Ophir Energy Strikes Gas Offshore Tanzania


Ophir Energy plc (Ophir), the Africa-focused upstream oil and gas company, announces that a gas discovery has been made in the Chaza-1 exploration well offshore Tanzania.

This is the first gas discovery in Block 1 but the third consecutive discovery made in this drilling campaign  following on from the Chewa and Pweza discoveries made in Block 4. The Chaza-1 well was operated by Ophir (40%) on behalf of a joint venture with BG International (BG) (60%). The well is located approximately 18km from the coastline in 952m of water.

The Chaza-1 well was drilled to a total depth of 4,895m sub-sea. The well encountered a high quality gas  bearing reservoir of which is associated with a distinctive seismic anomaly.

Chaza-1 is the third of a three-well sequence which forms part of an Initial Work Programme across Blocks 1, 3 and 4. The Deepsea Stavanger will now move back to the Chewa location in Block 4 to side-track and appraise the earlier announced Chewa-1 discovery and deepen the well to test older reservoir objectives.

The Ophir/BG Joint Venture has interests in Blocks 1, 3 and 4 offshore southern Tanzania. These blocks cover more than 27,000km2 of the Mafia Basin and northern portion of the Ruvuma Basin in water depths ranging  from approximately 100m to greater than 3,000m.

The Ophir/BG Joint Venture is currently completing the acquisition of approximately 5,000km2 of  additional  3D seismic data across all three blocks.

Ophir’s Managing Director, Dr Alan Stein, commented:

“The Deepsea Stavanger drilling campaign has now resulted in three significant discoveries from three wells. The correlation of seismic attributes in each well to gas bearing reservoirs is now well established and provides a greater measure of confidence to guide future exploration in Tanzania. The Chaza well can now be used to calibrate a number of other prospects in Block 1, which have similar seismic characteristics. There are now early indications that there could be sufficient volumes of gas present within the acreage held by Ophir to support the construction of one or more Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) processing facilities, which will allow for the export of gas to world markets.”


Source: Ophir Energy, April 4, 2011; Image: Odfjell Drilling