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

Vaalco to boost overall Gabon field recovery after new well comes on stream

After completing the drilling of another well offshore Gabon, Houston-based Vaalco Energy expects to bring it online within a few weeks, anticipating increased recovery from the Avouma field. The encountered results sparked hopes for further development well opportunities.

Back In June 2021, Vaalco hired a jack-up rig provided by Borr Drilling for its new 2021/2022 drilling campaign focused on the Etame field. The contract was inked for the drilling of two development wells and two appraisal wellbores with options to drill additional wells.

At the time, the name of the rig was not disclosed, however, Borr Drilling’s fleet status report from February 2022 shows that the jack-up rig Norve is under contract with Vaalco from December 2021 until April 2022.

Following the spudding of the first of these four wells in December 2021, the company brought the well into production with strong initial flow rates in February 2022.

Moreover, the firm is also actively setting the stage for the Etame Marin field reconfiguration by ticking all the boxes off its chart to replace the existing FPSO – which has been operating on the field since 2002 – with an FSO unit. Currently, the FSO deployment is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022. Last month, Vaalco picked DOF Subsea to support its activities in replacing the existing FPSO unit.

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In an update on Monday, Vaalco Energy reported the successful drilling of the Avouma 3H-ST development well, explaining that the well was drilled from the Avouma platform in the Etame field, located offshore Gabon.

George Maxwell, Vaalco’s Chief Executive Officer, remarked: “With the drilling of the Avouma 3H-ST well, Vaalco continues the success of our 2021/2022 drilling campaign. We are very excited by the high-quality Gamba sands that we encountered drilling the Avouma 3H-ST well. The well confirms the extension of the Avouma field into an updip location that should lead to increased recovery at Avouma and opens the potential for additional development well opportunities.”

During the drilling, the company encountered premium Gamba sands with 28 per cent porosity and one Darcy of permeability, confirming the extension of the Avouma reservoir. According to the U.S. player, the well is forecasted to increase the overall recovery from the field, potentially allowing for additional wells at Avouma.

Furthermore, the firm is currently completing the Avouma 3H-ST well with a lateral of 268 meters in high-quality Gamba sands at the top of the structure and initial production is expected in the next few weeks. Following completion, the drilling program will continue with the spudding of the ETBSM-1HB ST2 development well from the Avouma platform, based on Vaalco’s statement.

“Our focus is on continuing to execute our strategy and delivering strong operational and financial results. We are excited about the future for Vaalco with the continued development of our interests in offshore Gabon, upside opportunities in Equatorial Guinea and the potential to integrate accretive acquisitions, aimed at further strengthening Vaalco and growing shareholder value,” added Maxwell.

Vaalco operates the Etame Marin field offshore Gabon with 58.8 per cent working interest and 63.6 per cent participating interest, while its partners are Addax Petroleum and PetroEnergy. The field has produced over 125 million barrels of crude oil so far.