Valeura Gears Up for Busy Year in Gulf of Thailand

© namning / Adobe Stock
© namning / Adobe Stock

Canada-based oil and gas company Valeura Energy has announced plans to invest around $8 million in 2024 for new exploration within its Gulf of Thailand licenses, with opportunities identified in Wassana North, Nong Yao D, and the Ratree Prospect, located near the Jasmine field. 

Valeura is forecasting average 2024 full year oil production of 21,500 – 24,500 bbls/d, based on the assumption that Nong Yao C development drilling will start in late first quarter of 2024 and continue for approximately four months. 

Accordingly, the company anticipates higher production in the second half of the year 2024.

Approximately 75% of the Valeura’s Capex for 2023 – which will range from $135 million to $155 million, is directed toward drilling, in addition to $8 million in planned exploration drilling.

Approximately $47 million, net to Valeura’s 90% working interest, is planned for growth of the Nong Yao field, through development of the Nong Yao C accumulation.

In February 2024, the company anticipates transporting a Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU) to the Nong Yao field, where it will be connected by pipeline to the existing Nong Yao field infrastructure and will serve as the wellhead production platform for the Nong Yao C field extension. 

As soon as practical after installation and commissioning, Valeura intends to begin drilling a program of nine development wells (six producers, three water injectors), and will simultaneously perform debottlenecking works on the existing facilities to accommodate the new production.

First production from the Nong Yao C extension is expected in June 2024, and when fully on stream in the months thereafter, the Company is targeting peak production rates from the greater Nong Yao field totaling approximately 11,000 bbls/d, net to Valeura’s working interest.

At 100% Valeura-owned Wassana field, the company has begun a production-oriented drilling campaign that is targeting reservoir intervals which have been only partially developed. The current drilling campaign of three horizontal development wells is intended to increase production to a target rate of approximately 4,500 bbls/d, and the Company may drill additional development wells later in the year.

In addition, following the success of its 2023 Wassana appraisal drilling program, where results indicated a possible additional 20 production well locations, the company is evaluating options to expand the field’s production infrastructure, with a view to making a final investment decision in 2024.

Valeura’s objective is to pursue a redevelopment of the field such that further accumulations can be commercialized, thereby increasing production and extending the field’s economic life beyond 2030.

At Valeura’s 100%-owned Jasmine field, the company is planning 2024 Capex of approximately $50 million. The bulk of Jasmine’s Capex will be directed toward an infill drilling campaign planned for the second half of 2024.

Further Jasmine infill wells are a direct follow-on from opportunities identified in its 2023 and earlier drilling campaigns.  The company’s efforts at Jasmine are oriented toward reducing the effect of natural declines and continuing the field’s long history of year-on-year reserves additions.

At the same time, the company has sanctioned a project to improve both the cost base and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of its operations at Jasmine. 

In that regard, Valeura will invest approximately $8 million to install a gas turbine generator tailor-made to utilize the field’s unique waste gas stream as feedstock for power generation in 2024.

The project is forecast to reduce the Jasmine field’s GHG emissions and diesel consumption, and thus Opex.  The reduction in Opex is expected to contribute to a further extension of the economic life of the field.

“Our key organic projects for the year are the development of the Nong Yao C accumulation, which will start with an aggressive drilling campaign later this quarter and further development of the Wassana field – initially through infill drilling, and thereafter through finalizing plans for a large-scale re-development of the field,” said Sean Guest, President and CEO of Valeura.

Exploration opportunities in the Gulf of Thailand

While Valeura’s focus remains primarily on investment opportunities that generate immediate or near-term cash flow, the company intends to invest approximately $8 million in pursuing exploration opportunities within its licenses.

Current exploration opportunities have been identified at Wassana North, Nong Yao D, and the Ratree Prospect, located near the Jasmine field. 

Final drilling sequencing and timing will be determined through ongoing work to optimize the drilling program around the company’s development drilling plans. Additional exploration prospects within the company’s asset portfolio are being evaluated as part of its normal course of business, Valeura said.

Valeura added is continuing to seek a partner to participate in its tight gas exploration/appraisal play in Turkey and does not intend to commit material spending to the play until such time as a suitable commercial arrangement is in place.

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