ATP receives deepwater gulf drilling permit

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 18
-- Houston independent ATP Oil & Gas Corp. reported it has received a permit from the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement to resume drilling its No. 4 well on Mississippi Canyon Block 941 about 90 miles south of Venice, La., in the Gulf of Mexico. The well, which was being drilled at ATP’s Telemark Hub in 4,000 ft of water, reached 12,000 ft and was cased during 2009.

Operations to finalize drilling and completion will begin within the next 24 hr, ATP said. ATP operates the deepwater Telemark Hub with a 100% working interest and owns 100% of the subsidiary that owns the ATP Titan and associated pipelines and infrastructure.

“This permit for the ATP Titan drilling and production platform is the first for a stationary deepwater facility since deepwater drilling was allowed to resume on Feb. 28, 2011,” said T. Paul Bulmahn, ATP’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Bulmahn added that the last two permits approved by BOEMRE this year—both in the last 18 days—are for wells being drilled by mobile offshore drilling units.

"We are ready and eager to return to work. ATP has always drilled safely and environmentally soundly. We are looking forward to delivering on our objectives to generate near-term production growth from these developments," Bulmahn noted.

BOEMRE’s view
BOEMRE said it issued the permit because it “complies with all of the new safety standards, including demonstrated containment capacity, implemented in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill.”

“This permit approval demonstrates that deepwater drilling can and will continue in the Gulf of Mexico provided that operators have successfully demonstrated their ability to operate safely,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “Further deepwater energy development is necessary and appropriate so long as it is done safely and in an environmentally responsible manner.”

As part of its approval process, the bureau reviewed ATP’s containment capability available for the specific well proposed in the permit application. ATP has contracted with the Helix Well Containment Group to use its capping stack to stop the flow of oil should a well control event occur, BOEMRE said. “The capabilities of the capping stack meet the requirements that are specific to the characteristics of the proposed well,” it said.

For a list of well types, pending and approved permits, and information on new safety regulations, go to www.gomr.boemre.gov/homepg/offshore/safety/well_permits.html.

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