VAALCO discovers oil offshore Gabon

VAALCO announced the Southeast Etame No. 1 (ETSEM-1) exploration well completed drilling to a total depth of 2,757 m offshore Gabon and encountered approximately five m of Gamba sandstone section which logged oil full to base.

The ETSEM-1 well is being drilled on a prospect within the boundaries of the Etame Development Area, five km southeast of the Etame field. The Gamba sandstone section encountered in the ETSEM-1 well is the same reservoir that produces in the Etame, Avouma, South Tchibala and Ebouri fields.

The Company is proceeding to sidetrack the ETSEM-1 well to confirm the oil accumulation and seek the oil/water contact in the Gamba sandstone section to determine if the discovery is commercial. The sidetrack is expected to take approximately 22 days to drill. An additional sidetrack may be necessary to further delineate the prospect. If the Southeast Etame prospect proves to be commercial, it is expected the new field can be developed and tied back to the company's existing FPSO facilities.

Mr. Robert Gerry, Chairman and CEO of VAALCO, stated, "We are encouraged by the initial results of the Southeast Etame exploration well. This discovery has the potential to add to the Etame consortium's reserves, continuing the success of our ongoing drilling program."

The ETSEM-1 well has been deepened to investigate potential Dentale sand reservoirs below the Gamba sandstone section. Although some hydrocarbon shows were encountered, the initial assessment is the Dentale sands are primarily water-bearing at this location. However, logging activities are underway to further evaluate the Dentale sands.

Following the expected appraisal of the ETSEM-1 well, VAALCO will move the drilling rig to the Etame field to drill a new horizontal development well in the Etame field (Etame 7H) and expects to complete that well during the third quarter of this year.

The Company's subsidiary VAALCO Gabon Etame, Inc. operates the Etame Marin Permit in which it holds a 28.07 per cent net interest in the Etame Field. Other participants in the permit are Addax Petroleum Etame Inc. (31.36 per cent), Sasol Petroleum Etame Limited (27.75 per cent), Sojitz Etame Limited (2.98 per cent), PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (2.34 per cent) and Tullow Oil Gabon SA (7.5 per cent).

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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