Royal Dutch Shell PLC and its partners Pavilion Energy Pte. Ltd. and Ophir Energy PLC have commenced a two-well drilling program in Blocks 1 and 4 offshore Tanzania in the Mafia Deep basin. The Noble Globe Trotter 2 is drilling both wells in 2,300 m of water.
The joint venture will invest close to $80 million into the drilling campaign, Shell said in its press release. Shell became the operator of the two blocks in Febraury 2016 after its combination with BG Group PLC (OGJ Online, Apr. 8, 2015). The wells will meet the remaining exploration requirements per the licenses issued by the Tanzanian Ministry of Energy Minerals (MEM).
Ophir was awarded 100% interest in Block 1 in 2005, and in Blocks 3 and 4 in 2006. The operator has drilled 11 exploration wells and 5 appraisal wells on a mix of Tertiary and Creataceous plays since 2010. Block 1 is home to the Mzia and Jodari discoveries (OGJ Online, Aug. 27, 2014, May 1, 2013). Blocks 1 and 4 contain 17 tcf of gross contingent resources.
Ophir farmed out 60% of Blocks 1 and 4 to BG, now Shell, in 2010 and sold a further 20% to Pavilion Energy in 2014 for $1.3 billion. Ophir retains 20% interest in Blocks 1 and 4.
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