I've been hearing this rumour for almost a year now, never thought much of it because it sounded like just a wild rumour. But it's been awfully persistent, someone told me about it again yesterday so I thought I would post about it and see what happens:

The rumour is that there is oil under the shale, that is one of the reasons Chesapeake is being so thorough with the seimograph work in the area (Central DeSoto Parish). I was told yesterday they had brought in a new team of geologists to help read the seismograph results. So-- think there could be anything to this or is it just wild speculation? After all, killing wild rumours is part of the site's purpose.

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BP's Tiber one of industry's deepest wells


Sep 2, 2009
Alan Petzet
OGJ Chief Editor-Exploration

HOUSTON, Sept. 2 -- BP PLC has reported a giant Gulf of Mexico Lower Tertiary deepwater discovery that is also one of the world’s deepest wells.

Named Tiber, the well went to a total depth of 35,055 ft on Keathley Canyon Block 102 and found oil in multiple Lower Tertiary (Paleogene) reservoirs, BP said.

The company said Tiber, after appraisal to determine its size, should be larger than the 3 billion boe that BP expects to recover from its 2006 Kaskida discovery 45 miles to the southeast.

Kaskida, with more than 800 ft of net pay on Keathley Canyon 292, is under appraisal through 2010. The Kaskida discovery well went to 32,500 ft in 5,860 ft of water. Kaskida interests are BP 55%, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. 25%, and Devon Energy Corp. 20%.

Andy Inglis, chief executive, BP Exploration & Production, said, “These material discoveries together with our industry leading acreage position support the continuing growth of our deepwater Gulf of Mexico business into the second half of the next decade.”

BP is the gulf’s largest oil and gas producer with net production of more than 400,000 boe/d. It is working on nine Gulf of Mexico projects: Atlantis Phase 2, Tubular Bells, Kodiak, Freedom, Kaskida, Isabela, Santa Cruz, Mad Dog tiebacks, and Great White.

Tiber is nearly 300 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Tex., in 4,132 ft of water. It is also 35 miles southeast of the Gunnison field complex in the Garden Banks area.

BP operates Tiber with 62% interest. Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA has 20%, and ConocoPhillips has 18%.
BP Makes ‘Giant’ Oil Discovery in Gulf of Mexico (Update2)
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By Eduard Gismatullin

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, Europe’s second-largest oil company, reported a “giant” discovery at the Tiber Prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that may contain more than 3 billion barrels, after drilling the world’s deepest exploration well.

The well is located about 250 miles (400 kilometers) southeast of Houston, the London-based company said today in a statement. It was drilled to approximately 35,055 feet (10,685 meters), greater than the height of Mount Everest.

The latest discovery will help BP, already the biggest producer in the Gulf of Mexico, boost output in the region by 50 percent to 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day after 2020. It’s equal to about a year’s output from Saudi Arabia, the biggest exporter in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as coming close to matching the U.K.’s entire proven reserves.

“It will take a while to develop, the second half of next decade, but it’s very important,” Jonathan Rigby, an analyst at UBS AG in London, said in a telephone interview.

BP gained as much as 21.4 pence, or 4.1 percent, to 540.9 pence in London, the highest since June 10. The stock traded 16.6 pence higher at 536.1 pence as of 1:30 p.m. local time.

BP, led by Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, is developing nine projects in the Gulf of Mexico and overtook Royal Dutch Shell Plc in terms of output in the region after ramping up the Thunder Horse platform to more than 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

Thunder Horse

Hayward, who took over as CEO from John Browne in May 2007, is boosting production growth after delays at projects including Thunder Horse led to an operational gap with rivals. BP has a history of pushing back the frontiers of exploration in North America, and pioneered enhanced oil recovery techniques in Alaska.

Oil companies have been increasingly turning to more technically challenging fields as oil-rich nations limit access. Tiber will help allay concerns over BP’s growth prospects given its reluctance to invest heavily in unconventional projects, such as oil sands in Canada, to replenish reserves as maturing fields age.

“What today’s announcement proves is that BP is a very, very successful explorer,” Irene Himona, an oil and gas analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, said by telephone. “They’ve opened up the whole area for discoveries.”

Other major finds by the oil industry in recent years include the Tupi field in Brazil’s pre-salt region, the largest oil discovery in the Americas since Mexico’s Cantarell in 1976. Tupi may hold as many as 8 billion barrels of oil.

Production Boost

BP could potentially raise production by between 1 and 2 percent a year from 2013 to 2020, according to Andy Inglis, BP’s chief executive for exploration and production.

“Tiber represents BP’s second material discovery in the emerging Lower Tertiary play in the Gulf of Mexico, following our earlier Kaskida discovery,” Inglis said in today’s statement.

The new discovery “will be bigger” than Kaskida, which is estimated to hold 3 billion barrels, BP spokesman Robert Wine said. “This is a whole new geological play we’ve got here.”

The British producer last month bought additional acreage in the Lower Tertiary, or so-called Paleogene, region of the Gulf of Mexico. The 24 million-to 65 million-year-old formation, where both Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. are drilling wells, was previously thought to be unreachable. Tiber is the deepest exploration well ever drilled by the oil and gas industry, BP said.

Second Well

BP said it’s the largest net leaseholder in the Lower Tertiary area. “I believe there are other structures to investigate,” Wine said. The company plans to drill a second well at Tiber next year, he added.

BP is operator of the Tiber project with a stake of 62 percent, while Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, holds 20 percent and ConocoPhillips 18 percent.

“The announcement of Tiber confirms the very positive prospectivity of the Lower Tertiary geological play in the locale,” Jason Kenney, an analyst at ING Wholesale Banking in Edinburgh, said. The news is “positive, and potential for more upside still” possible.

---With assistance from Kari Lundgren in London. Editors: Stephen Cunningham, Guy Collins.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at egismatullin@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: September 2, 2009 09:33 EDT

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Jay, could you explain this a little further? The way I understand is the temperature increases with pressure caused by weight? So depth is not the main factor as to whether oil can exist?
Temperature of the rock at depth depends on many factors. The source of heat for the earth's crust is "fossil" heat left over from the Earth's formation, plus heat from the decay of radioactive elements, mostly uranium. I vaguely recall that it's about 50-50 for each source of heat. I've also heard that the heat at the Earth's surface is about 50% from the sun, and 50% from the Earth's internal heat.

This heat flows out from the depths of the Earth and gets radiated into space from the Earth's surface, so, in general, the deeper you are, the hotter the rock. However, different types of rock conduct heat more or less easily. There are also convection currents in the earth's mantle, so that some parts of the Earth get more heating from below. Some rock strata have more or less uranium in them. Movement of groundwater may play a part in some areas.

All these factors cause the temperature at a particular depth to vary from place to place. I don't have a good feeling for how large the temperature variation is from place to place. I do know that the temperature of the rock under the continents is hotter than the rock under the ocean.
Mac Davis,

Someone posted that the salt domes also play a part in temperature, do you have any insight into how or if that is true?
A little googling suggests that salt tends to conduct heat better than the surrounding rock, so the rock above a salt dome would tend to be hotter than normal, and rock below a salt dome would be cooler.
i admit i like a good unfounded rumor......i never let facts blur my vision of reality.....this being said two different pipe line guys volunteered the information to me--because they know i can keep a secret-- that the next big thing in this play will be the (william) buckner.......just wondering if there is any production history from the buckner................ THANKS
The 9/3 Houston Chronicle has a front page article about the BP Tiber project. The water depth at the site is just over 4000 feet. The drilled depth of the well is 35055 feet below the ocean floor. Adam Anderson, a senior vp of marketing at Baker Hughes citing current outlays for drilling the well, estimated the total cost for drilling in the field at 250 million per well. He notes that is pretty steep for a 5000/barrel per day well.
They claim they can recover about 1 billion barrels. Thats less than a two weeks supply at current worldwide demand.
Here's a link to what seems a slightly abbreviated form of the article: /www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/energy/6598536.html

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