Norve jack-up rig; Source: Borr Drilling

Oil flows from ‘fast-track development’ off Gabon just months after initial discovery

Oslo-listed oil and gas E&P player BW Energy has kicked off production from a development off the coast of Gabon. This comes only five months after an oil discovery was made as part of the firm’s multi-well program in this African country.

In November 2023, BW Energy encountered commercial volumes of oil in the Hibiscus South field on the Dussafu license offshore Gabon, thanks to the DHBSM-1 well, which was drilled by Borr Drilling’s Norve jack-up rig from the BW MaBoMo production facility to a total depth of 5,960 meters into Gamba sandstone reservoir.

Following completion, the Norve jack-up began drilling operations on the Ruche sidetrack well, DRM-3H ST1. The DHBSM-1 well is located approximately 5 kilometers southwest of the MaBoMo in a separate accumulation with a deeper oil-water contact than the nearby Hibiscus field.

According to BW Energy, the DHBSM-1H well has been brought on stream and the production performance has been in line with expectations. The production is currently stabilized at approximately 5,000-6,000 barrels of oil per day. The well is expected to recover 6.6 mmbbls from around 22 mmbbls oil in place, based on third-party 2P estimates.

Carl K. Arnet, CEO of BW Energy, commented: “We are very pleased with the safe and efficient execution of Hibiscus South fast-track development within a few months after making the initial discovery. This represents a material, low-cost and low-risk expansion of the Dussafu production and reserve base, demonstrating how our phased development strategy provides the flexibility to rapidly unlock significant value.”

Located about 20 kilometers northwest of the Tortue field, BW Energy’s Hibiscus/Ruche development project targets the Hibiscus and Ruche fields off Gabon. Initially, the project entails drilling up to six horizontal production wells in a 12-well phased program, which will be connected to a production facility. 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%). 

The Hibiscus/Ruche Phase 1 development 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. The oil produced at Hibiscus/Ruche is transported by pipeline to the FPSO BW Adolo for processing and storage before being offloaded to export tankers.

John Hamilton, CEO of Panoro, remarked: “The five-month lead time at Hibiscus South from discovery to first oil is a prime example of our infrastructure led exploration strategy in action, showing how it can create material value for shareholders by allowing us to fast-track new high margin incremental oil barrels into production very cost effectively.

“The subsurface at Dussafu Marin has a history of delivering positive results and we are confident that this trend can continue long into the future as we progress towards unlocking its full organic growth potential.”