VAALCO Energy Inc. has said that the South Tchibala 1HB-ST well of the Avouma platform in the Etame field has been successfully drilled and completed, offshore Gabon, The company has also provided an additional operational information regarding its activities in Gabon.
The South Tchibala 1HB-ST well was successfully completed after performing a frac pack on the Dentale D1 sand. The company will add new reserves previously not captured in VAALCO’s 2P reserves, while the well will be flowed slowly and at varying rates of fluid per day during its initial flow back period. Oil flow rate is expected to stabilized in the next five to seven days. An upside potential was identified in a second sand encountered in the well, the Dentale D9, which showed hydrocarbon potential.
The company also provides plans to exercise extension option on currently contracted rig and add two additional wells to current 2021/22 drilling program for a total of six wells. Vaalco is currently mobilizing rig to the Southeast Etame North Tchibala (“SEENT”) platform to commence drilling the ETBNM 2H-ST, the fourth development well in the 2021/2022 program,
The replacement of existing Floating Production, Storage and Offloading unit (“FPSO”) proceeds on schedule and new Floating Storage and Offloading (“FSO”) vessel is scheduled to arrive in Gabon in early August; and
Vaalco reported that liftings during the second quarter of 2022 totaled 1,871,446 gross barrels of oil, a record quarterly high, and reaffirmed that VAALCO’s full year 2022 net production guidance remains within the range of 9,500 – 10,500 BOPD.
George Maxwell, VAALCO’s Chief Executive Officer commented, “The Etame asset is a premier, high-quality field that has produced over 126 million barrels of oil and we believe still has significant upside over the next decade. We are pleased with the results of the South Tchibala 1HB-ST well which will add to production once the long-term stabilized rate is established, and more importantly, adds new reserves to VAALCO’s 1P and 2P positions. The continued success of our 2021/22 drilling campaign, coupled with a strong pricing environment and financial efficiencies of keeping the rig on location has enabled us to extend the current four-well program by an additional two wells.
“The FPSO replacement and full field reconfiguration plans are progressing in-line with our expectations and we look forward to benefitting from the associated cost savings in Q4 2022 and beyond, once those activities have been completed. These activities are expected to save approximately $20-25 million gross per year in operational costs through 2030 resulting in rapid payback and a material impact on production margins and free cash flow going forward.
“We achieved record high quarterly liftings during the second quarter of 2022, which equates to sales volumes of approximately 10,500 BOPD net to VAALCO. Our preliminary estimate of production for the period of 9,200 to 9,300 BOPD was modestly below our expectations primarily due to delays associated with initiating production on our last two development wells on the Avouma platform, which required more complex and time-consuming completions. Nonetheless, we continue to expect to meet our full year 2022 production guidance.”
Etame: The South Tchibala 1HB-ST
The South Tchibala 1HB-ST was successfully completed after performing a frac pack on the Dentale D1 sand, the first operation of this kind in the Etame field. The second sand identified during the drilling, the Dentale D9, was not appraised during this completion, although it also showed hydrocarbon potential.
The well will be brought on slowly to allow the formation to be cleaned up adequately over the next several weeks after which a long-term stabilized flow rate will be established. During the initial period, the well will be flowed at varying rates of fluid per day to ensure that long-term formation and completion damage risk is minimized. VAALCO expects to see a stabilized flow rate in the next five to seven days.
The South Tchibala 1HB-ST well adds new reserves that were previously not captured in VAALCO’s 2P reserves and, upon successful completion and first production, these reserves will be additive to VAALCO’s 1P as well as 2P reserves. VAALCO’s internal reserve range estimate of original oil in place (“OOIP”) for the Dentale D1 sand is 5.5 to 16 million barrels of oil (“MMBO”). The Company’s internal estimate of ultimate recoverable reserves (“EUR”) is 1.8 MMBO, with a range of 0.5 to 3.0 MMBO.
The additional Dentale D9 (15 meters net hydrocarbons) interval can be tested and completed in the future and has an estimate OOIP range of 4 to 15 MMBO, which can be completed after the D1 sand is depleted or accessed with another well.
Etame: 2021/2022 Drilling Campaign
Following the completion of the South Tchibala 1HB-ST well, the rig is currently being mobilized to the SEENT Platform to drill the final planned well in the 2021/2022 program, the ETBNM 2H-ST well, which is targeting the Dentale formations.
VAALCO plans to exercise its options to extend its contract for the existing rig with Borr West Africa Assets Inc., an affiliate of Borr Drilling Limited, and as a result the Company plans to add two additional wells to the program to take advantage of both higher oil prices and reduced overall spread costs in the current contracts. As a result, the Company plans to add two additional wells to the program, the Ebouri 6H development well targeting the Gamba formation and a Northeast Avouma well that is a near-field exploration well also targeting the Gamba formation and if successful is expected to be tied into the Avouma platform at a later date.
Etame: Full Field Reconfiguration
FSO (FPSO Replacement)
The replacement of the existing FPSO is on schedule and, despite challenges with worldwide supply chain issues, the “Teli” (renamed from “Cap Diamant”), is expected to leave Bahrain on July 7 following completion of sea trials and arrive in Gabon at the beginning of August. All major equipment is on board and the mooring equipment is in transit with arrival in early August.
Etame Platform Modifications
Modifications to the Etame platform, to support the full field reconfiguration, are also on schedule. VAALCO has recently completed the first of several short facility outages to allow for flare system upgrades and the installation of tie-in points for the process equipment. All major deck components have arrived in Gabon and additional major components are in transit. Installation of all equipment will continue over the next eight weeks, with final hookup and commissioning expected to occur in the third quarter once the Teli is moored on location.
Preparation for the subsea reconfiguration is also underway with the first portion of the Bourbon/RANA dive program starting in mid-July. The DOF Skandi Constructor has completed integration of the lay equipment in Peterhead UK and has transferred to Newcastle UK where it has completed loading the flexible pipe and ancillary equipment. The Skandi Constructor is scheduled to arrive in Gabon in late July and will commence reconfiguration of the existing lines and installation of the new lines.
Production and Q2 Liftings
During the second quarter of 2022, liftings totaled 1,871,446 gross barrels of oil, a record quarterly high for VAALCO, which equates to sales volumes of approximately 10,500 BOPD net to VAALCO. The total volume lifted through the period was impacted slightly due to the Etame outage as well as several short duration outages relating to operational, facilities and drilling simultaneous operations.
The Company expects a lifting of approximately 500,000 barrels to occur in late-July, with two additional liftings anticipated to occur in August. The August liftings will be similar in size, or approximately 400,000 – 500,000 barrels each, to facilitate the removal of the FPSO and the switch out to the FSO in September.
As of the end of the second quarter of 2022, VAALCO’s full year 2022 production guidance remains within the range of 9,500 to 10,500 net NRI BOPD. Preliminary production during the second quarter of 2022 is estimated at 9,200 to 9,300 net BOPD and was modestly lower than expected primarily due to delays associated with the last two wells on the Avouma platform being completed and placed on-line, as well as some temporary downtime associated with the Etame platform reconfiguration. The Company continues to expect to meet its 2022 annual guidance.
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