Norve jack-up rig; Source: Borr Drilling

New commercial oil discovery offshore Gabon deemed to be ‘substantial’

Oslo-listed oil and gas E&P player BW Energy has made a new oil discovery at an appraisal well which is part of its multi-well program offshore Gabon.

Norve jack-up rig; Source: Borr Drilling

A few weeks ago, BW Energy confirmed the restart of production at the DHIBM-3H well on the electrical submersible pump (ESP) while the ESP on the DHIBM-4H well, which was producing on natural flow, was also re-started. As a result, the company was working to stabilize production from both wells at the Hibiscus/Ruche Phase 1 development in the Dussafu license offshore Gabon. At the Ruche field, drilling and completion activities on the DRM-3H production well were temporarily suspended, after the well was drilled to a depth of 5,351 meters and encountered oil in the Gamba reservoir.

As it became apparent that an alternative final casing design was needed for the DRM-3H, the longest lateral step-out drilled at the time, the company underlined that the completion of the well was expected later in the drilling campaign once additional casing material was received. To maximize the use of the contracted drilling rig, the Dussafu partners initiated drilling of the Hibiscus South exploration prospect (DHBSM-1), located about 5 kilometers southwest of the BW MaBoMo production platform. 

The Oslo-listed player explained that Hibiscus South had a mid-case volume potential of approximately 16 million barrels of oil in place – with an estimated 7 million barrels recoverable – in the Gamba reservoir. If DHBSM-1 ended up with commercial volumes, the plan was to return to the well and complete it as a production well in early 2024. The ongoing Hibiscus/Ruche drilling campaign is expected to bring total oil production in the Dussafu license up to approximately 40,000 barrels per day gross when all wells are completed and on stream. 

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In an update on Monday, November 6, 2023, BW Energy revealed that the DHBSM-1 appraisal well had encountered commercial volumes of oil in the Hibiscus South satellite prospect. The firm plans to return to the well to complete it as a production well in early 2024. The DHBSM-1 well was drilled from the MaBoMo production platform to a total depth of 6,002 meters, approximately 5 kilometers southwest of the MaBoMo. This well was drilled by Borr Drilling’s Norve jack-up rig.

Based on the evaluation of logging data, sample examination, and formation pressure measurements, there are around 20 meters of oil pay in an overall hydrocarbon column of 26.5 meters in the Gamba formation. The well data confirms that the Hibiscus South structure is a separate accumulation with a deeper oil-water contact than the nearby Hibiscus field, enabling BW Energy to book additional reserves not currently included in its annual statement of reserves and provide the opportunity to drill one or more additional production wells from the MaBoMo facility.

Carl K. Arnet, CEO of BW Energy, commented: “The successful appraisal of the Hibiscus South satellite structure represents a low-cost and low-risk expansion of the Dussafu production and reserve base. We look forward to rapidly bringing these high-value barrels into production. The result also confirms the significant potential of the Dussafu license where we have multiple additional future prospects.”

Furthermore, preliminary evaluation indicates gross recoverable reserves of 6 to 7 million barrels of oil and about 16 million barrels of oil in place, in line with the mid-case pre-drill expectations reported prior to the commencement of drilling operations. BW Energy is the operator of the Dussafu license with an ownership interest of 73.5% while its partners are: Panoro Energy (17.5%) and Gabon Oil Company (9%). 

John Hamilton, CEO of Panoro, remarked: “The Hibiscus South discovery underscores the substantial organic upside potential that exists on the Dussafu Marin permit offshore Gabon and is the sixth oil discovery to be made on the block under Panoro’s participation, representing an 86% success rate in the Gamba reservoir.

“In line with our infrastructure-led exploration and appraisal strategy, we will leverage the existing production infrastructure nearby to rapidly develop these new high-margin barrels cost-effectively as part of the current campaign.”