GulfSlope suspends Tau well

Jackup drilling rig Ralph Coffman
Jackup drilling rig Ralph Coffman

Offshore staff

HOUSTONGulfSlope Energy Inc. has issued an update on its exploration programs in the Gulf of Mexico.

At the Tau prospect on Ship Shoal blocks 336 and 351, the well was drilled to 15,254 ft (4,649 m) MD. Producible hydrocarbon zones were not established to the current depth, but hydrocarbon shows were encountered, the company said.

Complex geomechanical conditions required two by-pass wellbores, one side track wellbore, and eight casing strings to reach the current depth. Equipment limitations prevent further drilling at this time. In addition, the EnscoRowan jackup drilling rig Ralph Coffman has contractual obligations to another operator. Due to these factors, the company has elected to abandon this well in a manner that would allow for re-entry later.

According to GulfSlope, the drilling, pressure, and reservoir information has confirmed geophysical and geological models, and reinforces its confidence that there is resource potential in excess of 300 MMboe remaining in the untested zones. The company is evaluating various options related to future operations in this wellbore and testing of the deeper Tau prospect.

The Tau well is designed to test multiple Upper and Middle Miocene sand series targets over a 14,000 ft (4,267 m) vertical depth section down the flank of a salt feeder stock, and below the base of an associated salt sheet. The correlative target subsalt Miocene sand levels are oil productive at the nearby subsalt Mahogany field, about 5 mi (8 km) to the southwest.

Tau is the first of eight drill-ready exploratory prospects that the company intends to drill along the Louisiana outer continental shelf, targeting the subsalt Miocene play. GulfSlope is the operator of the Tau well with a 20% working interest. Delek GOM Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Delek Group Ltd. owns a 75% working interest and Texas South Energy Inc. owns a 5% working interest.

In addition, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently approved the company’s exploration plan for the Corvette prospect on Vermilion Area, South Addition blocks 375 and 376. This month GulfSlope expects to apply for the permit to drill and execute a rig contract.


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