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Second success for Vaalco in Gabon

Men in overalls at work offshore

Vaalco’s Etame 11H well in Gabon is producing at rates greater than had been expected before it was drilled, the Texas-based company said, boosting production.

The well began producing in early January at a higher than expected flow of 5,200 barrels per day of oil, of which 1,400 bpd was net to Vaalco. Unlike some of the company’s other wells off Gabon, there is no produced hydrogen sulphide. The Etame 11H had been expected to flow at 2,500-3,500 bpd gross.

The Etame 11H well reached a total depth of 9,022 feet (2,749 metres), with 860 feet (262 metres) of horizontal section in the Gamba.

The success of the Etame 11H well has played a part in increasing Vaalco’s output to around 5,900 bpd, from its average production of 3,476 bpd in 2019. This well is the second in the company’s 2019-20 drilling campaign.

The Etame 9H well was announced in early December 2019, with gross production of 5,500 bpd and 1,500 bpd net to Vaalco. Output has subsequently fallen to 4,200 bpd, which the company said was in line with expectations and Etame 11H should follow a similar path.

“The high-quality reservoir we encountered in both the Etame 9H and Etame 11H wells has yielded two significant new producing wells and validated our strategy to undertake this programme,” said Vaalco’s CEO Cary Bounds. These two wells, plus restoring production from the Etame 4H, has boosted the company’s output, he said.

A workover on the Etame 10H well, which was shut in, has begun in order to restore production and there are plans for the drilling of the SE Etame 4P appraisal to follow. The Etame 10H could provide another 200 bpd net to Vaalco, Bounds said. The Etame 10H’s pump failed in September 2019 and the work is intended to replace this.

“We then plan to move the rig to the SEENT platform to drill the SE Etame 4P appraisal wellbore, which could confirm additional development well locations in the Gamba reservoir,” the executive said. This appraisal well is intended to evaluate a Gamba step-out. Completion of this well will satisfy Vaalco’s drilling commitments, agreed to under a licence extension signed in late 2018.

Vaalco’s production in the fourth quarter was 3,664 bpd net, or 13,560 bpd gross. This was marginally ahead of the 2019 average, with an exit rate of 4,800 bpd.

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