Anglo African waiting on rig to drill new Tilapia well

Independent oil and gas developer Anglo African Oil & Gas (AAOG) has been forced to postpone its drilling plans at the Tilapia oil field offshore Congo.

The company is working to increase production and reserves at its 56 percent-owned Tilapia oil field in the prolific Lower Congo Basin.

The field, in production since 2007, is drilled from onshore and has production and storage facilities onshore.

AAOG’s strategy includes¬†the workover of existing wells and the drilling of TLP-103, a new multi-horizon well which is targeting producing reservoirs and an 8.1M barrel gross contingent resource discovery,¬†Anglo African said on Monday.

The well will test a deeper prospect which has been assigned 58.4M barrels of gross prospective resources.


New license & drilling of TLP-103


Discussions are at an advanced stage with the relevant authorities in Congo for the award of a new license on the Tilapia field which, if awarded, will extend AAOG’s interest in Tilapia for a considerable period beyond the 2020 end date of the current license.

AAOG said it wanted to ensure that this process was completed before the start of drilling of TLP-103.

Also, the company recently inspected the preferred rig for the drilling of TLP-103, which is in operation with a “major international oil company” in Congo. The work for the other company is scheduled to complete in January, a delay from the earlier estimate of mid-December while negotiations for the terms for the preferred rig are, according to AAOG, in their final stage.

“Due to the delays in the availability of this rig over the past months, the company has taken steps to mitigate the effect of any further delay. In particular, the company is discussing alternative offers in place from other contractors to ensure that drilling can commence in Q1 2018. Consistent with this, the company will not sign a rig contract until availability is guaranteed,” AAOG said.


Appointment of drilling operations manager


Alain Guiraud was appointed on a fixed project contract basis as the operations manager to oversee the drilling of TLP-103. Guiraud will be based in the Congo for the duration of this project.

During a career spanning 45 years, Guiraud held senior operational positions with several oil and gas companies such as Chevron, Elf, Petrobras, BP, Shell, Texaco, Phillips, and ENIEPSA. He has extensive experience of the Congo, including as country manager for Halliburton, general manager and operations manager for SFP/SNPC, and as country manager for Caroil.

Also, Alex MacDonald‘s job title changed from that of CEO to country manager for Congo. MacDonald is currently on sick leave and is not expected to return to work until January 7, 2018.


Tilapia production


As for Tilapia production, TLP-101 remains in production. While there is no increase in the flow rate of TLP-101, production gains are expected once the flow lines between the wellhead and separator are replaced to allow the removal of detritus material, which tests indicate is inhibiting production.

Testing of the R2 reservoir by AAOG earlier this year confirmed the presence of recoverable hydrocarbons at TLP-102. However, the workover of TLP-102 will require mechanical intervention, which will be carried out by the rig after the drilling of TLP-103.

The company said that TLP-101 and 102 had the potential to produce at a combined rate of between 185 and 250 bopd.

David Sefton, executive chairman of AAOG, said: “Targeting proven sands, an existing discovery and a deeper interval that is known to be a prolific producer on neighboring fields, TLP-103 is potentially a transformational well for AAOG. We have now secured the services of a first-rate operations manager who, thanks to having extensive experience in this prolific region, has first-hand knowledge of the geology and the operating environment at Tilapia.

“We are conscious that there have been delays due to the availability of our preferred rig, and that this has caused frustration to shareholders. We are working hard to secure the new license and ensure that drilling can commence as early as possible in 2018.”

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