In 2010, Mitsui realized the rapidly growing shale boom fueled by innovative hydraulic fracturing techniques was ushering in a new era of opportunity in the US onshore energy business. Mitsui sought out strategic partnerships with both Anadarko and Chesapeake, who were recognized industry leaders and pioneers in shale gas extraction technology and who both controlled large acreage positions across the Appalachia basin in Pennsylvania where the Marcellus shale formation was being targeted for natural gas development. After successful negotiations, Mitsui gained entrance into several joint development agreements that Anadarko and Chesapeake already had in place and became a non-operating working interest owner in Marcellus leases. Mitsui E&P USA LLC was established at the acquisition of the Marcellus shale asset, to firmly establish Mitsui's E&P presence in North America.
Subsequently, through its new connections and partners, Mitsui entered another shale venture in South Texas, targeting the Eagle Ford formation. In 2011, it closed on its joint development agreement with SM Energy. The asset operator, Anadarko, sold its working interest to Mesquite Energy Inc. (formerly Sanchez Energy) and Blackstone in 2017. SM Energy sold its working interest to KKR/Venado.
In 2016, Mitsui ventured back into deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM) when it acquired a 20% interest in the Kaikias project, a subsea tie-back to Shell’s operated Ursa platform. The project is operated by Shell and is located ~100 km offshore south of Venice, Louisiana. First oil was produced in 2018 and peak production was ~50 MBOPD / 100 MMCFPD out of six wells. The high productivity of these offshore deepwater wells translates into very favorable low carbon intensity due to low well count and relatively small facility footprint. Additionally, Mitsui holds exploration rights in offshore blocks in Brazil and Argentina that we anticipate will provide future value and opportunities for the company.
Mitsui places a lot of value and relies on strong partnerships in all our endeavors. We seek out business partners who are compatible with our core values to build a strong foundation that ultimately leads to other future opportunities. We are excited about the future and the challenges ahead and we are always looking for strong, focused, disciplined people looking to make a difference in the world and optimistic about helping us write the rest of our history with us.