Vanco, Lukoil lease drillship for Ghana deep water

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 27 -- Vanco Ghana Ltd. and partner Lukoil Overseas Ghana Ltd. have completed contractual arrangements with Aban Loyd for use of its Aban Abraham dynamic positioning drillship to drill the Dzata-1 wildcat on deepwater Cape Three Points Block off Ghana. The drillship can drill down to about 19,350 ft.

The vessel is in Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore being retrofitted to enable the unit to drill in as much as 2,000 m of water. When shipyard activities are complete, the Aban Abraham will mobilize to West Africa and drill the Dzata-1 in the fourth quarter.

Cape Three Points Block encompasses 1.25 million acres in 200-3,000 m of water. The Dzata prospect lies 70 miles southeast of Jubilee field, which has estimates of 500 million-1.8 billion bbl of recoverable oil, "confirming an active petroleum system in the Tano basin and heightening the exploration activity in the region," Vanco said. Jubilee is expected to produce about 120,000 b/d of oil (OGJ Online, July 16, 2008). In addition to the Vanco-Lukoil partnership, other companies working off Ghana are Devon Energy, Amerada Hess Corp., Anadarko, Tullow Oil, and Kosmos Energy. The industry plans to drill several wells in the area in the next few months.

On Cape Three Points, Vanco had 2D and 3D seismic surveys shot, which revealed large compressional folds in a newly recognized subbasin. The Dzata (Lion) prospect represents one of nine major structural and stratigraphic prospects on the block.

"Situated in 1,869 m of water, the Dzata prospect is a large anticlinal structure with numerous Lower and Upper Cretaceous potential reservoir horizons and distinct direct hydrocarbon indicators, including flat spots and a gas 'chimney,'" said Vanco. The well will be drilled to 4,900 m TD—3,031 m below the mud line.

Vanco Pres. Gene Van Dyke said the companies had worked for more than a year to secure the Aban Abraham drilling slot in a tightening deepwater rig market, and they intend to secure additional slots for other planned wells in West Africa.

Vanco, which is serving as operator of Cape Three Points Block, holds a 28.34% interest in the property, with Lukoil holding a 56.66% stake. State oil company Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holds a 15% carried interest.

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