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Vaalco ESP fails again, shuts-in well off Gabon

Written by  Thursday, 15 September 2016 08:30

Houston’s Vaalco Energy has run into more trouble offshore Gabon, with electrical submersible pumps (ESP) continuing to fail, leaving a well shut-in.

Map from Vaalco.

Vaalco has experienced several issues with ESPs in recent months, seeing the Avouma 2-H and South Tchibala 2-H wells experiencing failed ESPs. Both wells produce from the Avouma platform in the Etame Marin permit, offshore West Africa.

“Vaalco has attempted to restart the lower ESP without success and the well is temporarily shut-in pending a workover,” the company confirmed.

The company said it is in the process of mobilizing a hydraulic workover unit to the Avouma platform to recover failed ESPs in the Avouma 2-H well and the South Tchibala 2-H well. 

Following the removal of the ESPs, the company plans to immediately install a replacement ESP in the Avouma 2-H well and anticipates restoring production from the well by mid Q4 2016, Vaalco said.

“The failed ESPs will be sent to the manufacturer’s facilities for a root cause investigation to determine the failure mechanism,” Vaalco said. “Once the cause of the ESP failures is understood, appropriately modified ESP systems will be installed in the South Tchibala 2-H well and, if necessary, the Avouma 2-H well."

Vaalco first had issues with ESP failure in late July when the primary ESP failed in the Avouma 2-H well on the Avouma platform.

Prior to attempting to start the secondary ESP, Vaalco and the original equipment manufacturer, which installed the ESP, worked closely to re-design the start-up procedure and adjust the operating conditions in an effort to prevent another ESP failure, according to Vaalco. The lower pump was successfully started in August and remained operational for approximately 10 days. 

At the time of the secondary ESP failure, the well was producing approximately 1850 b/d gross or 450 b/d net to the company. 

Read more:

Vaalco restarts at Avouma

Vaalco sees more ESP failure, jump in revenue

Vaalco acquires more Etame Marin stake

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