The emerging Paleogene play in the US Gulf of Mexico continues to offer increasing encouragement for major deepwater discoveries, with Chevron confirming a significant find.

The US major revealed an oil discovery on its Guadalupe prospect in Keathley Canyon Block 10, where well No.1 encountered significant oil pay in Lower Tertiary Wilcox Sands. The probe is located approximately 180 miles off the Louisiana coast in 1,217 m (3,992 ft) of water and was drilled to a depth of 9,197 m (30,173 ft). The well was drilled by Transocean’s Discoverer India drillship.

George Kirkland, vice chairman and executive vice president, Upstream, Chevron, said: “Guadalupe builds on our already strong position in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico, a core focus area where we expect significant production growth over the next two years.”

Jay Johnson, senior vice president, Upstream, added that the discovery added momentum to its growing business in North America, and that “our deepwater exploration and appraisal program continues to unlock important resources in the Gulf of Mexico”.

Chevron subsidiaries are among the top producers and leaseholders in the GoM, averaging net production of 143,000 b/d of crude oil, 347 MMcf/d of gas, and 15,000 b/d of natural gas liquids in 2013. The company expects additional GoM production from the Tubular Bells and Jack/St. Malo projects by the end of the year.

The Guadalupe well was spudded in June this year, and the operator says more tests are being conducted, with additional appraisal wells to also be drilled to determine the size of the find.

Chevron holds a 42.5% working interest in Guadalupe as operator, with its partners being BP (42.5%) and Venari Resources (15%).

BP said separately that the find, made in Paleogene age Wilcox Sands, is its fourth in the emerging trend – the others being Gila in 2013, Tiber in 2009 and Kaskida in 2006.