Stone Energy Corporation provided an update on the deep water Taggart prospect, including the exploratory well drilled at Mississippi Canyon 816. Drilling operations have been completed and the rig is being released.
The well has been logged, and pressure readings, cores and fluid samples have been taken in the Pliocene and Upper Miocene section sands. The data indicates a discovery with approximately 90 feet of net oil and gas condensate pay in two sands. The partners plan to further analyze the data from this well and develop a plan which is expected to include a sub-sea tie back to an existing facility. Stone holds approximately 23% working interest in the project, and LLOG Exploration Offshore, L.L.C. is the operator.
A discovery was also made on the Taildancer prospect at Ship Shoal 113, with the well encountering 130 feet of net oil and gas pay. Production from this discovery is projected to be on line in the fourth quarter of 2013. Stone is the operator with a 100% working interest.
The rig for the deep water San Marcos prospect at Mississippi Canyon 983 is on location and has begun drilling. Stone holds a 25% working interest in the prospect which is operated by Apache Deepwater LLC.
Stone also provided updated production guidance for the third quarter of 2013, increasing from 42-45 Mboe per day (252-270 MMcfe per day) to 46-49 Mboe per day (276-294 MMcfe per day). The full year guidance has also been increased from 41-44 Mboe per day (246-264 MMcfe per day) to 43.5-45.0 Mboe per day (261-270 MMcfe per day). The increase was due to higher projected Appalachian volumes, incremental volumes from the La Cantera field and a more active workover/recompletion GOM shelf program. The guidance still incorporates some projected hurricane shut-in time as well as reduced fourth quarter volumes in Appalachia due to cold weather pipeline restrictions.
Additionally, Stone’s Board of Directors has authorized an increase to the 2013 capital expenditure budget from $650 million to $710 million, which excludes major acquisitions and capitalized SG&A and interest. Most of the capital expenditure budget increase is expected to be in the GOM deep water, with a minor increase in the Appalachia area. The final capital expenditure amount and the allocation of capital across the various areas is subject to change based on several factors including permitting times, rig availability, non-operator decisions, farm-in opportunities and commodity pricing.