American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018 - 119

SPECIAL REPORT: GULF OF MEXICO
LLOG is further mitigating risk by
using technologies that it already has
proven in the company's deepwater
Miocene assets. "The Lower Tertiary
reservoir rock properties are new to us as
a company," Zimmermann says. "But the
completion technologies, the subsea trees
that we are using, the suppliers that we
have used to drill our other projects in
the Mississippi Canyon and Green Canyon
areas are the same ones that we are deploying at Buckskin."
This standardized approach-another
LLOG hallmark-has helped the company
accelerate Buckskin's development timeline, Zimmermann goes on. LLOG was
introduced to the project in 2016. By the
third week of January 2018, only 18
months after it first learned of the project,
the company had moved the Seadrill West

Neptune ultradeepwater drillship on location to begin drilling, and first production
is expected in mid-2019.
With a maximum water depth of 12,000
feet and a maximum drilling depth of
37,500 feet, LLOG has had the sixthgeneration West Neptune drillship under
contract for more than three years, and
has kept it very busy (see "Development
Program" sidebar). The initial phase of
the Buckskin project consists of two development wells in Keathley Canyon 829
in what the company calls the "northern
fault block," explains Fowler. After the
first two wells are drilled and completed
(both target total depths of 29,000 feet),
subsea facilities will be installed to tie
the wells back six miles to the Anadarkoowned Lucius spar platform stationed at
Keathley Canyon 875.

"Once we achieve first production
next year and get a feel for how the first
two wells are doing, we will begin looking at a subsequent development phase
with additional wells and subsea facilities
to fully develop the field," reports Jon
Wood, LLOG's Buckskin project reservoir engineer.
"While the initial wells focus on the
northern fault block, the southern fault
block holds an estimated 2 billion boe
that has yet to be exploited," Wood states.
"Ultimately, we are envisioning eight
wells in the northern fault block and then
perhaps as many as six in the southern
fault block."
Project Financing
The financing for Buckskin also helped
speed development, but the arrangement

Deep Blue Ocean Or Clear Blue Sky?
When is a deepwater oil and gas
company like an airline? When one is
LLOG Exploration Company and the
other is Southwest Airlines, according
to Eric Zimmermann, LLOG's vice president of geology. The two companies
actually share a number of attributes,
he says.
For starters, both companies are not
hesitant to take on projects that others
may overlook. Major carriers ignored
Love Field in Dallas and Hobby in
Houston. Southwest built its business
on underserved airports. Buckskin may
not have fit the profile of a major, but
by introducing cost savings and time
efficiencies, LLOG will realize "quite
favorable" returns, Zimmermann says.
Another similarity is the ability to
create efficiencies. Southwest's business
model involves quick turnarounds that
maximize the number of flights for its
planes, generally six-eight flights a day
versus two or three. Zimmermann likens
that to LLOG's own business model of
taking projects from lease to development
to production in short order, in some
cases, achieving first oil after picking
up leases with only a few months remaining on them.
Of course, Southwest is known for
its attitude. Southwest tries to keep it
light. The company unveiled its signature
New Orleans jet, Louisiana One, with a

parade and a concert featuring Trombone
Shorty. LLOG tries to have a bit of fun,
too. LLOG named its Delta House floating production system after the fictional
Delta Tau Chi house in the movie "Animal House." A sense of humor helps
move the process along, Zimmermann
says.
Hardware standardization is another
shared trait. Southwest flies only Boeing
737s. LLOG has a strategic alliance
with TechnipFMC for subsea equipment.

Among other things, Zimmermann says
that means LLOG can use the same
trees as standardized components for
each project, which keeps costs down,
increases its familiarity with a critical
enabling technology, and streamlines
the decision making process.
Finally, both companies have a tight
focus, Zimmermann notes. Southwest
limits its flights to North America. LLOG
operates only in the Gulf of Mexico. r

From the bridge of the Seadrill West Neptune ultradeepwater drillship, drillers keep a
watchful eye as one of two initial wells in the first phase of the Buckskin development
project drills toward 29,000-foot total depth in 6,300 feet of water on LLOG Exploration's
first Lower Tertiary Wilcox project.

APRIL 2018 119



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Contents
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