Photo: Topaz Driller jack-up rig used by Vaalco for the 2019/2020 drilling campaign. Source: Vantage Drilling

Vaalco plans new seismic survey over Etame block in hunt for drilling locations

In connection with planning for future drilling programs at the Etame Marin block offshore Gabon, Vaalco Energy will begin acquiring and processing new 3D seismic data in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Etame Marin block map - Vaalco
Etame Marin block map

In an update on Wednesday Vaalco said it has committed to acquiring new 3D dual-azimuth seismic data over the entire Etame Marin block.

Vaalco explained that the new data will be used to optimize and de-risk future drilling locations as well as identify new potential locations.

Vaalco expects the seismic survey to begin and conclude in the fourth quarter of 2020, with processing to be fully completed by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Furthermore, the company expects the full field 3-D survey will optimize future drilling locations, provide better imaging of existing satellite and infill locations, as well as identify additional upside opportunities.

Vaalco projects the gross cost of both the acquisition and processing of the seismic survey to be between $13 and $15 million, or $4 to $5 million net to Vaalco, for which it will be fully funded.

Cary Bounds, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are proud of the highly successful and transformational drilling program that we completed earlier this year and look to build on that success by beginning to plan for future drilling programs”.

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The drilling campaign included three development wells and two appraisal wells that confirmed additional resources.

Bounds added: “Our long-term strategy is to optimize every location that we plan to drill and identify new locations to add to our drillable inventory. We believe that by acquiring and processing a state-of-the-art proprietary 3-D, dual-azimuth seismic survey over our entire Etame block we are accomplishing these goals.

“As a result of our strong operational performance to date in 2020, we continue to be cash flow positive and the company is fully funded for all current activities including the upcoming seismic program. We have lowered our operating cost per barrel and remain committed to optimizing production to ensure that we continue to generate free cash flow to fund future field development.

“We are confident in the long-term potential at Etame and believe acquiring and processing seismic is the first step toward preparing for our future drilling campaigns that we believe will deliver long-term growth, in line with our strategic objectives”.

Vaalco also said on Wednesday it maintained strong production performance in 3Q 2020 with production estimated at 4,370 net barrels of oil per day (BOPD) to Vaalco, which is at the midpoint of guidance.