Shell announces oil discovery in the Gulf

Shell said Tuesday it had made its third major discovery in the Norphlet play in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico with the Rydberg exploration well.

The Rydberg well is located 75 miles offshore in the Mississippi Canyon Block 525 in 7,479 feet of water. It was drilled to a total depth of 26,371 feet and encountered more than 400 feet of oil-bearing rock.

Shell is completing the full evaluation of the well results but expects the resource base to be the equivalent of about 100 million barrels of oil. Together with the Appomattox and Vicksburg discoveries, this brings the total potential Norphlet discoveries to the equivalent of more than 700 million barrels of oil.

This is the first discovery for the partnership of Shell, the operator and owner of 57.2 percent; Ecopetrol America Inc., owner of 28.5 percent; and Nexen, owner of 14.3 percent. Nexen is a wholly owned affiliate of CNOOC Limited, the Chinese oil company.