Avouma well goes offline again offshore Gabon
After resuming production last month on the Avouma 2-H well in the Etame Marin permit offshore Gabon, further equipment failure has forced VAALCO Energy Inc. to shut in the well once again.
In late July, the primary electrical submersible pump (ESP) failed in Avouma 2-H. Prior to attempting to start the secondary ESP, VAALCO and the original equipment manufacturer which installed the pump worked closely to re-design the start-up procedure and adjust the operating conditions in an effort to prevent another failure.
The lower pump was successfully started in August and remained operational for approximately 10 days. At the time of the secondary ESP failure, the well was producing about 1,850 b/d of oil gross or 450 b/d of oil net to the company. VAALCO has attempted to restart the lower ESP without success and the well is temporarily shut-in pending a workover.
The company is in the process of mobilizing a hydraulic workover unit to the Avouma platform to recover failed ESPs in the Avouma 2-H and South Tchibala 2-H wells. Both produce from the platform and have recently experienced failed ESPs. After removing the pumps, VAALCO plans to immediately install a replacement ESP in the Avouma 2-H well and anticipates restoring production from the well by mid-4Q.
The failed ESPs will be sent to the manufacturer’s facilities for a root cause investigation to determine the failure mechanism. Once the cause of the ESP failures is understood, appropriately modified ESP systems will be installed in the South Tchibala 2-H well and, if necessary, the Avouma 2-H well.
The company further commented that its Gabon operations have thus far not been impacted in any way by recent activities in the country associated with the presidential election last month. The results of the election are being reviewed by the authorities in Gabon as required in their constitutional process. An announcement of the final result is expected later in September. VAALCO continues to follow its election period protocol until the results are finalized.
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