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Cretaceous gas discovered off second Tanzanian delta

Ophir Energy PLC and BG PLC said the Papa-1 deepwater wildcat on Block 3 offshore Tanzania has made the first Cretaceous gas discovery outboard of the Rufiji Delta.

Designed to evaluate sandstones of Campanian and Albian age on the structural Papa prospect, Papa-1 encountered an 89-m gas-bearing column in interbedded Campanian sandstones. It is the sixth consecutive gas discovery for the Ophir-BG joint venture on blocks 1, 3, and 4.

Ophir management’s preliminary analysis of the discovery suggests a resource of 500 bcf-2 tcf in place. Petrophysical and core analyses are planned to refine in-place and recoverable estimates.

The Ophir-BG joint venture’s Mzia-1 success in May 2012 confirmed for the first time the prospectivity in the Upper Cretaceous sequences outboard of the Rovuma Delta. Ophir has received early 3D seismic data from Block 1 targeting the Rovuma Delta basin floor fan play and is interpreting it to determine whether the area contains features potentially comparable to those discovered in the adjacent play off Mozambique.

Papa-1, about 100 km off the coast and 53 km southeast of the Pweza-1 gas discovery, went to 5,544 m subsea in 2,186 m of water. It is the first well on Block 3 and the first exploratory test of the Upper Cretaceous Intraslope play outboard of the Rufiji Delta.

The Papa discovery further derisks the deeper, Upper Cretaceous intraslope play in Tanzania, Ophir noted. Additional resources have now been discovered in the Cretaceous stratigraphy outboard of both the Rovuma and Rufiji deltas by the Mzia-1 and Papa-1 wells.

 An update of the in place and recoverable resource estimates from the Mzia and Papa discoveries on the new Cretaceous Intraslope play will follow the ongoing petrophysical analysis.

The BG-Ophir Joint Venture’s first four discoveries have successfully tested targets of Miocene, Oligocene, and Paleocene age in the Tertiary intraslope play and are estimated to have discovered a combined recoverable resource of 7 tcf. The fifth discovery, Mzia, and the sixth discovery, Papa, both in the new Upper Cretaceous Intraslope Play are expected to add considerably to the total.

The Deep Sea Metro 1 drillship that drilled Papa-1 will be sublet to Apache for a single well on Block L8 offshore Kenya, adjacent to Block L9 in which Ophir has 60% interest, before returning to continue operations with the Ophir-BG JV in Tanzania.

The JV will resume drilling on Tanzania Block 1 in October 2012. Next in the sequence will be two stepout exploratory and appraisal wells around the 3.4 tcf Jodari discovery for a potential hub for the LNG development on Block 1.

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