Operator Statoil has drilled a duster with one of its latest deepwater wildcats in the Gulf of Mexico.

15% well partner BHP Billiton confirmed that the Perseus-1 well in De Soto Canyon Block 231 was drilled by the Maersk Developer rig to a Total Depth of 7,036 m (23,085 ft) in a water depth of 1,401 m (4,597 ft). The well, targeting a Norphlet oil prospect, was plugged and abandoned as a dry hole, said BHP in its recent activity update.

BHP spent US $268 million on exploration in the second half of 2014, with total petroleum exploration expenditure for the 2015 financial year now forecast to be $600 million, 20% less than previous guidance. The program will remain focused on the GoM, Western Australia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

BHP says the seismic acquisition program in Trinidad and Tobago was successfully completed for the seven deepwater blocks acquired between 2012 and 2014, while the acquisition of two blocks awarded in the 2014 deepwater bid round is progressing on schedule.