Third Gabon well disappoints

March 19, 2014

Ophir blocks offshore Gabon, West Africa.

Ophir Energy’s deepwater Padouck Deep-1 well, in the Ntsina block, offshore Gabon, has completed drilling and found no significant hydrocarbons.

London-based Ophir said the well, drilled with the Vantage Titanium Explorer, was targeting the Cretaceous Gamba and Coniquet/Dentale sands in the pre-salt section. 

“Thicker than expected, good quality Gamba and Coniquet/Dentale reservoir sands were encountered,” Ophir said. “There were no significant hydrocarbon shows in the targeted reservoirs, however, minor shows were interpreted at shallower intervals providing evidence of a working hydrocarbon system in the offshore North Gabon Basin.”

Padouck Deep-1 was Ophir’s third well in Gabon. The first two were the Franke Noir-1 well, on the Ntsina block, and Ngollon-1 well, on the Manga block, both drilled in late 2008 on post-salt targets. Ophir said, while both were unsuccessful, they improved the understanding of the petroleum system within the blocks.

Ophir previously said Padouck Deep could have gross mean resource estimates of c.1billion bbl. 

Ophir said the key pre-drill risk on Padouck Deep was that of seal and trap integrity. The lack of the anticipated thin salt drape over this high relief prospect and the lack of sealing shales within the targeted reservoirs appear to be a cause of the prospect’s failure.” 

Ophir CEO Nick Cooper said: “The Padouck Deep-1 result is disappointing but its failure appears to be prospect-specific and does not dampen our enthusiasm for the broader pre-salt play offshore Gabon. The well did confirm the presence of thicker than anticipated, good quality reservoir sequences and also evidence of a working hydrocarbon system. Despite the lack of commercial success with Padouck Deep-1, these are positives for future exploration of the play. Trap integrity was identified as the key risk pre-drill and the absence of salt across this prospect is likely to have contributed to the result. The next pre-salt well will be on the Okala prospect where a thick salt section is interpreted above the target reservoirs.”

The Vantage Titanium Explorer will now move to the Gnondo Block to drill the Affanga Deep prospect on the Ogooue delta play on the Gnondo Block, which Ophir says has the potential to hold mean recoverable resources of 170MM bbl and to de-risk several follow on prospects which could provide the basis for a hub development. The rig will then return to target the Okala pre-salt prospect on the Mbeli Block.

Ophir has interests in four blocks offshore in the North Gabon sub-basin, to the west and north of the prolific producing Ogooue Delta complex. The company has a 50% operated interest in the Mbeli and Ntsina blocks and a 100% interest in the Manga and Gnondo blocks. They are located in water depths ranging from 100 to 2,500m. The license interests are subject to Government back-in rights of 10% on Gnondo, Ntsina and Mbeli and 15% on Manga.

Ophir was awarded a 100% interest in the four blocks in March 2005. It then subsequently farmed down a 50% interest in the Mbeli and Ntsina blocks to Petrobras in June 2011.

Ophir says there are three main play areas across the four blocks: the Pre-salt, a deepwater extension to the Ogooue Delta play and a deepwater play analogous to the one being explored in the conjugate margin of the Sergipe-Alagoas basin, offshore Brazil.

Read more:

Ophir starts Gabon drilling, 18 Feb 2014



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