Ophir Kicks Off Drilling Campaign Offshore Equatorial Guinea

Ophir Energy plc provided the following update on its operations:

The first well in Ophir's 2012 Block R campaign in Equatorial Guinea was spud on July 2 by the Eirik Raude (UDW semisub). Ophir operates Block R with an 80 percent stake.

The Eirik Raude semisubmersible will batch drill the top-hole sections at both Fortuna East and Fortuna West before moving to the Tonel-1 location where it will drill the entire well. Once Tonel-1 has been completed the rig will return to, and complete, Fortuna West and then Fortuna East. The entire program is anticipated to take 60-90 days.

The three-well 2012 drilling program is targeting 2.2 Tcf (362 MMboe) of unrisked mean estimated recoverable gross resource:

  • Tonel-1 (736 Bcf; 123 MMboe) is targeting multiple stacked mid-Miocene targets within a stacked, thrust belt. The primary target (510 Bcf) is DHI supported. Results are expected to be released in late July.
  • Fortuna West (773 Bcf; 128 MMboe) and Fortuna East (663 Bcf; 111 MMboe) are step out exploration wells from the existing Fortuna-1 gas discovery. These wells are targeting multiple stacked prospects of Miocene to Pliocene age. Both primary targets within the stacked objectives are DHI supported and each has a mean unrisked resource estimate of 300 Bcf.

Update on Papa-1 well drilling in Tanzania (Block 3)

The Block 1, 3 and 4 drilling program, operated by BG (Ophir 40%) continues on schedule.

The Deepsea Metro 1 (UDW drillship) completed operations at the Mzia-1 discovery (Block 1) on 21 May and the vessel then moved to the Papa-1 location in Block 3. The well was spud on May 29 and is estimated to take 65 days to complete. Papa-1 is targeting the Upper Cretaceous intra-slope channel play within the Rufiji delta. The Papa-1 prospect has an unrisked mean estimated recoverable resource of 3.1 Tcf (517 MMboe). Results are expected to be released in late July.

Once Papa-1 is completed the Deepsea Metro 1 will be assigned to Apache for a single well in Kenya on acreage adjacent to Ophir's Blocks L9 (60%) and L15 (100%), before returning to continue operations with the Ophir-BG Joint Venture in Tanzania.

Update on Gabon Pre-Salt Exploration (Mbeli and Ntsina)

Processing of the pre-salt 3D-seismic survey is approximately 50% complete. Ophir and Petrobras expect to receive the final processed dataset in Q4 2012. Drilling of the first pre-salt target is anticipated in early 2013 subject to rig availability.

Nick Cooper CEO of Ophir said: "Ophir's 2012 drilling program has so far delivered the Jodari-1 and Mzia-1 gas discoveries in Tanzania. With the kick-off of our Equatorial Guinea campaign, we are now running simultaneous drilling campaigns in West and East Africa through the summer. A further four well results, targeting a substantial net unrisked resource of 3.0 Tcf (500 MMboe) are anticipated by early September. Shareholders will be updated as these campaigns progress through the summer."


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