the Leopard prospect in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico (GoM).

The Leopard prospect is located in Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) block Alaminos Canyon (AC) 691, approximately 32km east of the Whale discovery, and 53km from the Perdido host.

During drilling, the well encountered more than 600ft net oil pay at multiple levels.

Royal Dutch Shell’s subsidiary said that the discovery is being assessed to further define development options.

Shell deepwater executive vice-president Paul Goodfellow said: “Leopard expands our leading position in the Gulf of Mexico and is an exciting addition to our core portfolio, especially given its proximity to existing infrastructure and other discoveries in the Perdido Corridor.

“With our US Gulf of Mexico production among the lowest GHG intensity in the world, Shell remains confident about the GoM and this latest discovery will help us deliver on our strategy to focus on valuable, high margin barrels as we sustain material Upstream cash flows into the 2030s.”

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By GlobalData

Shell expects the Leopard prospect to provide an opportunity to increase production in the Perdido Corridor in the Gulf of Mexico.

The firm currently operates the producing fields Great White, Silvertip and Tobago in the Perdido area.

Separately, Shell said it is progressing toward making the final investment decision for the Whale discovery, also located in the Perdido Corridor, this year.

The Leopard prospect is operated by Shell with a 50% stake. The remaining stake is held by Chevron U.S.A.

Earlier this year, Royal Dutch Shell unveiled plans to axe 330 jobs from its UK North Sea operations as part of its global restructuring.