Vaalco to Begin Gabon Drilling in Sept

The hydrocarbon exploration company Vaalco Energy is set to begin a drilling program off Gabon following a successful full-field maintenance shutdown at the Etame Marin licence.

The Houston-based energy company provided an operational update with additional details on the commencement of its 2019/2020 drilling program, the successful completion of its full-field annual maintenance shutdown at Etame, and the extension of the lease contract for the floating, production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) Petróleo Nautipa offshore Gabon.

Delivery of the Vantage Drilling International Topaz jackup drilling rig to Vaalco is expected in early September, said a press note. Vaalco  announced plans to drill the Etame 9P appraisal wellbore first, followed by the Etame 9H development well from the Etame platform.

It also confirmed plans to drill an additional appraisal wellbore and up to two more development wellbores later this year and into the first half of next year and successfully resumed full production following completion of the planned full-field annual maintenance shutdown offshore Gabon at the Etame field in August on schedule and on budget.

Cary Bounds, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased to have the Vantage Topaz jackup rig mobilizing to the Etame platform to commence our 2019/2020 drilling campaign in mid-September.  This represents the commencement of a busy and exciting period of operational activity for Vaalco, the ultimate objectives of which are to enhance cash flow and realize further value from our reserves and resources."

"Our current plans are to drill up to three development wells and two appraisal wellbores funded from cash on hand and cash generated from operations.  The development wells will all be drilled from our existing platforms where the infrastructure is in place to bring production online quickly.  The appraisal wellbores are expected to help further define existing leads that may potentially add reserves and de-risk future drilling locations,” Cary added.

Vantage Drilling International has notified Vaalco that they expect to release the Topaz jackup rig to Vaalco in early September following completion of ENI Gabon’s drilling operations.  Vaalco plans to spud the Etame 9P appraisal wellbore first, followed back-to-back with the Etame 9H development well.  

During August 2019, Vaalco completed its planned full field 2019 maintenance shutdown for the Etame Marin FPSO and four platforms.  The entire work scope was completed successfully with no adverse environmental or safety incidents.  The field was shut-in for approximately nine days during the shutdown and then returned to pre-shutdown production levels.

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