Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

29 March 2014

Tanzania: Ophir Begins Tanzania, Gabon Drilling

AFRICA-focused explorer Ophir Energy has kicked off drilling operations on both the Gnondo block, offshore Gabon and Tanzanian block 1.

The Taachui well drilled on the north-west margin of block 1, Tanzania, is targeting an estimated 1.4 trillion cubic feet recoverable gas reserves in reservoirs of Cretaceous age.

The well commenced operations on March 24 and is expected to reach the depth of 4,050 metres within 55 days. Ophir has a 20 per cent nonoperated interest in the block, operated by BG Group.

According to a statement released by the company on Thursday, The Affanga Deep- 1 well in Gabon commenced operations on March 22 and is expected to reach the planned total depth of 4,500 metres within 35 days. The drill is targeting an extension to the proven Ogooué Delta play offshore Gabon which holds an estimated 170 million barrels.

Ophir, who holds a 70 per cent operated interest in the block, is hoping the well will derisk several followon prospects which could be integrated into a hub development in the field.

Separately, the company has been provisionally awarded a 95 per cent operated interest in deepwater block AD-03 offshore Myanmar as part of the country's latest licencing round.

The block is approximately 10,000 square kilometres in size and is located in the Rakhine basin, on trend with the multitrillion cubic feet Shwe gas field.

"Whilst this is our first licence award outside of Africa it is in keeping with our strategy of focusing on acquiring deepwater acreage with large footprints and significant running room," Nick Cooper, chief executive of Ophir Energy, commented on the award.

"Meanwhile, the 2014 drilling programme continues with the Affanga Deep and Taachui wells and we look forward to the remainder of the year, where several further wells are planned on our acreage in both West and East Africa."

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