Oil and gas company GulfSlope Energy has started drilling its initial subsalt exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico on the Tau prospect which is located on Ship Shoal Area, South Addition Blocks 336/351.
GulfSlope started drilling the Tau prospect well last Thursday, September 13.
The Tau prospect is being drilled with the high-spec Rowan Ralph Coffman jack-up rig, which recently completed drilling operations on the company’s Canoe prospect, which encountered oil sands.
The Tau prospect targets Miocene sands updip to the Ship Shoal Block 337 #1 well drilled in 1996, and are expected to be trapped against the western flank of a deep seated salt ridge, Gulf Slope said last Friday.
The Tau prospect well is designed to be drilled through almost 10,000’ of salt to 26,000’ TVD (29,728’ MD) to test the Upper and Middle Miocene sands that are prolific producers in deep water. The surface location is in the southwest corner of Block 336, and will be drilled directionally with a horizontal displacement of about 10,000’, into the center of Block 351.
John N. Seitz, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “This is the first well to be drilled in our exciting portfolio of high potential subsalt prospects. Advancements in both imaging and drilling technologies are what enable this play today. Reverse Time Migration (RTM) 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 deep water, leading to a better understanding of the depositional models and now we are bringing advancements in drilling and completion technology that were pioneered in deep water subsalt exploration back to the shelf.”
He added: “The Tau prospect has a gross unrisked resource potential of over 300 million barrels of oil equivalent. 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 percent working interest. Delek GOM Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Delek Group Ltd. will have a 75 percent working interest and Texas South Energy Inc. will own a five percent working interest.