Shell close to resuming deepwater drilling offshore Tanzania

Offshore staff

LONDONOphir Energy expects to drill three to five exploration wells as operator during 2017-2018, taking advantage of lower rig rates.

In addition, the company will participate in a two-well program later this year offshore Tanzania, operated by Shell.

This will comprise one deepwater well in block 1 and another in block 4, both targeting further gas close to the planned location of subsea development infrastructure, and which could be tied back easily, thereby improving the economics of any potential development.

Earlier this year, Ophir signed a PSC for block CI-513 off Côte d’Ivoire, which it operates with a 45% interest. The company has high graded the liquids-prone Ayame prospect, with prospective recoverable resources of around 240 MMbbl and a 27% chance of success.

The anticipated reduced well cost (with the drilling industry at a cyclical low) is around $15-18 million net to Ophir.

Off Equatorial Guinea, the southwest portion of block R contains a potential extension of an oil play in an adjoining block, where ExxonMobil commissioned a 3D seismic survey earlier this year. Ophir granted permission for the survey to be extended into block R.

The company is waiting to receive the data before deciding how to proceed on this play, but taking into account analogues in the Niger Delta, there is the potential for prospects in the hundreds of millions of barrels range.

Offshore Indonesia, the Trepang 3D seismic survey started last month over the West Papua/Aru licenses. Ophir also completed reprocessing of existing seismic over the West Aru license, allowing it to mature a number various leads to prospects.

As processing and interpretation of the new data progresses, both areas should deliver further drilling candidates for 2017/18.


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