ATP finishes drilling deep-water well in Gulf of Mexico

ATP Oil & Gas has completed the drilling phase of a deep-water well in Mississippi Canyon Block 941 A-2 of the Gulf of Mexico, marking another milestone in the slow resumption of work in the Gulf.

The drilling at ATP’s Telemark Hub, 90 miles south of Venice, La. in 4,000 feet of water, affirmed pre-drill estimates of the pay sands, the company said.

Next ATP will run casing to total depth and to install temporary barriers to allow removal of the drilling riser and installation of the production riser. First production is expected in the early part of the third quarter.

ATP received the third permit to drill in the deep water after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement resumed issuing permits, but it was the first to begin drilling.

The well was one ATP had started previously but had to stop work on when BOEMRE imposed a drilling ban following the Deepwater Horizon accident and revelations that many company spill response plans included outdated or inaccurate boilerplate information.

So far BOEMRE has approved 37 permits for 14 unique deep water wells. There are 23 permits pending and 22 permits that have been returned to operators with requests for additional information.

Shell Oil said it is over halfway down its first deep water exploratory well to be since the moratorium, called Cardamom Deep.

ATP was the only company to receive two of the first 10 permits, a sign of “the confidence government regulators have in the company,” ATP said in a statement.

“Our preparedness enabled us to swiftly assemble a crew and commence testing the BOP stack within 36 hours of obtaining the permit,” said ATP Chairman and CEO T. Paul Bulmahn. “We look forward to production from this well during the third quarter through the state-of-the-art ATP Titan facility.”