VAALCO Energy has provided an update on its drilling program in the Ebouri Field, located offshore Gabon, and reported that its second North Ebouri development well will be completed and placed on production by March 2009.
North Ebouri Development
VAALCO's North Ebouri development well is currently producing at a rate of approximately 5,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). As previously announced, oil production from this well began in January. The well was drilled from one of the three well slots on the Ebouri platform, which was installed in a water depth of 250 feet. The first pilot hole was drilled to the south of the original Ebouri discovery and a second pilot hole was drilled to the northwest of the original discovery. Both of these pilot holes were successful in delineating additional Gamba sandstone reservoir above the oil water contact, thereby increasing the acreage and reserves of the Ebouri field. The development well was completed horizontally on the same orientation as the second pilot hole.
With the two Ebouri development wells, the Company continues to expect total production from the Etame block to be approximately 25,000 bopd, which would maximize the current throughput oil capacity of the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility serving the Etame and Avouma / Tchibala fields. VAALCO has a 28.1% working interest in the Etame license area.
Two Exploratory Wells in the Etame Block
On January 27, 2009, VAALCO announced that the Pride Cabinda jackup rig had commenced drilling the North Etame (ETNM-1) exploration well, to be followed by a second exploration well in Southeast Etame (ETSEM-1), both on newly mapped structures. VAALCO said today that the target Gamba reservoir at the North Etame well was encountered lower than anticipated and was water bearing. After gathering further data and consulting with its partners, the Company expects that the North Etame well will be plugged and abandoned, and the rig released, consistent with the contractual terms for the rig. VAALCO is in negotiations to secure a rig to drill the Southeast Etame exploration well.
On February 2, 2009, VAALCO began drilling the first of two planned exploratory wells with the Nabors 864 rig, and as of February 16 was at a depth of approximately 575 meters. Completion of this well is anticipated by early March. VAALCO has a 100% working interest in the onshore Mutamba block.
Robert Gerry, Chairman and CEO of VAALCO, said, "We are extremely pleased to have successfully drilled our second development well in North Ebouri to capture those additional reserves recently proved-up in the area. We have a strong program in place to increase VAALCO’s reserves with five additional exploratory wells planned throughout the year. These exploratory wells, together with our two producing North Ebouri development wells, give us confidence in our ability to further enhance the Company’s growth and shareholder value."
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