The Rigel exploration well, the Texaco OCS-G-18207 #1, was drilled in 1999 in Gulf of Mexico block MC 252 in 5200’ water depth. The well targeted a Miocene age, low-relief downthrown closure/stratigraphic trap that was supported by a strong amplitude response on the 3D seismic data. The results from the Rigel exploration well were disappointing. The well encountered what was interpreted to be a 176’ thick gas-charged, low-permeability siltstone in the Rob E-age target. This reservoir was believed to be uneconomic at that time. This presentation focuses on a few stalwart individuals’ efforts to continue to pursue appraisal of this marginal discovery. These efforts included pre-appraisal geologic modeling, reservoir modeling, and analog work. The presentation will show the results of the appraisal drilling and compare the post-appraisal model with the pre-appraisal model.
The appraisal drilling by Dominion, the operator, with its partners, Mariner and Newfield, was highly successful. As a result, the Rigel field is currently being developed as a one-well subsea tieback, as part of a larger subsea system. The project is nearly complete. The presentation will also demonstrate the methods used to enhance the profitability of the development after appraisal drilling was completed.
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