LONDON – Ophir Energy has contracted the jackup Vantage Emerald Driller for a new exploration campaign on the G4/50 exploration block in the Gulf of Thailand.
Earlier this year, Ophir received environmental impact approvals for locations on the block, which surrounds the B8/38 production license that contains the producing Bualuang oil field. Ophir assumed control of these interests from acquiring former operator Salamander Energy.
The rig will start work in October, drilling wells on the 25.3-MMbbl Soy Siam and 24.9-MMbbl Parichat prospects. Ophir plans to test two different hydrocarbon systems, neither of which has previously been evaluated in the South Western basin to the south of Bualuang.
A success would de-risk numerous other analogue prospects in the same basin.
Ophir estimates the cost of the two wells at around $10 million each. Due to the shallow-water environment, any discoveries could be brought into production within two to three years.
Production from Bualuang averaged 12,600 b/d during the first half of the year. An ocean bottom seismic survey completed in July was designed to fill a gap in the field’s existing 3D seismic image. Results, combined with data from the 2014 development drilling program, will be used to update the static and dynamic field models.
The seismic data will also be evaluated for their 4D potential, to assess potential movement of oil and water in the reservoir. A commercial evaluation of the options for the next phase of development will follow, ahead of a final investment decision during the second half of 2016.
An additional water disposal well is due to be drilled later this year to increase the water disposal capacity, and therefore the ultimate production capacity, of the Bualuang infrastructure.
During the first half of the year, Ophir completed acquisition of the West Papua IV, Aru, Kofiau, and Halmahera-Kofiau production-sharing contracts offshore eastern Indonesia. It has identified numerous leads and prospects comprising clastic and carbonate play types.
The West Papua area (West Papua IV and Aru PSCs) is a potentially high-impact frontier region, primarily prospective for oil within a carbonate play. Ophir plans a 3D seismic survey in this area during the fall.