Almost two months after a tugboat and barge accident ruptured its natural gas pipeline and killed four people, Gulfport Energy Corp. reported Wednesday that the natural gas sales line serving its West Cote Blanche Bay field is back to full operation.
The pipeline was damaged in an Oct. 12 accident and repairs were completed on schedule (see Daily GPI, Oct. 13). The Oklahoma City-based company reported that current daily production from the field exceeds production prior to the pipeline shut-in.
In early November, Gulfport reported that a portion of the company's production had been restored (see Daily GPI, Nov. 6). The entire field was shut in as a precautionary measure following the fracture of the underwater natural gas pipeline. The accident occurred when a tug boat and two barges apparently struck a natural gas pipeline, causing a fire at the Gulfport facility. Gulfport said the fire was reported north of its facilities in West Cote and involved two contracted vessels that were performing work on behalf of the company.
Gulfport's West Cote field lies about five miles off the coast of Louisiana, primarily in St. Mary Parish, in a shallow bay, with water depths averaging eight to 10 feet. The field lies over one of the largest salt dome structures on the Gulf Coast, according to Gulfport. There have been 871 wells drilled in West Cote, and of these, 48 were producing, 303 were shut in, and five had been converted to salt water disposal wells.
As of Dec. 5, Gulfport reported total company year-to-date net production of approximately 900,000 boe. Gulfport expects two additional completions of new wells and two recompletions of existing wells before the end of the year. The company expects to exit 2006 with a net production rate of approximately 4,500 boe/d. Despite the downtime, the company's aggregate production target for 2007 remains in the range of 1,700,000 to 1,900,000 boe.
At the East Hackberry field, which is located on the western shore of Lake Calcasieu in Cameron Parish, LA, the company is drilling its first exploratory wildcat well since its proprietary 3-D seismic shoot last year. The company has set intermediate casing at 10,000 feet and is drilling ahead.
In Canada, Gulfport said it expects to drill approximately 50 core holes during the winter drilling season in the Alberta oil sands commencing this month. Gulfport, along with its partners, has acquired leases on approximately 240,000 acres in Alberta. Gulfport currently operates this project and has a 25% interest.
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