McMoRan Exploration Co.’s ultra-deep Davy Jones prospect in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico has hit Eocene Wilcox sands that appear productive on logs. In fact, they appear highly productive.

The test is a rank wildcat. It has already reached a depth of 28,263 feet, and McMoRan plans to take it down to 29,000 feet. Davy Jones is the first well to find productive Wilcox on the shelf—it’s 100-plus miles south of any control in the deep Wilcox, and 125 miles north of the deepwater Lower Tertiary play, which is also productive from Wilcox.

This discovery is momentous, and could be the first of a prolific new trend. “The whole landscape of the subsurface geology of the shelf is being reshaped,” said Jim Bob Moffett, co-chairman of the board, in a conference call.

Davy Jones encountered 135 net feet of pay in four Wilcox zones. One zone is 50 feet thick, and another 40 feet, and they are full to base. The logs were dearly bought: it took McMoRan six tries to finally get the logs it needed.

The Davy Jones prospect covers 20,000 acres and four offshore blocks. The surface location is on South Marsh Island Block 230. Potentially, it could be one of the largest discoveries in decades on the Gulf of Mexico shelf.

Congratulations to McMoRan! This company has believed in the deep shelf and now has proof of concept.

--Peggy Williams, Senior Exploration Editor, Oil and Gas Investor