Ophir targets new deepwater gas play offshore Tanzania

Offshore staff

LONDON – The drillship Deepsea Metro 1 has started drilling the Mlinzi Mbali-1 well in Tanzanian offshore block 7 for Dominion Tanzania, a subsidiary of Ophir Energy.

This is the first well on the block. The location is around 210 km (130 mi) east of Dar es Salaam in 2,600 m (8,530 ft) water depth,

Mlinzi Mbali-1 is targeting a structural crest within a lower Cretaceous channel complex, with secondary targets in the upper Cretaceous and the Jurassic.

The two primary channel reservoirs in the lower Cretaceous could contain around 10 tcf (283 bcm), Ophir claims, and a drilling success would de-risk the total resource potential within the overall Mlinzi Channel complex, estimated at up to 20 tcf (566 bcm), and other structures on the block.

Planned TD is 5,650 m (18,536 ft) TVDSS. Operations are estimated to last around 50 days.

Ophir CEO Nick Cooper said this was a high-risk frontier well, as the first designed to these plays in the northern Tanzanian coastal basin. A positive outcome could pave the way for a second LNG project in Tanzania. Planning is under way for a first LNG scheme supplied by the various deepwater gas discoveries in blocks 1-4 to the south.


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