Discovered Resources for Rio Grande Area Increased to 50 – 100 MMBoe

HOUSTON /PRNewswire/ — Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) announced today a discovery at the Troubadour exploration prospect in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico.  The well, located in Noble Energy’s Big Bend/Troubadour “Rio Grande” area, is located in 7,273 feet of water on Mississippi Canyon Block 699 and was drilled to a total depth of 19,510 feet.  Reservoir and fluid measurement logs identified approximately 50 feet of net natural gas pay in a high-quality Miocene reservoir.

Susan Cunningham, Noble Energy’s Senior Vice President, Gulf of MexicoWest Africa and Frontier Ventures, commented, “The discovery at Troubadour follows on our earlier exploration success at Big Bend, which combine to provide another significant development opportunity for our Gulf of Mexico business.  Results from the well have provided critical new information that indicates a greater than previously predicted oil recovery in the Rio Grande complex.  Discovered gross resources(1) in this area are now estimated at between 50 and 100 million barrels of oil equivalent, with 75 percent representing oil volumes.  We are moving forward our development planning as subsea tiebacks to an existing host facility.  Initial project sanction is targeted by the end of this year and first production is planned toward the end of 2015.”

The Troubadour discovery well is being temporarily abandoned for future development.  Following completion of operations at Troubadour, Noble Energy plans to move the drilling rig to the Dantzler prospect on Mississippi Canyon 738/782.  Dantzler is operated by Noble Energy with a 65 percent participating interest and is targeting a resource range(1) of between 50 and 220 million barrels of oil equivalent gross.  Results from the exploration well are anticipated by the end of 2013.

Noble Energy operates Big Bend with a 54 percent participating interest and Troubadour with a 60 percent interest.  Other interest owners at Big Bend include Red Willow Offshore, LLC with 15.4 percent, Houston Energy Deepwater Ventures V, LLC with 10.6 percent and W&T Energy VI, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of W&T Offshore Inc.) with 20 percent.  W&T Energy VI, LLC and Deep Gulf Energy II, LLC participate in Troubadour with 20 percent each.

(1)  Range of resource estimate based on 75th and 25th percentile probabilities

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 and Marcellus Shale, 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

This news release contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “intends,”  “will,” “should,” “may,” and similar expressions may be used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical fact and reflect Noble Energy’ s current views about future events. They include estimates of oil and natural gas reserves and resources, estimates of future production, assumptions regarding future oil and natural gas pricing, planned drilling activity, future results of operations, projected cash flow and liquidity, business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations. No assurances can be given that the forward-looking statements contained in this news release will occur as projected, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and assumptions that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks include, without limitation, the volatility in commodity prices for crude oil and natural gas, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves, environmental risks, drilling and operating risks, exploration and development risks, competition, government regulation or other actions, the ability of management to execute its plans to meet its goals and other risks inherent in Noble Energy’s business that are discussed in its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are also available from Noble Energy’soffices or website, Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management at the time the statements are made. Noble Energy does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions change.

The Securities and Exchange Commission requires 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. The SEC permits the optional disclosure of probable and possible reserves, however, we have not disclosed the Company’s probable and possible reserves in our filings with the SEC. We use certain terms in this news release, such as “gross resources.” This estimate is by its nature more speculative than estimates of proved, probable and possible reserves and accordingly are subject to substantially greater risk of being actually realized. The SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including these estimates in filings with the SEC. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures and risk factors in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports on file with the SEC, available from Noble Energy’s offices or website,  

SOURCE Noble Energy

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