It is easier and quicker to go to 2000ft, turn the corner , end up at 3000ft, intersect well bore. Which shouldn't be to hard considering the advances in underground gps. That was definitely a crew on the drilling rig, what kind of crew, is not really disclosed. There are different kinds of crews, Fac, ReComplete, Drill, Siesmic.
It could be just corrosion inside the casing pipe. Some gas and liquids are just highly corrosive. For instance if the gas or oil has a lot of Flouric acid in it, the metals other than gold would just disintigrate. Which can occur in carbonates, like Illinois(the state) formations. They would have to bentonite or resin seal the hole, then cement it.
The wellbore is hot, which means they are a a fault line system. It is from 400 to 600 degrees. This isn't a pocket. Elgin is an OLD field, if the pressure was going to be decreased it would have gone down between 1978 and now. It might go down from 4000 psi to 2000 psi after months of being open, but that is months away, they need a fix yesterday.
When TOT bought the field they looked over the well logs, and decided to go for the fault lines. Maybe shot new 3D or 4D data close to hook ins. One or Two wells can make your Earnings look a lot better. After the Lybia/Tunisia shut in they needed some good news.
Look at BP under reporting production in the Gulf of Mexico. That cash for that under reported oil is tax free, like narcotics. Goes straight to the bottom line.
In a way this is good news. Like BP Macondo, the other oil companies can hardly wait to drill that block. The cat is out of the bag on Elgin. Landmen leasing it up.