Photo: BW Adolo FPSO; Source: BW Energy

Gabon project still on track for first oil, but risk of delay remains

E&P company BW Energy is still on track for the first oil from its Hibiscus/Ruche development off Gabon later this year despite delays caused by Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. However, there is still an increased risk of delays due to price inflation on services and materials.

BW Energy is currently executing the Hibiscus/Ruche development project, targeting the Hibiscus and Ruche Fields, approximately 20 kilometres northwest of the Tortue field. The initial phase of this project involves the drilling of up to 6 horizontal production wells in a 12-well phased program, which will be connected to a production facility.

Of these initial six wells, four wells will target the Hibiscus field while the remaining two wells will target the Ruche field. BW Adolo FPSO will continue to serve as the hub for production in the Dussafu license.

The first oil from the development project is expected in late 2022, adding up to 30,000 bopd to gross production from the Ruche EEA in the second half of 2023.

Hibiscus Alpha - BW Energy
Hibiscus Alpha; Source: BW Energy

In an update on Friday, BW said that the conversion of a jack-up rig to offshore production unit Hibiscus Alpha is progressing at Lamprell Yard with sail away scheduled for August.

As a reminder, BW Energy in November 2020 bought two sister jack-up rigs, Atla and Balder, from Borr Drilling, with plans to convert one of the rigs for the Gabon project to reduce investments for the project and time to first oil.

In March 2021, Houston-based Zentech was awarded the shipyard construction specification preparation contract for the conversion of the jack-up rig Hibiscus Alpha (ex-Atla) to an offshore installation for BW Energy. In October of the same year, the UAE-based Lamprell was awarded the rig conversion deal.

BW also mentioned in its latest update that the execution of Hibiscus Alpha conversion has been impacted by delays in certain equipment deliveries caused by Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. The company is focused on managing the ongoing challenges and the related price inflation on services and materials.

Currently, the project remains on track for the first oil at the end of 2022 with a gross capex of approximately $425 million. There is, however, an increased risk of delays into the first quarter of 2023 in line with the original development plan.

According to BW Energy, the 20 km pipeline from Hibiscus Alpha to BW Adolo FPSO will be installed by TechnipFMC.

Mobilisation for the drilling programme is expected to start in September this year. The rig was contracted for four wells firm plus four optional wells with an option to drill two exploration wells within the programme.