Norve jack-up rig; Source: Borr Drilling

Development project off Gabon days away from first oil

Oslo-listed oil and gas E&P company BW Energy has wrapped up the drilling and completion operations at the first well in its multi-well drilling campaign offshore Gabon with a Borr Drilling-owned jack-up rig. The well is expected to come on stream in a few days.

Norve jack-up rig; Source: Borr Drilling

Last year, the timeline for the first oil from the Hibiscus/Ruche development was bumped to the end of the first quarter of 2023, rather than the previously anticipated date in late 2022, due to a potential change in the schedule of Borr Drilling’s Norve jack-up rig, which the firm hired for its drilling programme.

In an update on Monday, 3 April 2023, BW Energy revealed that it had completed the drilling and completion operations on DHIBM-3H well. This is the first production well of the Hibiscus/Ruche Phase 1 development campaign in the Dussafu licence offshore Gabon.

According to the company, the responsibility for the DHIBM-3H well has been handed over to the production team, which will finalise preparations for production start-up. BW Energy’s current timeline for the first oil from the well is early April while the commissioning and start-up of the new gas lift compressor will follow the first oil activities on the FPSO. 

Furthermore, the DHIBM-3H well was drilled from the BW MaBoMo production facility to a depth of 3,883 metres into Gamba sandstone reservoir in the Hibiscus field. The drilling operations started at the start of the year with batch setting of conductors and surface casing on three Hibiscus wells while a further three conductors have been batch set on slots planned for Ruche/Hibiscus fields.

The company points out that the drilling campaign followed the installation of the production facility, risers, and pipeline and the DHIBM-3H well’s drilling results – drain length and reservoir properties – are in line with expectations. The oil produced at Hibiscus/Ruche will be processed on the FPSO BW Adolo together with the established Tortue production before offloading to oil tankers. 

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Located approximately 20 kilometres northwest of the Tortue field, BW Energy’s Hibiscus/Ruche development project off Gabon targets the Hibiscus and Ruche fields. Initially, this project entails the drilling of up to six horizontal production wells in a 12-well phased programme, which will be connected to a production facility. Four of these six wells will target the Hibiscus field while the remaining two will target the Ruche field.

In a separate statement, Panoro Energy, which holds a 17.5 per cent working interest in the Dusafu Marine permit, confirmed that the DHIBM-3H production well, which encountered good quality oil saturated reservoir sands in the regionally prolific Gamba formation, was drilled, completed and handed over to production operations without incident. The company says that the well will be put on stream in the coming days.

Moreover, the 20-kilometre pipeline connection between the BW MaBoMo production facility installed at the Hibiscus field and the FPSO BW Adolo moored at the producing Tortue field was commissioned and all facilities and infrastructure are ready to receive oil from the new Hibiscus/Ruche wells, as they are drilled and completed.

In addition, the firm highlights that the commissioning and start-up of the new gas lift compressor to support production from all six existing wells at the producing Tortue field will follow the first oil activities on the FPSO BW Adolo.

The DHIBM-3H well was drilled with Borr’s Norve jack-up rig in 116 metres of water depth and is the first in a six-well production drilling campaign at the Hibiscus and Ruche fields, which are expected to deliver on a gross basis approximately 30,000 barrels oil per day of new production when all wells are completed and on stream. The Norve rig has started drilling the second planned production well on the Hibiscus field, DHIBM-4H.

John Hamilton, CEO of Panoro, commented: “The successful completion of this first production well is a key milestone in our material organic growth plan towards production of 12,500 bopd net to Panoro when all six new Hibiscus/Ruche Phase I wells are onstream.

“We are in the most active period of continual drilling in Panoro’s history that will see at least 10 wells drilled in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea over the next 12 to 15 months and unlock significant potential in our diversified portfolio of producing assets.”