VAALCO Energy has completed its latest development well on the Etame field offshore Gabon, as part of its 2019/2020 drilling programme.

The Etame 9H well, which included around 1,000ft of horizontal section in Gamba reservoir, came online at a stabilised flow rate of 5,500 gross barrels of oil per day (bopd) with no hydrogen sulfide (H2S). The company reached total depth of about 8,900ft in the Etame 9H well.

Vaalco Energy noted that the production is higher than the pre-drill estimate of 2,500 to 3,500bopd due to high reservoir quality. The company has now increased its estimated net exit production rate for 2019 to 4,500 to 4,700bopd, up 16% from its prior estimate of 3,800 to 4,100bopd.

After completion of the Etame 9H well, the company started drilling of the Etame 11H horizontal development well with production expected by late January 2020.

Vaalco Energy CEO Cary Bounds said: “The very strong stabilised net rate of 1,500bopd from the Etame 9H well is a significant first step toward increasing overall production by approximately 25% in 2020 compared to 2019.

“We are in the midst of drilling the Etame 11H development well which will likely be followed by a workover on the Etame 10H well to replace the ESP. The Etame 10H workover, if undertaken, could restore additional production of 735 gross bopd, or 200bopd net to VAALCO.

“We then plan to move the rig to the SEENT platform to drill the SE Etame 4P appraisal well, which could confirm additional development well locations in the Gamba reservoir.”

Separate work is underway to plan well workover activities on the existing Etame 10H and drilling of the SE Etame 4P wellbore.

After completing the Etame 11H well, the company plans to replace the electric submersible pump (ESP) in the Etame 10H well on the same platform and then move the rig to the Southeast Etame/North Tchibala platform to drill the SE Etame 4P well.