LONDON – Ophir Energy has updated its frontier exploration and development programs offshore East Africa.
In Tanzania block 1, the company and partner/operator BG Group plan to drill the potential 1 tcf-plus (28-bcm) Taachui gas prospect before mid-year. This follows interpretation last year of inboard and outboard 3D seismic surveys to refine the block’s remaining prospect inventory.
The partners also continue to evaluate remaining prospectivity in blocks 3 and 4. They plan to drill the 500-bcf (14-bcm) prospect Kamba prospect later this year on block 4, with the well additionally testing the shallower, low-risk 200-bcf (5.7-bcm) Pweza North prospect.
Gas resources discovered to date across the three blocks exceed the threshold for two planned 5-MM tons/yr LNG trains. In addition, the appraisal results, including the multiple flow tests, should lead to cost savings in the development as well numbers will likely be lower than pre-appraisal expectations.
BG/Ophir and block 2 partners Statoil and ExxonMobil have identified a suitable location for a shared LNG facility for their various discoveries, which would likely be managed by a single operator. However, individual trains would be operated and owned by the separate joint ventures.
The BG-Ophir JV aims to start pre-front-end engineering design (FEED) studies this year, leading to a final investment decision in 2016 and first gas exports in 2020.
On Ophir’s operated East Pande offshore license, the company plans to drill the Tende prospect in the southern area during 3Q. It assesses prospective recoverable resources at around 2.4 tcfe. However, the area looks primarily prospective for gas, regional charge modeling suggests potential for oil generation.
East Pande is inboard and adjacent to blocks 1, 3, and 4 in relatively shallow water, and close to the route of the export pipelines that will take gas from those blocks to the proposed onshore LNG plant.
Offshore/onshore Somaliland to the north, Ophir has a 25% non-operated interest in the Berbera blocks (SL9 and SL12) with a gross area of 24,420 sq km (9,428 sq mi).
Last year RakGas took a 50% operated stake in exchange for carrying Ophir’s share of costs for a seismic survey, to be conducted this year. The data will serve to firm up drilling targets.
Offshore Equatorial Guinea, Ophir plans to drill three more wells in an attempt to prove more gas on block R, while also testing a deeper liquids play.
The program starts in mid-2014 with the Silenus East-1 exploration well, targeting around 400 bcf (11 bcm), while Tonel North-1 and Fortuna-2 will appraise existing discoveries. Ophir sees remaining prospective upside of around 7 tcf (200 bcm) on the block, with roughly 2 tcf (57 bcm) on the proven Thrust Belt play.