Vaalco encounters oil in Gabon appraisal well

Houston-based Vaalco Energy has encountered oil sands in its Etame appraisal well located offshore Gabon. 

Topaz Driller rig
Topaz Driller rig; Source: Vantage

Vaalco announced in late August it would start its drilling campaign offshore Gabon in September, using the Vantage-owned Topaz Driller jack-up rig. The company plans to drill up to three development wells and two appraisal wellbores in the 2019/2020 drilling program.

In an update on Thursday, Vaalco said that the first well in the campaign, the Etame 9P appraisal wellbore, was targeting the subcropping Dentale reservoir beneath its operated Etame field offshore Gabon. The well was successfully drilled to a total depth of 10,260 feet and encountered both Gamba and Dentale oil sands.

Operations are underway to plug back to a shallower depth and drill the Etame 9H horizontal development well section in the Gamba reservior.

The result verifies the presence of a Dentale oil column first identified in the Etame 4V well drilled in 2001.

Vaalco encountered approximately 35 feet of good-quality Dentale oil sands with 27% porosity and 3,000 mD of permeability.

Vaalco estimated gross recoverable oil resources of 2.5 to 10.5 million barrels of oil present in subcropping Dentale reservoirs.

The company identified an oil column which was thicker than expected in the Gamba reservoir which may result in higher ultimate oil recovery from the planned Etame 9H and Etame 11H wells than previously expected.

Vaalco did not encounter H2S in either the Gamba or Dentale reservoirs.

Operations are underway to retrieve drill pipe and tools that became lodged in the wellbore after reaching total depth, which will delay completion of the second well, the Etame 9H, into December.

Cary Bounds, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are excited that our first appraisal wellbore in the 2019/2020 drilling campaign has confirmed our estimates of meaningful recoverable resources in the subcropping Dentale, which we currently have classified as prospective. The successful Etame 9P is the first of many appraisal opportunities that we have identified that have the potential to create substantial organic value for our shareholders. The result reaffirms the upside potential yet to be exploited from the Etame field.

“We continue to assess the viability of drilling future Dentale development wells as we aim to extend the overall life of the field by continuing to add reserves and production. We are now focused on drilling the Etame 9H development well which, if successful, could result in additional production volumes coming online in December.”

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