Norve jack-up rig; Source: Borr Drilling

Africa is richer for another ‘substantial’ oil discovery

Oslo-listed oil and gas E&P player BW Energy has struck oil at a pilot appraisal well located on a field in the Dussafu license off the coast of Gabon. The drilling activities were carried out with a jack-up rig owned by Borr Drilling, an offshore drilling contractor.

Norve jack-up rig; Source: Borr Drilling

While disclosing a “substantial” oil discovery with good reservoir quality in the DHIBM-7P pilot well, BW Energy explained that the well was drilled to appraise the northern flank of the Hibiscus field, which is part of its Hibiscus/Ruche development project, located about 20 kilometers northwest of the Tortue field.

Carl K. Arnet, CEO of BW Energy, commented: “This is yet another confirmation of the significant potential of the Dussafu licence, which BW Energy is rapidly unlocking through low-cost and low-risk development activity.”

Furthermore, the DHIBM-7P pilot well was drilled to a total depth of 3,941 meters from the MaBoMo production platform, a former Hibiscus Alpha jack-up drilling rig, which was repurposed into an offshore production facility with 12 well slots.

The firm elaborates that the target area lies approximately 1.5 kilometers north-northwest of the MaBoMo and was drilled by Borr Drilling’s Norve jack-up rig. Thanks to the evaluation of logging data, sample examination, and formation pressure measurements, around 24 meters of pay have been confirmed in an overall hydrocarbon column of 37 meters.

As the hydrocarbon column extends across the boundary between the Gamba and the underlying Dentale formation, this is perceived to be the first example of a common Gamba-Dentale hydrocarbon accumulation in the Hibiscus field.

Moreover, BW Energy underlines that preliminary evaluation indicates a notable increase not only in the volume of oil in place but also in gross recoverable reserves. Once final data becomes available, technical personnel are expected to engage in updating the analysis for publication of the uplift at a future date.

According to the Oslo-listed player, the DHIBM-7P well will be completed as a production well later in 2024, just like the DHBSM-2P well at the Hibiscus South field, which was drilled to test a possible northeastern extension of the field, after the DHBSM-1H production well was started production in March.

Targeting the Hibiscus and Ruche fields in Gabon, BW Energy’s Hibiscus/Ruche development project is designed to produce oil, which is then transported by pipeline to the FPSO BW Adolo for processing and storage before being offloaded to export tankers.

At the end of last month, the company revealed a sale and lease back agreement with Minsheng Financial Leasing for the BW MaBoMo, as a way to realize gross sales proceeds of $150 million under a ten-year lease term with an option to repurchase the unit from the end of year seven.

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BW Energy has a 73.5% interest in the Dussafu Marine permit offshore Gabon while Panoro Energy holds the remaining 17.5% participating interest. Panoro underlines that the next rig operation will be to drill the DHBSM-2H production well at the recently proved northeast extension of the Hibiscus South field.

Afterward, the rig is expected to drill a production well at the Hibiscus field into the newly proved northern flank and undertake well workovers, depending on optimizing production and logistical considerations.

As a result of these drilling activities, the current campaign is expected to result in eight new production wells across the Hibiscus, Hibiscus South, and Ruche fields. Panoro has confirmed that the Bourdon prospect test well, DBM-1, will be the last operation in the current campaign, provided all activities are performed within the set timeframe.

BW Energy is not the only player, which has enriched its oil portfolio in Africa. Many companies are intensifying their search for more hydrocarbons in African waters. Thanks to recent hydrocarbon discoveries in Angola and Namibia, the continent is quickly turning into a new exploration hotspot.

Recently, Carbon Circle and Amplus VGE, a joint venture between UK-based Amplus Energy and Nigeria-headquartered Versatile Group (VG Energy), agreed to pool resources to pursue the development of marginal oil and gas fields in West Africa.

Currently, seven African countries produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export. However, this number is set to be expanded with several more by 2035, including Senegal, Mauritania, Congo, Tanzania, and Ethiopia while Nigeria and Mozambique also plan on bringing multiple new LNG plants online.