HOUSTON, Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) announced today that it has received an approved permit to resume drilling at the Santiago prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Well operations were suspended in June 2010 as a result of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium. Santiago is a middle Miocene amplitude prospect on Mississippi Canyon Block 519. Noble Energy is the operator with a 23.25 percent working interest.
Located in 6,500 feet of water, the Santiago exploration well had previously drilled to a depth of 13,585 feet at the time of the moratorium. Drilling operations are anticipated to resume in late March 2011, targeting total drilling depth of approximately 19,000 feet. Results are expected by the end of May 2011. The Ensco 8501 rig, which performed completion operations on the Santa Cruz and Isabela discoveries at the Galapagos project during the second half of 2010, will perform the drilling at Santiago.
David L. Stover, Noble Energy's President and COO, said, "Over the past several months, Noble Energy has worked with a number of operators and service providers to enhance the safety of deepwater drilling operations, including the implementation of third party certification of well designs and BOP testing. Our partnership with others in the Helix Well Containment Group has increased the deepwater Gulf subsea control and containment capabilities. The industry has improved its ability to respond to surface spills as well. Our teams have done an outstanding job of coordinating with the BOEMRE on these matters. This is the first permit issued to resume drilling activities at a well suspended during the moratorium. Noble Energy is proud to help lead the industry back to drilling in the deepwater Gulf."
Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. Noble Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL. Further information is available at www.nobleenergyinc.com.
This news release includes projections and other "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such projections and statements reflect Noble Energy's current views about future events and financial performance. No assurances can be given that such events or performance will occur as projected, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected include, without limitation, the volatility in commodity prices for crude oil and natural gas, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves, the ability to replace reserves, environmental risks, drilling and operating risks, exploration and development risks, competition, government regulation or other action, the ability of management to execute its plans to meet its goals and other risks inherent in Noble Energy's business that are detailed in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Words such as "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "will," "should," "may," and similar expressions may be used to identify forward-looking statements. Noble Energy assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update the information contained herein except as required by law.
The Securities and Exchange Commission permits oil and gas companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose proved reserves that a company has demonstrated by actual production or conclusive formation tests to be economically and legally producible under existing economic and operating conditions. Beginning with year-end reserves for 2009, the SEC permits the optional disclosure of probable and possible reserves. We have elected not to disclose the Company's probable and possible reserves in our filings with the SEC. We use certain terms in this news release, such as "gross mean resources," that the SEC's guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in filings with the SEC. These estimates are by their nature more speculative than estimates of proved, probable and possible reserves and accordingly are subject to substantially greater risk of being actually realized. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures and risk factors in our Forms 10-K and 10-Q, File No. 1-07964, available from Noble Energy's offices or website, http://www.nobleenergyinc.com. These forms can also be obtained from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330.
SOURCE Noble Energy, Inc.