Vaalco Brings Offshore Gabon Well Online. Says No Covid-19 Impact on Ops so Far

March 26, 2020

Illustration; A drilling rig next to Vaalco's platform - Credit: Vaalco
Illustration; A drilling rig next to Vaalco's platform - Credit: Vaalco

Vaalco Energy has said it has completed the South East Etame 4H development well offshore Gabon, including approximately 750 feet of horizontal section in the Gamba reservoir.

The company said Thursday it had brought the South East Etame 4H well onto production on March 21, 2020, at an initial flow rate of approximately 2,200 gross barrels of oil per day ("BOPD"), 600 BOPD net revenue interest ("NRI") to VAALCO.

The company also started workover of the South East Etame 2H well to replace the electric submersible pumps ("ESPs") after well stopped producing due to an ESP failure. It expects to restore production around the end of March; and said that, to date, its operations have not been materially disrupted by the current worldwide COVID-19 crisis.

Breakeven at $31

Cary Bounds, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are proud of the highly successful 2019/2020 drilling campaign in which we have drilled and brought online three development wells and drilled two successful appraisal wellbores that confirmed additional resources to exploit from this quality asset.  The drilling campaign has been transformational for VAALCO and has added meaningful production and cash flow with minimal increase in operating costs.

"This has helped to improve our margins and drive our operational breakeven down to $31 per barrel of realized pricing.

"Following the completion of the South East Etame 4H well, we began the planned workover on the South East Etame 2H well to replace ESPs.

We expect to bring the South East Etame 2H well back online around the end of March, which should restore production of approximately 2,400 gross BOPD."

"Our lowered operational breakeven, strong hedge position and increased production has enabled us to establish a solid financial footing which puts us in a stronger position to navigate the current low price oil environment.

"With that said, the global pandemic and energy industry events that began in late February of 2020 have been unprecedented and caused significant uncertainty across the oil sector with regards to outlook and budgets."

"The world is battling COVID-19 which has disrupted our everyday lives and negatively impacted the worldwide economy.  As of right now, VAALCO's operations have not been disrupted, and we have managed through the logistical challenges that we have faced since the outbreak.

Bounds said VAALCO had contingency plans in place in the event that the company is directly impacted, "and we continue to put the safety of our workers and local stakeholders first."

"We remain committed to generating long-term value for our shareholders by focusing on capital efficiency, controlling costs and optimizing production," Bounds said.

With the drilling of the South East Etame 4H well, VAALCO has completed its 2019/2020 drilling campaign.  As previously announced, with the drilling of the South East Etame 4P appraisal wellbore, VAALCO has also satisfied the drilling commitment as part of the PSC extension that VAALCO signed in late 2018.

After installing production equipment, the South East Etame 4H well was brought online at an initial rate of approximately 2,200 gross BOPD, (600 BOPD NRI to VAALCO), with no H2S which is at the high end of the February 2020 pre-drill initial production rate of 1,200 to 2,500 gross BOPD (325 to 675 BOPD NRI to VAALCO).  The well was drilled and completed as planned, with no safety or environmental incidents.

The workover on the South East Etame 2H well is currently underway and the well is expected to be returned to production around the end of March.  The well was producing 2,400 gross BOPD, or 650 BOPD NRI to VAALCO, when the ESP failed.  VAALCO will not perform any additional workovers with the contracted drilling rig and the rig will be released after completion of operations on the South East Etame 2H well, the company said.




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