Your account already exists. Please login first to continue managing your settings.
Ophir Energy is underway with the drilling of its first exploration probe of the year offshore West Africa’s Equatorial Guinea, while its frontier program off the continent’s east coast is still ongoing.
The company spudded a wildcat well on July 2 in Block R offshore Equatorial Guinea using the Eirik Raude semisubmersible drilling rig. Ophir, which operates Block R with an 80% stake, says the rig will batch drill the top-hole sections at both Fortuna East and Fortuna West before moving to the Tonel-1 location where it will drill the entire well. Once Tonel-1 has been completed the rig will return to, and complete, Fortuna West and then Fortuna East. The entire program is anticipated to take 60-90 days.
The three-well drilling programme is targeting 2.2 trillion cu ft (Tcf) (362 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe)) of unrisked mean estimated recoverable gross resources.
Tonel-1 is estimated to hold 736 billion cu ft (Bcf) (123 MMboe) of resources, and is targeting multiple stacked mid-Miocene targets within a stacked, thrust belt. Results are expected to be released in late July.
The Fortuna West prospect has resources estimated at 773 Bcf (128 MMboe) while Fortuna East has 663 Bcf (111 MMboe). Both are step out exploration wells from the existing Fortuna-1 gas discovery. These wells are targeting multiple stacked prospects of Miocene to Pliocene age.
Offshore East Africa, Ophir says its drilling program offshore Tanzania in blocks 1, 3 and 4 is continuing on schedule. Ophir, which operates the blocks with a 40% stake, says the Deepsea Metro 1 drillship completed operations at the Mzia-1 discovery (Block 1) on May 21 and then moved to the Papa-1 location in Block 3.
The well spudded on May 29 and is estimated to take 65 days to complete. Papa-1 is targeting the Upper Cretaceous intra-slope channel play within the Rufiji delta. The Papa-1 prospect has an unrisked mean estimated recoverable resource of 3.1 Tcf (517 MMboe). Results are expected to be released in late July.
Once Papa-1 is completed the Deepsea Metro 1 will be assigned to Apache for a single well in Kenya on acreage adjacent to Ophir’s Blocks L9 (60%) and L15 (100%), before returning to continue operations with the Ophir-BG joint venture in Tanzania.
Back off the west coast, Ophir also reported that processing of pre-salt 3D seismic offshore Gabon is approximately 50% complete. The company and its partner Petrobras expect to receive the final processed dataset in Q4 2012. Drilling of the first pre-salt target is anticipated in early 2013 subject to rig availability.
CEO Nick Cooper said, “Ophir’s 2012 drilling programme has so far delivered the Jodari-1 and Mzia-1 gas discoveries in Tanzania. With the kick-off of our Equatorial Guinea campaign, we are now running simultaneous drilling campaigns in West and East Africa through the summer. A further four well results, targeting a substantial net unrisked resource of 3.0 Tcf (500 MMboe) are anticipated by early September.”