Chevron Lines Up US Gulf Wildcat Near Puma West

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Chevron has moved quickly to permit a new exploration well in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico next door to BP’s discovery earlier this year at Puma West, where the California-based major is also a partner. US regulators approved Chevron’s application for a drilling permit on Aug. 5 for a well called “Panther” in Green Canyon (GC) Block 822, records show. Chevron confirmed that the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) had signed off on its drilling plan at Panther, but the company declined to provide any additional details about the well or the drilling schedule. The permitted location is just a few miles east of BP’s significant Puma West discovery, which is awaiting appraisal but has grabbed the attention of US Gulf watchers that believe the find could prove lucrative to BP and its partners (OD Apr.20'21). Moving Fast Although little is known about Chevron’s goals or strategy as they relate to Panther, the timing of its apparent rise to the top of the company’s drilling queue suggests Chevron and BP saw something at Puma West that gave them increased confidence -- and perhaps urgency -- to drill the prospect. Chevron acquired the GC 822 lease in the March 2019 lease sale and farmed out a 33.3% stake to BP later that year (Chevron, the operator, retains the remaining 66.7% interest). It was, in fact, a relatively competitive bid process, with Chevron besting offers from BP and others. About two years later, not long before BP announced a potentially commercial discovery at Puma West in April this year, Chevron filed an exploration plan for Panther (OD Apr.13'21). It now has a permit in hand and will presumably begin drilling once the designated rig is available. Waiting Game

Exploration, Offshore Oil and Gas, Corporate Strategy
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