“There’s nothing more exciting than the startup of a new oil field in the deepwater,” says Steve Thurston, vice president of Deepwater Explo-
Safely delivered on time and on budget
ration and Projects. “With the startup of the Jack and St. Malo fields, we
were finally able to see what these wells could produce.”
Jack/St. Malo is a showcase of Chevron’s focus on safety and opera-
tional excellence, yet for all of the exploration success so far, the Wilcox
remains a challenging reservoir. Many questions remain. In the next few
years, development drilling at Jack/St. Malo will teach the industry a great
deal. One thing that is known is that the Wilcox reservoir is very thick in
this area, as much as 1,400 feet (427 meters). There is a lot of oil in place in
both fields, which means they should be productive for a very long time.
The Jack/St. Malo project was completed on a timeline that began with
the discovery of St. Malo in 2003. First oil occurred on schedule on
December 1, 2014. Soon after, Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico business unit
took over the daily operation of the fields. Within a few months, the project was producing a steady 70,000 barrels per day from five wells. Stage 1,
which will continue into 2017, includes nine production wells. Four additional wells are planned in the second stage of the development. Stage 2
development drilling will continue through 2017.
Stage 1 of the investment, which included more that 20 million hours
of work, was accomplished with only three lost-time incidents.
“While working on Jack/St. Malo, some of our contractors posted
the best safety records they’ve ever had,” says Billy Varnado, the Jack/
St. Malo project director. “I think that is good evidence of all the effort
everyone put in.”
of a long run
Billy Varnado, the Jack/St. Malo project director.