Vaalco eyes additional production in Gabon

Vaalco Energy has started drilling its first development well in the 2019/2020 drilling program offshore Gabon, which should add additional production in December.

Topaz Driller jack-up rig
Topaz Driller jack-up rig; Source: Vantage

Vaalco started its 2019/2020 drilling campaign and spud the Etame 9P appraisal wellbore at the Etame field last September. The company is using the Topaz Driller jack-up rig for these operations.

By mid-October, the  Etame 9P appraisal well was successfully drilled to a total depth of 10,260 feet and encountered both Gamba and Dentale oil sands.

In an update on Wednesday, Vaalco said it had started drilling the Etame 9H horizontal development well targeting the Gamba formation. If successful, the Etame 9H well is expected to result in additional production coming online in December.

Drillpipe stuck 

Vaalco also said that, after reaching total depth in the Etame 9P appraisal wellbore, the drillpipe and tools became stuck. Vaalco was able to cut and pull the majority of the drillpipe but was unable to recover a portion of the drillpipe and tools at the bottom of the wellbore. The Etame 9P appraisal wellbore was successfully plugged back to a shallower depth, and the company is currently drilling the Etame 9H development well as expected.

The Etame 9P appraisal wellbore fulfills the commitment for one of the two appraisal wellbores agreed to under the company’s PSC Extension and the Etame 9H development well will fulfill the company’s commitment for one of the two development wells agreed to under the company’s PSC Extension.

Higher ultimate oil recovery 

Based on further analysis, the company now has additional positive information regarding the previously-announced results from the reservoir analysis. The company now estimates that there is at least a 45-foot oil column in the Gamba reservoir with no oil-water contact. This oil column is thicker than predrill expectations and may result in higher ultimate oil recovery from the planned Etame 9H and Etame 11H development wells versus predrill expectations.

In addition, preliminary analysis now indicates that Vaalco encountered at least 45 feet of good-quality Dentale oil sands with estimated gross recoverable oil resources of 3.9 to 14.9 million barrels of oil present in subcropping Dentale reservoirs.

Cary Bounds, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased to have begun drilling the Etame 9H, our first development well in our 2019/2020 program which should add additional production in December.

“Furthermore, we are encouraged by the updated analysis of the data we obtained on the Gamba and Dentale reservoirs from the Etame 9P appraisal wellbore which should positively impact the estimated ultimate recoverable reserves and resources from the field. We are in the midst of an active work program drilling the Etame 9H  development well which will be followed by the Etame 11H development well in the same Gamba reservoir.”


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