Ophir Hits Gas in Tonel-1 Well Offshore Equatorial Guinea

Ophir Energy plc announces that the Tonel-1 (R-4) well in Block R, Equatorial Guinea, is a 800BCF (133mmboe) gas discovery.

Tonel is the first in the three well Ophir operated in 2012 Block R drilling campaign in Equatorial Guinea using the “Eirik Raude” semi-submersible rig. The well spudded on 07 July 2012 in a water depth of 1,599m and was drilled to a total depth of 3,072m subsea.

A 182m gas bearing column was encountered containing a total 117m of net pay in mid-Miocene aged sands, trapped within a thrust belt anticline. The gas quality appears to be consistent with that observed in previous dry gas discoveries in Block R. Gross in place mean resources for the Tonel-1 (R-4) discovery are estimated at 1.1TCF (177mmboe). Gross recoverable mean resources are estimated of 800BCF (133mmboe), exceeding pre-drill estimates of 708 BCF (118mmboe).

The Tonel discovery takes the total de-risked, recoverable gas resources in Block R to ca. 2.2TCF (367mmboe); approaching the minimum commercial threshold for a second LNG train on Bioko Island, which is estimated to be ca. 2.5TCF.

The Eirik Raude rig will now move to undertake appraisal and satellite exploration drilling around Ophir’s previous Fortuna-1 (R-2) gas discovery. The Fortuna East and Fortuna West wells have been designed with dual objectives:

– Primary objective: to appraise elements of the Miocene age Fortuna Fan as discovered by the Fortuna-1 well and thereby convert discovered resource into contingent (2C) resource.

– Secondary objective: to separately target medium risk amplitude supported, stacked secondary targets of Miocene to Pliocene age.

Fortuna East-1 (R-5) will commence next week and results are anticipated during August 2012. It will appraise 304BCF (51mmboe) of the earlier Fortuna Fan discovery and will separately test the 359BCF (60mmboe) Viscata exploration prospect.

Fortuna West-1 (R-6) will follow with results anticipated in early September 2012. It will appraise another 299BCF (50mmboe) of the Fortuna Fan discovery and will separately test the 474BCF (79mmboe) Felix target.

Nick Cooper CEO of Ophir said:

We are very pleased to announce our third major discovery of 2012. Tonel represents the fifth and largest gas discovery on Block R to date and importantly represents a significant step towards the commercial threshold volumes required for a second train of LNG from Equatorial Guinea.

“The drilling programme will now return to the vicinity of our earlier Fortuna-1 discovery. The Fortuna East-1 and Fortuna West-1 wells are designed to appraise 603BCF (101mmboe) of the Fortuna Fan discovery and also to target additional cumulative exploration volumes of 833 BCF (139mmboe). The three well campaign is due to complete by September.”

Press Release, July 25, 2012; Image: Tullow Oil

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