Oil and gas company GulfSlope Energy is preparing for its anticipated 2019 drilling program while working to complete its Tau well in the Gulf of Mexico, which encountered difficulties.
The company said on Wednesday it had filed an Exploration Plan (EP) with the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) related to Vermilion Area, South Addition Blocks 375 and 376 (Corvette Prospect).
The company has also received notice of award of two offshore lease blocks for which it was the high bidder at the region-wide Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 251 conducted by BOEM. The sum of the awarded high bids was $322,022 on the leases awarded to the company.
The Blocks awarded and the corresponding bonus amounts that have been paid are $191,011 for the Vermilion, South Addition Block 376 and $131,011 for the Eugene Island, South Addition Block 371.
Both leases have a five-year primary term and carry a 12.5% royalty to BOEM. The EI 371 Block represents a new prospect and has been named “Freedom.” This prospect will target subsalt Miocene oil reservoir pay sand objectives and has a trapping style related to salt flanks similar to the existing subsalt prospects in the GulfSlope drilling portfolio.
Tau well difficulties
Drilling operations on the Tau subsalt prospect started on September 13, 2018. The wellbore is designed to test multiple Miocene horizons trapped against a well-defined salt flank, including equivalent reservoir sands discovered and developed at the nearby Mahogany Field. The surface location for Tau is located in 305 feet of water.
GulfSlope informed that, during drilling operations, the well had encountered difficulties associated with shallow faults requiring two additional casing strings prior to setting 13-5/8 inch casing above salt. Drilling is now proceeding in the main salt section and the prospective section below salt is expected to be encountered in January.
GulfSlope is the operator of the Tau well with a 20 percent working interest. Delek GOM Investments, a subsidiary of Delek Group, owns a 75 percent working interest and Texas South Energy owns a five percent working interest.