Ophir Energy Launches Tanzania Drilling Program


Ophir Energy has announced the launch of its 2012 Tanzania drilling program, for which it will use the state-of-the-art drillship Odfjell rig Deep-sea Metro-1 (UDW drillship) as it begins the year with its first three wells: Jodari-1, Mzia-1, and Papa-1.

With its dual derrick and its main and auxiliary work centers that are equipped for drilling and have been designed to assist in a number of simultaneous operations, the Metro-1 is capable of drilling in water depths of up to 3,000m.

Prior to its mobilization to Tanzania, the state-of-the-art drillship that was built in Ulsan, South Korea at the Hyundai Heavy Industries yard received a detailed series of acceptance tests.

According to Nick Cooper, the CEO of Ophir Energy, this year may be revolutionary for the oil and gas exploration company.

“We are pleased to start the year by kicking off our Tanzanian drilling program and also to see drilling and seismic operations gearing up across our other key assets,” said Mr. Cooper, “Ophir plans to drill at least 9 wells across our portfolio in 2012.”

Drilling on the Mzia-1 was scheduled to begin on January 1, 2012 and will be the first of the three well to be drilled.

Drilling of the top section of the Mzia-1 is scheduled to take between 7 and 10 days and will be completed as part of a batch drilling program after which time the rig will be moved to drill the entire Jodari-1 well before returning to complete the bottom section of the Mzia-1 well.

The Jodari-1 well is scheduled to be completed in approximately 40 days after drilling has begun and will reach to total depth of c 4,600m below sea level.

According to a press release issued by Ophir Energy, operation of the company’s 40 percent ownership of Blocks 1, 3 and 4 in Tanzania has been fully handed over to BG International, Ophir’s 60 percent partner who will now manage the Tanzania drilling program with the Metro-1 drillship.

Furthermore, the 2,200 km² East Pande 3D seismic program in Tanzania, which was designed to further develop possible drilling prospects for later in 2012, was officially mobilized on December 30, 2011 with the Fugro Geo Caribbean seismic vessel and is expected to take a total of 40 days to complete.

Additional Ophir Energy projects include is the Equatorial Guinea rig contract and the Mbeli and Ntsina 3D seismic program in Gabon.

While Ophir is currently working to finish up negotiations that will allow them to operate a rig for a drilling program in the extended Block R in Equatorial Guinea, a project that is scheduled to begin in late March and take nearly two months to complete, the PGS Apollo seismic vessel was mobilized from Port Gentil in Gabon on December 26, 2011 for a project that was created in order to mature pre-salt targets for later drilling in 2012; this project is expected to be completed in a total of 42 days.