GulfSlope spuds subsalt Tau well in the Gulf of Mexico

The Rowan jackup Ralph Coffman has spudded the Tau exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico for operator GulfSlope Energy Inc.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – The Rowan jackupRalph Coffman has spudded the Tau exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico for operator GulfSlope Energy Inc.

This is the company’s initial subsalt exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico. The Tau prospect is on Ship Shoal Area, South Addition blocks 336/351.

The Tau prospect targets Miocene sands updip to the Ship Shoal block 337 #1 well drilled in 1996. They are expected to be trapped against the western flank of a deep seated salt ridge.

The company said that the well is designed to be drilled through almost 10,000 ft of salt to 26,000 ft TVD (29,728 ft MD) to test the Upper and Middle Miocene sands. The surface location is in the southwest corner of block 336. It will be drilled directionally with a horizontal displacement of about 10,000 ft into the center of block 351.

CEO John N. Seitz said: “Advancements in both imaging and drilling technologies are what enable this play today. Reverse time migration depth imaging and critical noise suppression technologies allowed our geoscientists to establish an improved subsurface image below salt.

“We built upon the intensive subsalt drilling efforts in deepwater, leading to a better understanding of the depositional models and now we are bringing advancements in drilling and completion technology that were pioneered in deepwater subsalt exploration back to the shelf.  The Tau prospect has a gross unrisked resource potential of over 300 MMboe. Not only is this an important well that could create tremendous value for our shareholders, but its results could lead to renewed exploration and development on the shelf.”

GulfSlope is the operator of the Tau well with a 20% working interest. Delek GOM Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Delek Group Ltd. will have a 75% working interest and Texas South Energy Inc. will own a 5% working interest.


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