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Independent oil and gas producer Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC - Analyst Report) announced the successful drilling of the Heidelberg-2 appraisal well in the Green Canyon block 903. Post-drilling results indicate that it encountered 250 net feet of oil pay in Miocene sands. The success of the project comes in the face of stringent rules and regulations that govern mining operations in deepwater Gulf of Mexico (“GoM”).

Anadarko Petroleum has year-old prominent dominance in the GoM. The company recently got approval for the development of the Lucius project at Keathley Canyon along with several co-venturers. The company, with a 35% working interest, expects to produce almost 450 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and 80,000 barrels of oil per day with anticipated first oil production in 2014.

The company discovered its Heidelberg prospect in Green Canyon block 859 in deepwater GoM in February 2009. Initially, the discovery well encountered approximately 200 feet of net oil pay in a number of high-quality Miocene sands.

The Heidelberg-2 appraisal well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 31,030 feet, in 5,000 feet of water. This oil reserve is situated approximately 1.5 miles south and 550 feet structurally updip from the Heidelberg discovery well. The company is optimistic about the data from the appraisal well, which indicates continuous, high quality and pressure-connected reserves with an equally high quality oil supply.

This project is being jointly operated by a group of companies. Anadarko Petroleum has a 44.25% working interest, with other operators being Apache Corporation’s (APA - Analyst Report) subsidiary Apache Deepwater LLC and Eni S.p.A (E - Analyst Report). Both these companies have a 12.5% working interest each. Statoil (STO - Analyst Report) has a 12% working interest, and both ExxonMobil (XOM - Analyst Report) and Cobalt International Energy, L.P. have 9.375% working interest.

Anadarko Petroleum’s continuous deepwater exploration and appraisal programs in the GoM and offshore Africa provided a success rate of 80% in 2011. Not only in the GoM, the company has strengthened its global footprint with major expansions in Africa, especially in both offshore Ghana and Mozambique. A few days back, the company (with a 49.95% working interest) along with some of its partners made a light oil discovery in offshore Ghana. The Ntomme-2A appraisal well drilled oil in the Deepwater Tano Block and encountered 128 net feet of light oil in sandstone reservoirs. The Algerian El Merk project is almost complete, with production expected towards the end of the year.

Just like Anadarko Petroleum, its peer Noble Energy Inc. ((NBL - Analyst Report) is also well positioned in the GoM. Noble’s Galapagos and South Raton operations will deliver production from the first half of 2012.

Anadarko Petroleum currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

Based in Texas, Anadarko Petroleum is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, and production of oil and gas primarily in deepwater GoM in the US and in Algeria.

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