Gabon on track to increase oil production

36304201230 db730d4b38 zGabon’s Ministry of Petroleum, Gas and Hydrocarbons announced that it will promote exploration and production opportunities at the Africa Oil & Power conference on 9-11 October in Cape Town

As the country is working to increase its crude oil production by 50 per cent by 2020/2021, US hydrocarbon exploration firm Vaalco Energy announced that it would begin its offshore drilling campaign this September.

The start of the drilling campaign is followed by a successful full-field maintenance shutdown of four of Vaalco’s platforms under the Etame Marin license, which has since returned to its pre-shutdown production levels, and an extension of Vaalco’s lease contract for the Petroleum Nautipa floating, production, storage and unloading vessel (FPSO) to September 2021.

The FPSO has the capacity to process 25.000 bpd from the fields of Etame, Ebouri, Avouma, South Chibala, North Chibala and South East Etame. The five-well drilling campaign will begin with the Etame 9P appraisal well and follow with the 9H development well from the Etame platform.

Chief Executive Cary Bounds said, “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.”

Vaalco estimated a net drilling budget of US$20mn to US$25mn this year and US$5mn to US$10mn in 2020. In addition, the Gabon-focused firm said it believes that the two appraisal wells may confirm up to up to “five million net barrels of 2P oil reserves spread across six well locations targeted in future drilling campaigns”.

As part of its plans, it also expects to deliver the Vantage International Topaz jack-up drilling rig in this September.

2019 has been a year of intense activity: Gabon’s 12th Shallow and Deep Water Licensing Round is still underway; recently, with the support of the International Monetary Fund, the country enacted its revised hydrocarbon code, which is fiscally more attractive than the previous one; and Petronas announced its signing for a further two exploration permits - the two offshore blocks, F12 and F13, are said to have a production capacity of 200,000 bpd.

With proven oil reserves of 2.5bn bbl, Gabon is one of the more established hydrocarbons producers in the Gulf of Guinea.

Coming together to discuss this year’s conference theme #MakeEnergyWork, Gabon’s Minister of Petroleum, Gas and Hydrocarbons, Noel Mboumba, will join the Africa Oil & Power (AOP) conference.

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