Noble Hits Again Offshore West Africa

Noble Block "I", Equatorial Guinea
(Click to Enlarge)

For the second day in a row, Noble Energy announced the discovery of hydrocarbons offshore West Africa. Located in the PH-77 license area offshore the Republic of Cameroon, this natural gas and condensate find is adjacent to Blocks O and I offshore Equatorial Guinea, for which Noble is also a participating partner.

"We are pleased that our first well offshore Cameroon has resulted in a new discovery," said Noble Energy Chairman, President and CEO Charles D. Davidson. "The presence of hydrocarbons in high quality reservoirs, as well as the developing gas infrastructure in West Africa, leads us to believe that the area has significant potential for Noble Energy and its partners."

Located in 1,732 feet of water, the well discovered a high-quality Miocene reservoir at 8,425 feet with 95 feet of net hydrocarbon pay at the YoYo-1 prospect interval. However, a deeper target in the Paleogene did not pan out.

Initial tests point to flow rates of 330 b/d of condensate and 31 MMcf/d of natural gas, with production rates limited by test facilities. Condensate amounts can be increase by the installation of cooling and processing facilities.

Additional appraisal work is required to learn the scope of the YoYo-1 discovery, and Noble is in the market for other rigs in 2008. The rig used for the initial drilling, Transoceanís Sedco 700, is a semisub with a 3,600-rated water depth. Any future rigs will need to possess similar capabilities.

Noble has set a production time frame of 2011 for all of its West Africa developments, yet a market for the gas has not net been determined. The company is currently working to establish this.

Noble serves as operator on the PH-77 license with 50 percent interest. Other partners in the license area include Societe Nationale des Hydrocarbures (SNH), the state-owned petroleum company for Cameroon, and Petronas, the Malaysian national oil company. Noble acquired its PH-77 percentage from ConocoPhillips in July 2006.

PH-77 includes 1.125 million acres offshore Cameroon and is the international boundary with Equatorial Guinea. Between Ph-77 and Blocks I and O, Noble has at least a 40-percent interest in more than 1.5 million contiguous acres in the Gulf of Guinea.

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