A long history in the Gulf of Mexico.
Walter has operated in the Gulf of Mexico since 1982, drilling over 530 wells, 418 of which were operated, installing 110 production platforms, 316 pipelines and over 96 subsea developments in water depths up to 3,000 feet. Operated production over the last 20 years has ranged from 12,000 to 20,000 barrels of oil and condensate per day, plus 120 to 200 mmcf of gas per day.
Walter’s long tenure offshore has allowed it to form many well-established, mutually beneficial relationships. It begins with a respectful relationship with the landowner and regulator. Industry partnerships are crucial for sharing risks and costs. Service company relationships are crucial in managing large scale projects, deploying new technologies and providing the important link between company management and those in the field. In addition to employing skilled staff for internal prospect generation, Walter is an active deal taker and therefore has established important relationships with prospect generating shops and seismic data vendors.
The company must be quick to adjust its exploration focus and methodology as required by continual industry changes. Key issues include basin maturity, evolving geologic play types, geophysical evaluation techniques, drilling, completion and production technologies, commercial considerations and regulatory requirements.
Accordingly, the attributes of the typical project have changed significantly over the years. In the early 1980’s, Walter focused on North Central Texas and along the Gulf Coast, where 6000’ to 8000’ onshore wells targeted reserves of 2 bcfe. From 1983 to 1990 during its early years offshore, the typical project targeted shallow water (shelf), normally pressured, partially proven and low risk plays from 6000’ – 12,000’ in depth, with potential reserves of 6-10 bcfe.
From 1990-2006, as subsurface imaging improved from more affordable non-proprietary 3D seismic, well depth, water depth and well pressures increased. Typical prospects targeted 10-25 bcfe gas-condensate at depths from 12,000’ – 16,000’ on the shelf and shelf margin.
From 2006 to the present day, typical Walter prospects are high pressure wells between 16,000 and 21,000’ located in water depths up to 3000’, with reserve potential often exceeding 50 bcf or 10mmbo. Although higher cost (and potential), these plays are de-risked with multiple 3D data sets utilizing advanced AVO (amplitude versus offset) technology.