VAALCO takes up drilling option at Etame offshore Gabon

Aug. 11, 2022
VAALCO Energy has provided progress reports on its field development and facilities overhaul program in the Etame license offshore Gabon.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON  VAALCO Energy has provided progress reports on its field development and facilities overhaul program in the Etame license offshore Gabon.

Following completion of the South Tchibala 1HB-ST well, the rig has mobilized to the Southeast Etame North Tchibala platform to drill the ETBSM 2H-ST well, targeting the Dentale Formation.

After setting up the equipment and completing operations to reenter the well, drilling on ETBSM 2H-ST started last Monday, and the company has exercised options to extend the contract for the rig, adding two more wells to the program.

Ebouri 4H will be a development well targeting the Gamba Formation while Northeast Avouma will be a near-field exploration well targeting the same Gamba Formation. If successful, it should be tied into the Avouma platform at a later date.

VAALCO now estimates the total cost of the 2021-2022 drilling campaign at Etame in the range $174 million to $213 million.

The current Etame FPSO contract expires in September. VAALCO is working with the FPSO charterer on the timing for shutting down production, the schedule for decommissioning and associated costs for the transition to the FSO, which will replace the FPSO.

Deployment of the Teli FSO, reengineered from a double-hull crude tanker originally built in 2001, should start later in the current quarter. It is due to reach Gabon this week.

Modifications to the Etame platform to support the full field reconfiguration are on track, with the first of several short facility outages recently completed to allow for flare system upgrades and the installation of tie-in points for process equipment.

All main deck components are now in Gabon with others in transit. Installation of all equipment has started and will continue through August, with final hookup and commissioning taking place later in the third quarter, once the Teli is moored on location.

As for the subsea reconfiguration, the first part of the Bourbon/RANA dive program started in mid-July. The DOF Skandi Constructor vessel arrived in Gabon and will start reconfiguration of the existing pipelines and installation of new ones.

Inflationary pressures related to goods and services have helped push the FSO conversion and field reconfiguration cost estimates from $55 million to $70 million. However, the capex investment should still save $20 million to $25 million per year in opex costs through 2030.

On July 15, VAALCO submitted to the Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons a plan for a standalone development for the Venus discovery in Block P off Equatorial Guinea.

As the other block partner Atlas Petroleum International chose not to participate, VAALCO will hold an 80% interest in the development, with GEPetrol holding a 20% carried interest.

The Block P PSC provides for a development and production period of 25 years from the date of approval of the development plan.