Afren Kicks Off Drilling Operations at Ebok Field

Afren and its partner Oriental Energy Resources have spudded the Ebok-5 well offshore South East Nigeria. Afren is drilling the Ebok-5 well with Transocean's GSF Adriatic IX jackup.

This represents the start of the initial development phase of the Ebok field which will comprise of the following drilling targets and objectives:

  • Fault Block West upside: one appraisal well (Ebok-5) to test the upside potential at the D1, LD1E and D2 reservoir horizons with an estimated gross STOIIP of 92 MMbbls and recoverable resources of 25 MMbbls;
  • D2 Southern Lobe upside: one appraisal (Ebok-6) well to test the upside potential arising from a down-dip extension of the D2 reservoir, with an estimated gross STOIIP of 33 MMbbls and recoverable resources of 8 MMbbls;
  • D2 reservoir (Fault Block 1 & 2 areas): five horizontal production wells will be drilled, accessing a base case 55 mmbbls STOIIP of which 27 MMbbls is estimated to be recoverable; and
  • D1 reservoir (Fault Block 1 & 2 areas): one horizontal production well will be drilled on the D1 reservoir, with a base case STOIIP of 77 MMbbls of which 26 MMbbls is estimated recoverable, enabling optimal planning prior to full development of the D1 reservoir in the subsequent development phase.

Both the Ebok-5 and Ebok-6 appraisal targets exhibit amplitude conformance with the Fault Block 1 and Fault Block 2 areas of the field, where 53 MMbbls of recoverable crude oil has already been proved to date, and are therefore extensions of proven oil bearing reservoirs.

Following completion of the initial horizontal wells on the Fault Block 1 & 2 areas, Afren will target the upside in the D2 Southern Lobe, and drill a further three horizontal production wells and one water injection well drilled from the existing wellhead support structure.

Fabrication of the Ebok wellhead support structure is well underway, with final negotiations taking place for the production facilities. The required environmental impact assessment ("EIA") for Ebok, together with the field development plan ("FDP") have been submitted to the Nigerian authorities.

Following completion of the initial development phases (which is set to deliver production of 15,000 bopd in H1 2010, increasing to 35,000 bopd by end 2010), it is planned that the second phase development will be launched, incorporating the full development of the D1 reservoir (Fault Block 1 & 2 areas) and Fault Block West, whilst appraising the potential within the West Flank Qua Iboe structure (150 mmbbls STOIIP, estimated 45 MMbbls recoverable resources) and Fault Block North (30 MMbbls STOIIP, estimated 9 mmbbls recoverable resources).

The recent acquisition of the adjacent Okwok Field, significantly enhances Afren's assessment of the resource potential of the greater Ebok - Okwok petroleum complex. Afren currently plans to drill one appraisal well at Okwok in mid 2010, and is engaged in studies to determine the optimal well location and development concept, maximizing on development synergies with Ebok.

Osman Shahenshah, Chief Executive of Afren, commented, "Having secured a drilling unit at competitive rates, we are pleased to be entering the drilling phase at the Ebok development. We have an intensive drilling schedule and remain on track to achieve production from Ebok of 15,000 bopd in H1 2010. Simultaneously we will seek to appraise and de-risk up to 169 MMbbls of upside potential from the greater Ebok / Okwok complex. We will also continue to pursue other opportunities in the surrounding area within the framework of our collaboration agreement with Oriental."

Alhaji Mohammed Indimi, Chairman of Oriental, commented, "We are delighted that further appraisal and consecutive development drilling operations have commenced on schedule at the Ebok Field, representing an important milestone towards our successful delivery of one of the largest independent oil developments to date in Nigeria. Having recently welcomed our partner Afren to participate in the appraisal and development of the nearby Okwok Field, we look forward to firstly establishing Ebok as a production hub and replicating this success at Okwok, whilst continuing to pursue other suitable development opportunities in the surrounding area. Oriental is on track to deliver its commitment of major crude oil production from Nigeria's offshore waters."