Vaalco Energy forced to shut well offshore Gabon

Houston-based oil and gas company Vaalco Energy has been forced to temporarily shut in a well at the Avouma platform offshore Gabon due to a problem with an electrical submersible pump.

Vaalco said that an electrical submersible pump (ESP) in the South Tchibala 2-H well failed on July 18, resulting in the well being temporarily shut-in.

The well was producing approximately 1,300 barrels of oil per day gross, 390 net to the company, before being shut-in.

Vaalco added it was working on mobilizing a hydraulic workover unit to move onto the Avouma platform and replace the ESP system in the well, which is expected to be back on production by fourth quarter 2017.

The company said it had successfully utilized a hydraulic unit to replace the ESP in the well late last year. Vaalco said it cost significantly lower than mobilizing a jack-up rig. As a result of recent diagnostic work, Vaalco believes it determined the cause of the ESP failures in 2016, in this well, and a newly designed pair of ESPs would be installed in the South Tchibala 2-H well during the upcoming workover operation.

To remind, the South Tchibala 2-H experienced similar ESP issues last summer. The pump was replaced and the well restarted in December 2016. An identical problem occurred with the Avouma 2-H well around the same time. The ESP on the Avouma 2-H was repaired and production restarted in January 2017.

Vaalco added on Thursday that it also recently completed its planned 2017 maintenance turnaround for the Etame Marin FPSO and four platforms. The entire work scope was completed with no environmental or safety issues. The field was shut-in during the turnaround and is now back on production.

According to the company, there will be no changes to the annual production guidance at this time as a result of the shut-ins due to the ESP failure or the annual maintenance turnaround.

Namely, the company’s full year production guidance for 2017 is in the range between 3,700 and 4,300 barrels of oil per day.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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