Geology And Exploration Of The Manteo Prospect Off North Carolina

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Journal Article: Geology And Exploration Of The Manteo Prospect Off North Carolina

The Manteo Prospect is located about 45 mi northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It is a high-risk prospect with world-class potential. The 21-lease unit was approved by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) in May 1990. A suspension of operations (SOO) was issued in October 1992 by the MMS. Chevron was approved for an exploration permit for Block 510 while Mobil's plan for Block 467 was under appeal. The Baltimore Canyon Trough and the Carolina Trough are the two large and deep sedimentary basins of the Atlantic Continental Margin. The Manteo unit is at the juncture of these two sedimentary basins. The Manteo Prospect is interpreted as a reef with its overlying structural high on the seaward edge of a carbonate platform The structure is approximately 30 mi long and 3-5 mi wide. The initial exploration well will be located at the highest point on the structure. Potential source rock for the prospect are euxinic basinal shales and black micrite as well as interior lagoonal shales associated with the reef. The geothermal gradient projected from wells in the Baltimore Canyon Trough indicates that thermally mature sediments would be encountered below 12,000 ft in the vicinity of the Manteo Prospect. Mobil estimated that the Manteo Prospect may contain as much as 5 trillion ft(3) of dry natural gas. A meeting was held between the State of North Carolina, MMS, and Chevron in February 1997 to discuss the proposal for the Manteo Prospect. An additional meeting held in September concentrated on drilling technology. A well could be drilled on Block 467 or Block 510 during the year 2000. Chevron has not decided which type of drilling vessel will be employed. The potential shorebase for operations is Morehead City, North Carolina.

K. L. Meekins

Published Journal 
Marine Georesources & Geotechnology, 1999

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K. L. Meekins. 1999. Geology And Exploration Of The Manteo Prospect Off North Carolina. Marine Georesources & Geotechnology. (!) .