Ophir Strikes Again Offshore Tanzania

Ophir Energy plc announced that the Papa-1 well has made the first Cretaceous gas discovery outboard of the Rufiji Delta in Block 3, offshore Tanzania and is the sixth consecutive discovery by Ophir offshore Tanzania.


  • Play-finder exploration well; successful first test of Cretaceous targets outboard of Rufiji Delta in Block 3
  • Sixth consecutive gas discovery for the Ophir-BG Joint Venture in Tanzanian offshore Blocks 1, 3, 4
  • A 292-foot (89-meter) gas bearing column in the Upper Cretaceous
  • Based on the preliminary data available, Ophir management estimate 0.5 - 2.0 Tcf in place; detailed core and petrophysical analysis will confirm the scale of the discovered resource

Papa-1 is located ca. 62 miles (100 kilometers) in Block 3, offshore Tanzania; 33 miles (53 kilometers) south east of the earlier Pweza-1 discovery. The well was spud on May 29, 2012 in 7,172 feet (2,186 meters) of water and was drilled by the drillship Deepsea Metro I (UDW drillship) to a total depth of 18,189 feet (5,544 meters) subsea in 57 days.

Papa-1 represents the first exploration test of Upper Cretaceous Intraslope play outboard of the Rufiji Delta and the first well to be drilled in Block 3. The well was designed to evaluate sandstones of Campanian and Albian age within the structural Papa prospect. Papa-1 encountered an 89m gas bearing column in interbedded, Campanian sandstones. Ophir management's preliminary analysis of the discovery suggests an in place resource of 0.5 - 2.0 Tcf. Further detailed petrophysical and core analysis will commence shortly to calibrate the logging data and refine the in place and recoverable resource estimates.

The Papa discovery further de-risks the deeper, Upper Cretaceous Intraslope play in Tanzania. Additional resources have now been discovered in the Cretaceous stratigraphy outboard of both the Rovuma and Rufiji Deltas by the Mzia-1 and Papa-1 wells. An update of the in place and recoverable resource estimates from the Mzia and Papa discoveries on the new Cretaceous Intraslope play will follow the ongoing petrophysical analysis.

The BG-Ophir Joint Venture's first four discoveries have successfully tested targets of Miocene, Oligocene and Paleocene age in the Tertiary Intraslope Play and are currently estimated to have discovered total recoverable resources of ca. 7 Tcf (1,167 MMboe). The fifth discovery, Mzia, and the sixth discovery, Papa, both in the new Upper Cretaceous Intraslope Play are expected to add considerable additional recoverable resource to this total.

The Deepsea Metro I drillship will now be sub-let to Apache for a single well in Block L8, Kenya, adjacent to Ophir's Block L9 (60 percent), before returning to continue operations with the Ophir-BG Joint Venture in Tanzania. The Joint Venture will recommence drilling in Block 1, Tanzania in October 2012. Next in the sequence will be two step-out exploration and appraisal wells around the 3.4 Tcf (567 MMboe) Jodari discovery for a potential hub for the LNG development in Block 1.

Nick Cooper, CEO of Ophir said:

"Papa-1 was the sixth well, and sixth consecutive discovery, for the Ophir-BG Joint Venture offshore Tanzania. The Papa discovery reaffirms the potential repeatability of the Intraslope Play and ability to aggregate substantial gas volumes across Blocks 1,3,4.

"The two most recent wells in Tanzania were designed to test the deeper-lying prospectivity of the Cretaceous Intraslope play. The Mzia-1 success in May 2012 confirmed for the first time the prospectivity in the Upper Cretaceous sequences outboard of the Rovuma Delta. The Papa-1 success now confirms similar Upper Cretaceous prospectivity outboard of the Rufiji Delta and represents the first discovery in Block 3. While recoverable resources are likely to be lower than pre-drill estimates, this very encouraging discovery is expected to lead to substantial additional resources from this new Upper Cretaceous play.

"The next drilling on Blocks 1,3,4 will focus on adding further resource around the Jodari discovery to form a potential hub for the LNG development.

"Separately, Ophir has received preliminary products from the recently recorded Block 1 3D seismic survey that is targeting the Rovuma Delta Basin Floor Fan play. Interpretation work is commencing to determine whether the area contains features potentially comparable to those discovered in the adjacent play offshore Mozambique.

"Ophir has transformed its resource base with the four discoveries across our assets in the first half of 2012. We anticipate two further well results from Equatorial Guinea by early September."


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