Photo: Talos Energy's GC 18 platform; Source: EPIC Management Resources

Talos struggling to reach steady production at Gulf of Mexico field

Houston-based oil and gas company Talos Energy has encountered difficulties in reaching stabilized production from the Bulleit field located in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico following a shut-in and damages sustained in a hurricane.

The Bulleit field is located in Green Canyon 21, which is operated by Talos Energy with a 50 per cent interest.

Talos’ partners are EnVen Energy Ventures and Otto Energy holding 33.3 per cent and 16.7 per cent working interests, respectively.

The project has been developed via a 10-mile subsea tieback to the Talos-operated GC 18 Whistler platform where production is being processed and then delivered into regional oil and gas sales pipelines.

Talos started production from the Bulleit field in mid-October 2020.

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Following the first production, Talos had planned a well production ramp-up strategy where production would slowly be increased in 1,000 bopd increments until the well reached a steady-state production rate.

The plan involved the slow ramp to ensure the effective “cleanup” of completion fluids and the 10-mile subsea pipeline.

However, due to multiple weather delays, upon completion, the well was left shut-in for 24 days before initial flow back started.

The well then flowed for approximately seven days before an additional hurricane, Zeta, caused both the well and its associated production platform to be shut-in.

Otto Energy said in an update on Thursday that, upon return from this event, it was discovered that a section of the primary oil export flowline was impacted by the hurricane and required minor repairs before production could restart on 7 November 2020.

Since returning to production on 7 November 2020, the well has been producing at 500 bopd and 3.5 MMscfd (8/8ths), down from initial flow back rates of 1,000 bopd and 6 MMscfd (8/8ths); which is less than analogue pay sands in the area would suggest.

Talos and partners have agreed to leave the well at the current rates and conditions while monitoring flow rates, pressures and water cuts.

A comprehensive review is ongoing of the conditions surrounding the drilling of the MP sands, the setting of the production casing, perforating, and the completion and stimulation activities.

Additionally, the review of the well performance data, including a bottomhole pressure build-up test that was conducted while the well was shut in from 22 October to 7 November due to the hurricane and subsequent pipeline repair period, is being evaluated.

According to Otto, the well will continue to flow at the current rate while additional engineering analysis is completed to determine whether a well intervention and stimulation could enhance the current well deliverability, or if a recompletion is warranted.

Otto Energy Executive Chairman, Mike Utsler, commented: “We remain confident in the potential of this field and its two independent production zones. The collective abilities of the three Working Interest owners and their service providers are being engaged to develop a resolution to this production challenge”.