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Image courtesy of NOAA/Flickr.

Houston-based independent Noble Energy said Thursday that two deepwater exploration wells in the Gulf of Mexico hit pay zones.

At the Katami well, wireline logging data indicated a total of 154 net feet of crude oil pay in multiple reservoirs.

The discovery well, located in Green Canyon 40, was drilled to a total depth of 27,900 feet in 2,100 feet of water.

The Katami well has estimated total gross resources of 40 to 60 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Total gross resources at Katmai are now estimated to be between 40 and 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The company said additional exploration and appraisal drilling will be required to test the remaining upside potential.

Noble Energy operates Katmai with a 50 percent working interest. New Jersey-based private equity firm Ridgewood Energy holds the remaining 50 percent working interest.

The Dantzler-2 appraisal well, located in Mississippi Canyon 782, encountered 122 net feet of crude oil pay in two high-quality Miocene reservoirs.

The well was drilled to a total depth of 18,210 feet in 6,600 feet of water.

With the discovery, gross resources at Dantzler have increased to between 65 and 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Well completion operations have started on Dantzler-2.

First production is expected in the first quarter of 2016.

Senior Vice President, Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and Frontier Susan M. Cunningham said the two wells will “contribute significant production and cash flow growth in the coming years.”

Noble Energy operates Dantzler with a 45 percent working interest.

ILX Holdings II, a portfolio company of Riverstone Holdings, holds a 35 percent stake.

W&T Energy VI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Houston-based W&T Offshore, holds a 20 percent interest.