Peak oil? What peak oil? I assume this is a different "major" oil discovery than the one reported earlier today. From a press release:
Shell today announced one of its largest U.S. Gulf of Mexico exploration finds in the past decade from the Whale deep-water well. The well encountered more than 1,400 net feet (427 meters) of oil bearing pay. Evaluation of the discovery is ongoing, and appraisal drilling is underway to further delineate the discovery and define development options.
Today, from oilprice.com:"Deep water is an important growth priority as we reshape Shell into a world-class investment case," said Andy Brown, Upstream Director for Royal Dutch Shell. "Today's announcement shows how, through exploration, we are sustaining a strong pipeline of discoveries and future projects to sustain this deep-water growth."Whale is operated by Shell (60%) and co-owned by Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (40%). It was discovered in the Alaminos Canyon Block 772, adjacent to the Shell-operated Silvertip field and approximately 10-miles from the Shell-operated Perdido platform.And, look at the thickness of this play: more than 1,400 net feet. Compare that to the earlier story being reported by Chevron: 670 net feet of play.
Shell’s aggressive bidding, especially on the blocks in the Perdido area next to the U.S. border, puzzled some analysts and observers.
But Shell knew something that its competitors did not. Six months earlier, Shell had made a large deepwater oil discovery on the U.S. side of the Perdido area. Since oil firms are not legally obliged to announce discoveries, Shell postponed the announcement of the discovery until the day of the Mexican auction, as it wanted to secure the adjacent blocks in the Mexican waters.
While the cat was out of the bag as early as in July 2017, Shell issued the official announcement about the Whale discovery in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico on January 31, 2018—the day on which Mexico held its deepwater auction and all bids had already been submitted.
In the six months following the Whale discovery—which Shell described in the January release as “one of its largest U.S. Gulf of Mexico exploration finds in the past decade”—the oil major had the time to additionally study the geology of the Whale. It was also such good fortune that Mexico was offering Perdido areas in its deepwater auction. So Shell—hoping that the Mexican blocks would have geological characteristics similar to Whale’s and could hold more oil—moved on to secure most of the adjacent blocks.
Commenting on the timing of the Whale announcement, Andy Brown, Upstream Director at Shell, told Reuters:
“Post the Whale discovery we had some geological insights. It is not by accident we didn’t announce it until the day of the bid.”