Nigeria: Aje partners stop oil drilling to focus on gas

Partners in the Panoro-run Aje field offshore Nigeria have put on hold the planned drilling of the Aje-6 well, while pondering further steps.

Production of oil from the field started in 2016, and the partnership has been drilling further wells to add more oil. However, MX Oil, a partner in the project said on Wednesday the strategy might be shifting with gas in focus.

Namely, MX Oil has pointed out to the partnership’s previous disclosure whereby Aje is believed to hold significant resources of gas.

“The partnership has been progressing the field development plan for the development of the gas and has also held discussions with various potential gas off-takers. The partners in the Aje Field are therefore currently considering whether it would be more appropriate for the next stage of the field development to focus on gas production rather than drilling additional oil wells.”

MX Oil said a Competent Person’s Report would be updated shortly with a focus on the gas using the new data obtained from the recent operational work on the Aje 5 well.
Previously, it was anticipated that a further well, Aje 6, would be drilled in the short term to increase oil production from the field, however, until the partners have concluded as to the most appropriate next steps, the drilling of this well will be deferred, MX oil said.

This has also been confirmed in a separate statement by the operator Panoro which said Aje-6 has been removed from the current drilling program, with Pacific Bora drillship demobilized from the Aje field after performing workover operations on the Aje-5 well. Result of Aje-5 side-track remains unknown at this time.

MX Oil’s CEO, Stefan Oliver said: “Given the potential scale of the gas opportunity versus the risk and reward of drilling additional oil wells, it makes sense for the partners to consider and reflect on what the next stage of the development should be. This discussion is currently ongoing and I look forward to updating the market in due course as the thinking develops.”

The Aje field, discovered in 1997, is located in the western part of Nigeria in the Dahomey Basin. The field is situated in water depths ranging from 100 to 1,000 meters about 24 km from the coast. First oil production from the field started in May 2016. Oil produced from the field is stored on the Front Puffin FPSO which has production capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day and storage capacity of 750,000 barrels.


Offshore Energy Today Staff

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