W&T Offshore hires ex-Hercules rig to drill Gulf of Mexico prospect

Houston-based oil and gas company W&T Offshore has contracted a jack-up rig previously owned by the bankrupt driller Hercules Offshore to drill the South Timbalier 224 (ST 224) gas/condensate prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. 

W&T Offshore is the operator of the license with a 39 percent stake. Its now partner Otto farmed into the license in early July by buying 25% interest from Houston Energy which kept 11% interest. The remaining partner is an unnamed private U.S. company with a 25% interest.

According to Otto’s statement on Monday, the rig contract was awarded to the Enterprise Offshore 264 jack-up rig. The prospect sits in approximately 170 feet of water and the well is expected to start drilling in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The jack-up, formerly known as Hercules 264, was built in 1976 and rebuilt in 1998. It was previously owned by Hercules Offshore, which went bankrupt last year and sold a number of its drilling rigs to Enterprise as well as two jack-ups to the Norwegian offshore drilling contractor, Borr Drilling.

Otto added in the Monday statement that the Initial Exploration Plan for the ST 224 prospect has been submitted and approved by BOEM. The company further noted that several existing production platforms fall within tie‐back distance of the proposed well, enhancing economics and making development of any discovered hydrocarbons both quick and cost effective.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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