An appraisal well called Jack-2, stretching more than 6.4km below the earth’s surface, has flowed an average 6000 barrels of oil per day on test, according to Chevron.
Various news reports says the find could be the United States’ biggest domestic oil discovery since BP’s Prudhoe Bay find in Alaska a generation ago.
They estimate the reservoir could potentially boost US oil reserves by up to 50%. The US currently consumes 5.7 billion barrels of crude oil per year, while its current reserves are more than 29 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Located about 434km southwest of New Orleans, the Jack-2 appraisal well was drilled in 2100m of water in Walker Ridge, Block 758. Chevron as operator holds a 50% interest in the field, while Norway’s Statoil ASA and Oklahoma-based Devon Energy each hold a quarter stake.
In a press release, Chevron said the well had broken more than six records, including the deepest well successfully tested in the gulf.
"The results of the Jack test allow Chevron and its co-owners to better understand the deliverability of the emerging Lower Tertiary Trend, a trend where Chevron is the largest leaseholder," president of North America exploration and production, Gary Luquette said.
The company, which first announced the discovery of the Jack prospect in September 2004, said the joint venture plans to drill another appraisal well next year.