Vaalco restores production at two Etame wells

Houston-based Vaalco Energy has restored production at two Etame field wells, located offshore Gabon, following workover operations.

Vaalco is using the Topaz Driller jack-up for Gabon operations; Image source: Vantage

According to Vaalco’s update on Tuesday, the company recently began drilling the Southeast Etame 4P appraisal wellbore to evaluate a Gamba step out area in Southeast Etame. Once this second appraisal wellbore is drilled, Vaalco will have satisfied the drilling commitment under the PSC extension that was signed in late 2018.

If the Southeast Etame 4P appraisal wellbore indicates the presence of hydrocarbons in the Gamba formation, then Vaalco plans to promptly drill a third development well, the Southeast Etame 4H well, which will target 4.0 to 10.0 million gross barrels of prospective resources, as part of the ongoing 2019/2020 drilling campaign.

Prior to drilling the Southeast Etame 4P appraisal wellbore, the company began the workover of the Etame 10H well to replace the ESP. The workover was successfully completed, and the ESPs were replaced, which has restored production of approximately 600 gross BOPD, 160 BOPD net to Vaalco.

The ESP failed in September 2019 after 4.5 years of service. In addition, Vaalco restored production on the Etame 4H well by repairing the subsea wellhead. The well was brought online in December 2019 and is flowing at a rate of approximately 1,000 gross BOPD, or 270 net BOPD to Vaalco.

The company has additional workovers planned to preemptively replace ESP systems that have been online for four to six years which is the expected life of those systems. Vaalco is awaiting joint owner approval on these workovers but using the contracted drilling rig can save time and money and prevent prolonged future production downtime, the company explained.

Vaalco plans to install its current ESP design, which has been successfully implemented and operated in other wells since mid-year 2018. In addition, replacing the ESP systems could potentially add production and allow for operational efficiencies.

Cary Bounds, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We continue to see outstanding results from our 2019/2020 drilling campaign. Our recent workover has restored production from a previously shut-in well at the Etame platform and we are now entering the next phase which is at the SEENT platform. Our 2019/2020 program has significantly increased production and we are excited about drilling our next appraisal wellbore, the Southeast Etame 4P wellbore.

“If successful, we plan to immediately drill a development well that can add new production and reserves. In addition, a successful appraisal wellbore can also provide us with supplementary development opportunities for future drilling campaigns. Upon drilling of the Southeast Etame 4P wellbore, Vaalco will have satisfied the drilling requirements associated with the PSC extension that we finalized in 2018 with the government of Gabon.

“Following the drilling in the Southeast Etame field, we plan to complete additional workovers that we believe will save Vaalco time and money by replacing ESP systems that are nearing the end of their expected lives. In addition to installing our current ESP design, we believe these workovers may add production and improve operational efficiency.”

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