ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (NASDAQ: ATPG) today reported that it has received a permit to resume drilling the Mississippi Canyon ("MC") Block 941 #4 well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
"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 February 28, 2011. The previous two permits to drill oil and gas wells approved by BOEMRE in 2011, both of them in the last 18 days, are for wells drilled by Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU)," stated T. Paul Bulmahn, ATP's Chairman and CEO. "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."
The MC 941 #4 well at ATP's Telemark Hub in 4,000 feet of water was drilled to approximately 12,000 feet and cased during 2009.ATP said operations to finalize drilling and completion would begin within the next 24 hours. 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.
BOEMRE said that the permit was the third deepwater permit approved since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, It said that as part of its approval process, it 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. The capabilities of the capping stack meet the requirements that are specific to the characteristics of the proposed well.
"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."
March 18, 2011