Photo: Norve jack-up rig; Source: Borr Drilling

Vaalco plans to keep Borr rig for two more wells in Gabon

Houston-based Vaalco Energy plans to add two more wells to the work scope of a Borr Drilling-owned jack-up rig in Gabon.

This follows the completion of the South Tchibala 1HB-ST well on the Etame field after performing a frac pack on the Dentale D1 sand. Vaalco has been using the Borr Norve rig for its Gabon operations and the 1HB-ST was the third well in the company’s 2021/2022 drilling campaign. Vaalco revealed it had discovered significant columns of multiple hydrocarbon-bearing sands in the well last month.

In its latest update released on Thursday, the oil and gas company said that the well will be flowed slowly and at varying rates of fluid per day during its initial flow back period. The company is expecting a stabilized oil flow rate in the next five to seven days. The well adds new reserves that were previously not captured in Vaalco’s 2P reserves.

Following the completion of the South Tchibala 1HB-ST well, the rig is currently being mobilized to the SEENT platform to drill the fourth and final planned well in the 2021/2022 programme, the ETBNM 2H-ST well, which is targeting the Dentale formations.

Vaalco plans to exercise its options to extend its contract for the existing rig with Borr Drilling, and as a result, the company plans to add two additional wells to the programme to take advantage of both higher oil prices and reduced overall spread costs in the current contracts.

The company will add two additional wells, the Ebouri 6H development well targeting the Gamba formation, and a Northeast Avouma well that is a near-field exploration well also targeting the Gamba formation and, if successful, is expected to be tied into the Avouma platform at a later date.

George Maxwell, Vaalco’s Chief Executive Officer commented: “The continued success of our 2021/22 drilling campaign, coupled with a strong pricing environment and financial efficiencies of keeping the rig on location has enabled us to extend the current four-well programme by an additional two wells.”

According to Borr Drilling’s fleet status report, the Norve rig has been working under its current contract with Vaalco since December 2021 with an expiration date set for August 2022 and with an option to extend. The rig is then scheduled to work for BW Energy from October until May 2023.

Full reconfiguration of Etame field

Meanwhile, Vaalco is working to replace the existing FPSO on the Etame field. Despite challenges related to the worldwide supply chain issues, the Teli vessel – renamed from Cap Diamant – is expected to leave Bahrain today, July 7 following the completion of sea trials and arrive in Gabon at the beginning of August. All major equipment is on board and the mooring equipment is in transit with arrival in early August, Vaalco said.

Modifications to the Etame platform, to support the full field reconfiguration, are also on schedule. Vaalco has recently completed the first of several short facility outages to allow for flare system upgrades and the installation of tie-in points for the process equipment. All major deck components have arrived in Gabon and additional major components are in transit.

Installation of all equipment will continue over the next eight weeks, with final hookup and commissioning expected to occur in the third quarter once the Teli is moored on location. Preparation for the subsea reconfiguration is also underway.