FirstAfrica Completes Initial Development Drilling at EOV Field
FirstAfrica has completed the initial development drilling program in the East Orovinyare Oil Field ("EOV Field") offshore Gabon. As a result of four development wells drilled with the GlobalSantaFe Adriatic VI jackup, the Company is confident that an initial production rate in excess of 7,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) will be achieved at the start of production, now expected to commence in Q3 2007. The test results also validate the Company's confidence that further development work will enhance both future production volumes and reserves estimates.
Since its arrival, the Adriatic VI has drilled the EOV 4, 5, 6 and 7 development wells and several sidetracks during a program that was extended from an initial 100 days to 151 so as to drill and test deeper levels below the EOV Field. Drill stem testing of the wells saw combined maximum test flow rates of over 10,000 bopd.
EOV-7 was spudded on July 11, 2006 and was deepened 2,000ft (measured depth) below the Batanga main reservoir as hydrocarbon indications persisted at the base of the objective zone. While prolonging the drilling program, log analysis from this well identified several sandstone units with oil saturations and net sand thicknesses totaling 712 feet (measured depth) with an average porosity of 20%. A drill stem test recovered oil to the surface prior to the occurrence of borehole stability issues preventing further testing. Studies will now follow which will result in targeted appraisal drilling in the future in order to determine potential oil reserves from these deeper levels.
On August 14th, a sidetrack well was initiated from EOV-7 and drilled into the northern sector of the field. This well, EOV7-ST1, encountered the Batanga Sandstone at 3,413 feet measured depth. Wireline logging indicated a gross oil reservoir section of 213 feet (measured depth). Net sands were estimated at 124 feet (measured depth) with average porosities of 22% and permeabilities of 10-400 millidarcies. During drill stem testing the well flowed oil at a rate of 610 barrels of oil per day (bopd) with a maximum instantaneous flow of 810 bopd. The gravity of the oil was measured at 38 degrees API, the H2S content was 6,000 ppm, and the water content zero.
The Company further reports excellent progress on the fabrication of the facilities infrastructure for the field, with the platform now 80% complete. In order to allow a complete analysis of the extensive technical data that has been gathered during the drilling program and enable the optimization of the development plan for the field, FirstAfrica has re-set the date for commencement of production as Q3 2007.
As previously announced, FirstAfrica will require a further $45 million in funding to complete the final phase of the planned development. The Company is reviewing options for sources of funding, including various forms of debt finance.
Commenting on the drilling program, FirstAfrica CEO Robert Kirchner said, "We
are delighted that we are now able to give the market concrete details of our
progress in the EOV Field. The drilling results validate our strategy of
concentrating on bringing EOV into early production, with its cashflows funding
the Company's further expansion and development. Whilst initial flow test
results of EOV-7 have not yet matched that of the previous wells, we are
satisfied with the overall results from the drilling program and greatly
encouraged to have found several new potential oil bearing zones in the deeper
horizons. While these deeper horizons are likely to enhance reserves, of more
immediate impact on production volumes is the information gained from this
drilling program that has allowed us to identify the 'sweet' spots for
additional production wells in the Batanga reservoir. As well, the data has
confirmed our ability to complete and produce from the two wells in the field
that were previously drilled and suspended by the previous operator."
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