GulfSlope Energy has the Rowan Ralph Coffman jack-up rig under tow in the Gulf of Mexico to the Vermilion Area, South Addition Block 378 in preparation for its two-well campaign.
The company secured the services of the rig through a drilling services contract with Atlantic Maritime Services, a subsidiary of Rowan Companies, back in February.
GulfSlope said on Thursday that it plans to start drilling operations at the Canoe Prospect by August 1, pending final rig inspection and drilling approval from the Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM).
Located in 325 feet of water, the Canoe exploration well is planned to test multiple Pleistocene age amplitudes that correlate to productive zones in nearby producing fields.
Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 15 days to reach a measured depth of 6,249 feet. If successful, this above-salt test will be evaluated for development options ranging from subsea tiebacks to building a production platform.
Immediately following the drilling of the Canoe well, GulfSlope will mobilize the Ralph Coffman to drill the initial exploration well on the Tau prospect on Ship Shoal Area, South Addition Blocks 336 / 351.
The Tau well is located in 305 feet of water and is planned to be drilled to a measured depth of 29,728 feet. The well targets multiple deep sub-salt formations. The company’s exploration plan for Tau was recently approved by the BOEM and the company anticipates receiving the approved permit to drill in August.
GulfSlope is the operator of both wells with a 20 percent working interest. Delek GOM Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Delek Group will have a 75 percent working interest and Texas South Energy Inc. will own a five percent working interest. Under the terms of its operating agreement, GulfSlope will pay eight percent of the cost to drill the exploratory wells and 20 percent of the costs thereafter upon commercial discovery.
John Seitz, Chairman and CEO of GulfSlope, stated: “Over the past few years, we have had success in leveraging subsalt seismic technologies with the skilled expertise of highly-experienced subsalt exploration geoscientists. When we combined those results with a deeply experienced drilling team, the result is a superior drilling program that we believe will drive a resurgence in industry interest for the shelf of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.”
He added: “As such, we are very pleased to commence drilling at Canoe to be followed immediately by Tau as they are the initial targets in our exciting portfolio of prospects that we estimate to contain almost one billion barrels of gross unrisked recoverable resources. Underpinning our efforts is our strategic partnership with Delek and Texas South Energy and we look forward to working closely with them as we collectively pursue this exciting initiative.”