VAALCO Energy’s drilling campaign successfully delivers first well offshore Gabon


VAALCO Energy has placed the Etame 8H-ST well on production at its Etame Marin offshore permit in Gabon. While the well had initial flow rates of about 5,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), it was choked back to about 4,200 bopd for reservoir management purposes, the company said.

Ongoing drilling campaign

VAALCO embarked in December 2021 on a 4-well drilling campaign on the block, targeting two development and two appraisal wells at a cost of at least $117m. Its preliminary production uplift estimates from this new drilling campaign are between 7,000 and 8,000 gross of peak production from the four planned wells.

After successfully drilling Etame 8H-ST, Borr Drilling has moved its rig to the nearby Avouma platform to drill the Avouma 3H-ST development well.

The future of Etame

Gabon’s Etame Marin permit has been continuously producing for almost two decades in the floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel Petróleo Nautipa. A recent extension until 2028 along with repeated drilling programs are set to maintain field output at almost 20,000 bopd.

Despite two decades of production that have seen over 121m barrels produced, the field is still estimated to have reserves and resources of about 113 million barrels. Since the Etame discovery in 1995, VAALCO Energy has achieved a 92% success rate on 36 wells drilled.

In 2019, VAALCO also exercised an election to extend the lease contract for the FPSO Petróleo Nautipa at Etame through September 2021, with an additional one-year option to run through September 2022.

Once the FPSO contract expires later this year, the Petróleo Nautipa will be replaced with a floating, storage and offloading (FSO) unit. The transition would lead to some reconfiguration on the field under which the existing platforms would handle processing activities while the FSO unit would handle storage and offloading of crude oil.

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