Ophir hits dust in exploration well off Ivory Coast

Oil company Ophir Energy has failed to find ‘significant hydrocarbons’ in the Ayame-1X exploration well in Block 513, offshore Ivory Coast. 

The Ayame-1 was Ophir’s first deepwater operated well in almost three years. The well was spud at the end of April with the Seadrill-owned drillship West Saturn.

Ophir said on Monday that the well has reached total depth of 5,394m True Vertical Depth subsea.

The well was targeting a number of turbidite channel complexes of Santonian and Turonian age. According to the company, the prospective reservoir intervals were encountered as prognosed and oil shows were recorded in the target reservoirs, but significant hydrocarbons were not encountered.

Ophir noted that, to date, the operation has been conducted without incident, having drilled and cased the longest riser-less surface section in the region and reached TD in the subsequent hole section with a single bit run (another basin first). Operations are forecast to complete by May 22 at an estimated final cost of $20.5 million gross.

Full analysis and interpretation of the data is ongoing, but the well will be plugged and abandoned as a dry hole.

Ophir became the operator of the block CI-513 after taking 45% of interest from African Petroleum in March 2016. African Petroleum also holds 45% interest and the remaining 10% is held by PETROCI.

Commenting on the result, African Petroleum CEO, Jens Pace, said: “The well results are obviously not what we were hoping for; however, as an exploration company, we are always pragmatic about the chances of success when it comes to drilling exploration prospects.”

Pace added: “We will now work closely with Ophir Energy to analyse the data obtained through drilling, particularly the oil shows that were encountered in the target reservoirs, in order to establish the next steps with regards to the license.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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