--> The Lucius Exploration Story: An Ultra-Deepwater Subsalt Pliocene Discovery


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The Lucius Exploration Story: An Ultra-Deepwater Subsalt Pliocene Discovery


The oil industry has long targeted the Pliocene in the Gulf of Mexico from the shallow shelf to the deepwater suprasalt minibasins. The industry has only recently begun chasing the prolific Pliocene into the ultra-deep waters below the salt canopy of the Sigsbee Escarpment. The Lucius discovery well was drilled in late 2009 by Anadarko and its partners in 7100 ft of water on Keathley Canyon (KC) Block 875 and began producing in January 2015. The exploration story of Lucius and its ultimate success was a product of an exploration team with an idea in 1999, a young team of geoscientists working on a Pliocene regional project, an alert development team that passed on critical information, a team of land men that locked up critical acreage and brought in partners, a regulatory team that quickly obtained permits, a drilling team that quickly designed and safely executed the well plan, and a management team that approved the prospect in a quick and decisive manner. The Lucius well was spud on October 15, 2009, only 6 weeks prior to the KC 875 block expiration. The initial Lucius well encountered a massive, mostly wet, Pliocene sand section. The well was immediately sidetracked updip and encountered the massive Pliocene sand full of oil. Subsequent appraisal wells defined the commerciality of Lucius and construction of a production spar, topsides, and export pipelines were sanctioned. On January 10, 2015, first production from the Lucius spar was achieved only 5 years after discovery.