Offshore Magazine | Bruce Beaubouef | June 4, 2019

E&P activity in the US Gulf of Mexico may finally be picking up. A number of notable metrics are expected to increase this year, including the first increase in drilling in four years according to a recent analysis from global natural resources consultancy Wood Mackenzie. In its annual outlook, “US Gulf of Mexico: 5 things to look for in 2019,” WoodMac said that after four years of steady decline, exploration activity is expected to increase this year by 30%.

Drilling activity is picking up in both shallow and deepwater; and in many cases, the mid-size operators and independents are leading the way.

For example, Otto Energy recently entered into a joint venture with Talos Energy for the Green Canyon block 21 in the Gulf of Mexico. Otto says it will earn a 16.67% working interest in the block by paying 22.22% of the cost of drilling the Bulleit appraisal well.

Talos has contracted the drillship Noble Don Taylor to drill the appraisal well, which is expected to start in the middle of 2Q 2019.

Bulleit is an amplitude-supported Pliocene prospect with similar seismic attributes to the analogous sand section in Talos’ Green Canyon block 18 field, which has produced approximately 39 MMboe to date. The Bulleit prospect is in approximately 1,200 ft (366 m) of water. If successful, the well would be completed and tied back to the Talos-owned and -operated facility on Green Canyon block 18 approximately 10 mi (16 km) away. Talos anticipates first production within 12-18 months from spud date and estimates that Bulleit has the potential to deliver initial production between 8,000-15,000 boe/d gross on an unrisked basis.

Meanwhile, GulfSlope Energy Inc. reports that it has completed several operational milestones related to its 2019 drilling program and prospect portfolio.

The company recently filed an exploration plan with the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management related to Vermilion Area, South Addition blocks 375 and 376 (Corvette prospect).

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