Energy XXI (Bermuda) Ltd., Houston, (Nasdaq: EXXI; London Aim: EXXI) has identified incremental gas pay sands at its Cote de Mer prospect in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, lifting the discovery's resource potential to between 89 billion and 108 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent.

The previous estimate was between 20 and 40 billion cubic feet equivalent.

The E.A. McIlhenny #1 well on the prospect was drilled to its target depth of 22,300 feet and encountered at least 80 net feet of gas pay in two zones, and possibly another 70 net feet in two additional sands, all within the targeted Cris-A section. Energy XXI holds a 33% working interest (24% net revenue interest) in the discovery.

Energy XXI chairman and chief executive John Schiller says, “We are pleased to have successfully drilled the Cote de Mer prospect to target depth, resulting in a sizable natural gas discovery. We have set casing on the well and expect to test the potential pay zones and bring the well on production within six months.”

A third-party independent reservoir-engineering firm placed gross proved reserves on the discovery at 88.8 billion cubic feet equivalent, probable and possible resources of 8.9 billion and 10.3 billion, respectively, for total proved, probable and possible reserves of 108 billion.

The Ammazzo deep gas prospect offshore Louisiana (16% working interest, 13% net revenue interest) is drilling ahead below 16,500 feet towards a proposed total depth of 24,500 feet.

Energy XXI has oil and gas assets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico waters and the Gulf Coast onshore.