Vaalco Energy begins production in Etame field off Gabon

Production got under way over the weekend in Etame field off Gabon following completion of the third development well in August. That vertical ET-1VA well flowed 4,130 b/d through a 48/64-in. choke.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Sept. 10 -- Production got under way over the weekend in Etame field off Gabon following completion of the third development well in August. That vertical ET-1VA well flowed 4,130 b/d through a 48/64-in. choke, operator Vaalco Energy Inc. said. Previously, ET-3H and 4H wells were drilled, horizontally, about 1,300 ft through the reservoir and tested 7,600 b/d and 9,800 b/d of oil, respectively.

Etame is estimated to hold more than 150 million bbl OOIP, 30 million bbl of which is recoverable (OGJ Online, June 25, 2002).

Oil from Etame will be produced using the Petroleo Nautipa floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, which arrived at the field Aug. 28 and is now anchoring in 250 ft of water. Vaalco leased the 1.1 million bbl FPSO for 2 years, with options for 3 more years' of service. Petroleo Nautipa's Norwegian owners, Fred Olsen Energy ASA and Prosafe ASA, are operating the vessel.

Six miles of flowlines connect the wells to the storage vessel and umbilical lines contain hydraulic lines that enable the wells to be controlled from the FPSO. The Seamac III dynamically positioned lay barge completed installation of the flowlines and umbilicals in late August.

Robert Gerry, chairman of Vaalco, said he anticipates production of about 15,000 bo/d this month.

Vaalco also said it has successfully secured $6.2 million in additional financing to help pay for its share of the development project and other planned exploration activities on the Etame block, and company representatives Tuesday were tying up that deal in New York.

The investor, unidentified at press time, has agreed to provide $3.2 million of equity and $3 million of loans in return for a 9.99% stake in Vaalco International., a newly established Vaalco Energy subsidiary that owns Vaalco Gabon (Etame) Inc., the subsidiary holding interest in the Gabon production sharing contract. Parent Vaalco Energy will own the remaining 90.01% of Vaalco International stock.

Vaalco Gabon (Etame) holds a 30.35% interest in Etame. Partners are Pan African Energy Corp. Ltd. 32.5%, Sasol Petroleum International (Pty.) 30%, PetroEnergy Resources Corp. 4.5%, and Nissho Iwai Corp. 2.65% (OGJ Online, June 11, 2001).

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