Woodside spuds GoM wildcat, P&A another

Woodside has started drilling the first of five planned exploration wells in 2003 targeting prospects in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Woodside said the Roatan-1 exploratory well (OCSG-22193-1), located on the Brazos Area Block 490, spudded on the weekend targeting the Roatan prospect and will be drilled to a depth of 16,000 feet.

The well forms part of a $US55 million joint venture exploration program with US independent Pioneer Natural Resources USA Inc that Woodside announced last month.

Under the agreement, Woodside took a 50% interest in 47 offshore exploration blocks operated by Pioneer. Woodside and Pioneer each own a 50% interest in Roatan-1 with Pioneer the operator of the Roatan prospect.

Woodside said the Voss exploratory well OCSG-17632-1 has been plugged and abandoned after being drilled to 30,008 feet on Keathly Canyon Block 511.

As a result of its participation in the well, Woodside has earned a 15% interest in the six blocks covering the Voss prospect and 6% interest in two blocks adjacent to Voss.

Last November, Woodside farmed into the prospect, said to contain 500 million barrels of oil, after reaching an agreement with Conoco and Norsk Hydro.