Stena Drilling has signed a contract to provide its Stena IceMax to CNOOC Africa for two wells next year.
The drilling company said the work was scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2023. CNOOC Africa will use the rig to drill two wells off Gabon, with work expected to take a total of 90 days.
Stena welcomed the “repeat business with CNOOC”. The company looks “forward to working with CNOOC to complete this campaign”.
CNOOC International has 100% stakes, and the role of operator, in the BC9 and BCD10 blocks. The company signed up the acreage in 2019 with a commitment to invest $30 million in exploration.
Shell had previously owned the blocks, with CNOOC International holding 25%. Shell made a large deepwater gas discovery in 2014 in the BCD10 licence, around 145 km offshore, in 2,110 metres of water.
The Chinese company has also said the area holds “multiple pre-and-post-salt prospects and leads”.
Gabon brought in a new hydrocarbon code in 2019 with the aim of incentivising new investments. The legislation reduced the required state interest in blocks to 10% and offered reduced taxation for gas production.
Earlier this month, Gabon Minister of Petroleum Vincent de Paul Massassa announced plans by Oil India Ltd (OIL) to carry out a long-term test of the onshore Lassa field.