Rialto Energy Ltd., Perth, started appraisal and pre-development of the Gazelle oil and gas field offshore Ivory Coast with the spudding of its Gazelle-P3 production well.
The company, which is operator of the project with 85% interest in Block CI-202, says the well is the first of three aimed at proving the commercial viability of the field and its surrounding structures (OGJ Online, Jan. 19, 2012).
Gazelle-P3 and the second well in the program will appraise the down-dip potential of the reservoirs while also targeting the deeper Condor prospect. The third well will target the nearby Chouette exploration prospect.
Rialto says Gazelle field is capable of producing 8,000 bo/d along with 100 MMcfd of gas.
The company received development approval from the Ivory Coast government late in 2011 and hopes to make a final investment decision on the development by midyear. Rialto expects to bring the field on stream during fourth-quarter 2013.
The plan is to process oil and gas on an offshore platform set in 40 m of water and bring the production ashore via a 30-km subsea pipeline to existing onshore infrastructure. Cost of development is put at $80 million (Aus.).
The pipeline will have a capacity for transporting as much as 40,000 b/d of oil and 230 MMcfd of gas to allow for increased production through infill drilling and tie-back of existing and yet to be explored satellite fields.
Independent consultant RPS Energy Services reported in September 2011 that the CI-202 block contained estimated total mean contingent resources of up to 50 million bbl of liquids and 1.7 tcf of gas.