Oil and gas company GulfSlope Energy is currently tripping for a different drilling assembly to clean out the existing wellbore and possibly run casing prior to drilling below salt at its Tau prospect in the Gulf of Mexico.
In an operational update on Tuesday, GulfSlope said that the Tau well was drilled through approximately 7,000 feet of salt where high pressures and hydrocarbons near the base of salt were encountered, and significant mud losses occurred. The interval was treated with lost circulation materials and cement.
According to the update, the company is currently tripping for a different drilling assembly to clean out the existing wellbore and possibly run casing prior to drilling below salt.
The Tau prospect targets multiple Miocene sand levels trapped against a well-defined, angled flank of the large salt structure.
The correlative target subsalt Miocene sand levels are oil productive at the nearby subsalt Mahogany field, located approximately five miles to the southwest.
The company estimates that a projected 16,000-foot total vertical depth will test initial resource potential of more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent for the prospect. Larger projected resources at deeper depths will require deeper drilling.
The drilling of the Tau well, spud on September 13, 2018, encountered difficulties in late December 2018 associated with shallow faults requiring two additional casing strings before setting a 13 5/8’’ casing.
Associated costs and required for the additional strings were in the region of $20 million split between the partners.
The Tau prospect is the first of eight drill-ready exploratory prospects that the company intends to drill along the Louisiana Outer Continental Shelf, targeting the oil potential of the subsalt Miocene play.
“By applying advanced seismic depth imaging technology and geoscience modeling, GulfSlope intends to achieve its goal of discovering large new oil and gas fields and creating substantial value for our shareholders,” the company said.
GulfSlope is the operator of the Tau prospect, located on Ship Shoal Area, South Addition Blocks 336/351, with a 20 percent working interest while partners Delek GOM Investments LLC, a subsidiary of the Delek Group, and Texas South Energy own 75 and 5 percent working interests, respectively.