Gunflint oil field lies in Mississippi Canyon Blocks 948, 949, 992(N/2) and 993(N/2), 90mi (144km) south off the coast of Louisiana, US, in the Gulf of Mexico.
The oil field lies in water depth of 4,700ft in the Mississippi Canyon Blocks 727/771 in the Gulf of Mexico.
The field is jointly owned by Noble Energy (31.14%), Ecopetrol America (31.5%), Marathon Oil Company (18.23%) and Samson Offshore Mapleleaf (19.13%).
The field was discovered in 2008 and has been developed as a subsea tieback. First oil production from the site was achieved in July 2016.
The field’s development marks an important milestone for Noble Energy in its deepwater activities and moving beyond suprasalt amplitude plays to the subsalt Miocene.
Gunfliny oil field’s development encountered certain delays as a result of the drilling rig explosion on the BP-operated Macondo prospect, which occurred in April 2010.
Gunflint oil field discovery
The first discovery well was drilled in 2008 and encountered more than 500ft of hydrocarbon pay in multiple high-quality reservoirs rich in oil and natural gas.
It is located at a depth of approximately 6,100ft and was drilled to a total depth of 29,280ft.
The lease for the subsalt Miocene prospect was obtained in March 2006, and another two appraisal wells were drilled and evaluated in 2012 and 2013.
The development was declared commercially viable after results from the first appraisal well were confirmed in the third quarter of 2012, while the decision to develop the prospect was finally taken in 2013.
The field is estimated to contain a gross resource potential between 90 million and 325 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
Gunflint offshore oil field development
Plans for development of the Gunflint offshore field involved drilling two production wells that were tied back to existing infrastructure.
Agreements were signed with Gulfstar to tie-back the wells to its floating production system (FPS).
The Gunflint tieback was engineered and designed with certain modifications to be carried out after the completion of the Gulfstar One project.
Gulfstar’s project consists of a spar-based floating production system moored in approximately 4,000ft of water, 135mi (217km) south-east of New Orleans. It is owned by Williams Partners (51%) in collaboration with Marubeni Corporation (49%).
The FPS is designed to produce up to 60,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and 135 million cubic feet of gas a day with additional tieback capacity.
It acts as a hub that collects the produced oil and provides handling services, along with oil and gas export pipeline facilities.
Key players involved with the Gunflint offshore project
An offshore service provider owned by Ezra Holdings, EMAS, signed a letter of agreement (LoA) with Noble Energy for the development of the Gunflint project in the Gulf of Mexico.
The scope of the agreement included offshore installation of pipelines, umbilicals and ancillary equipment in water depths of 2,000m.
The pipeline installation was performed by EMAS’ flagship vessel, Lewek Constellation.
Other activities such as pipe stalking and the fabrication of subsea structures were performed at the EMAS Marine Base in Ingleside, Texas.
The EMAS Marine Base is a deepwater support facility and pipeline fabrication base spread over an area of 120 acres.