VAALCO brings second development well online at North Tchibala oil field offshore Gabon

Offshore staff

HOUSTON VAALCO Energy says the North Tchibala 2-H well, the second development well drilled in the North Tchibala oil field, was brought online at a stabilized rate of about 500 b/d. The well was drilled to a measured depth of 16,476 ft (5,022 m) and encountered good-quality sands in the Dentale D-18/19 reservoir.

The company says the well came online flowing naturally with no H2S and water free. Based on production tests in nearby exploration wells, the quality of the reservoir would indicate the potential for a higher flow rate than has been achieved thus far. The company is gathering diagnostic data to assess the productive capacity of the North Tchibala 2-H well and to determine if there is remedial work that might increase the flow rate from the well.

The North Tchibala 2-H is the third successful well drilled and placed on production at its new Southeast Etame/North Tchibala (SEENT) platform located in approximately 260 ft (79 m) of water offshore Gabon. VAALCO is the operator of the Etame Marin permit area and owns a 28.1% working interest. 

While the Dentale formation is productive in onshore Gabon fields, the North Tchibala field represents the first Dentale production developed offshore Gabon. The first North Tchibala producer, North Tchibala 1-H, targeted the shallower Dentale D-9 formation at approximately 11,200 ft (3,414 m) measured depth and was placed on production during 3Q 2015.

The North Tchibala 1-H well initially produced at a sustained rate of 3,000 b/d flowing naturally for six weeks with minimal pressure depletion. In late October, the company observed a decline in bottomhole pressure accompanied by an increase in gas production rates. The well was choked back to approximately 1,500 b/d and bottomhole pressure has now stabilized. Production continues to remain at that level, which is still at initial expectations for the well.

The Transocean Constellation II jackup rig has mobilized to the nearby Avouma/South Tchibala platform to conduct workover operations to replace electrical submersible pumps on three existing production wells, two of which are off production.

VAALCO Chairman and CEO Steve Guidry commented: “I am pleased to announce that the North Tchibala 2-H well encountered very good-quality reservoir. As a result, we are further encouraged about the long-term upside potential for the Dentale formation on our Etame Marin acreage, but it will take time to monitor the ongoing performance of the first two wells and to test other areas of our concession with additional wells in the future.

“While no more wells are planned for the SEENT platform in the near term, we are evaluating the drilling of a development well at the Etame platform in early 2016 following our three-well workover program. The Etame development well would target the Gamba formation as well as test the Dentale reservoir that we believe could exist at deeper depths in that area.”


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