GulfSlope Energy has started drilling of the Canoe Prospect No.1 well located in the Vermilion Area, South Addition Block 378 in Gulf of Mexico.
Located in 325ft of water, the Canoe exploration well is being drilled using the Rowan Ralph Coffman jack-up rig, to test multiple Pleistocene age amplitudes that correlate to productive zones in nearby producing fields.
Upon successful drilling, the well is planned to be assessed for development options ranging from subsea tiebacks to building a production platform.
Drilling operations expected to take approximately 15 days to reach a measured depth of 6,249ft.
GulfSlope Energy CEO John Seitz said: “The commencement of drilling operations at Canoe is a historic milestone for the Company as we convert from long-term planning to near-term execution.
“Utilizing enhanced seismic technologies, our highly-skilled and experienced team of geoscientists have developed a very attractive inventory of drillable prospects that have significant upside potential.”
Upon completion of the Canoe well drilling, the Ralph Coffman rig will be moved and mobilized to drill the initial exploration well on the Tau prospect on Ship Shoal Area, South Addition Blocks 336 / 351.
Located in 305ft of water, the Tau well is planned to be drilled to a measured depth of 29,728ft feet and will target multiple deep sub-salt formations.
Seitz said: “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.”
The firm said that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is reviewing the Tau application for drill permit.
GulfSlope operates the Canoe and Tau wells with 20% stake while other partners include Delek GOM Investments, a subsidiary of Delek Group, owns 75% working interest. Texas South Energy owns the remaining 5% stake.
As per the terms of operating agreement, GulfSlope agreed to pay 8% of the cost for exploratory wells drilling and 20% of the costs thereafter upon commercial discovery.