Ophir Energy: Disappointing Results at Padouck Deep-1

Ophir Energy has concluded drilling operations on the Padouck Deep-1 well in the Ntsina Block offshore Gabon. Ophir has a 50% net operated interest.

The well was drilled by the Vantage Titanium Explorer drillship to a depth of 3,297m TVDSS targeting the Cretaceous Gamba and Coniquet/Dentale sands in the pre-salt section. Thicker than expected, good quality Gamba and Coniquet/Dentale reservoir sands were encountered. There were no significant hydrocarbon shows in the targeted reservoirs, however, minor shows were interpreted at shallower intervals providing evidence of a working hydrocarbon system in the offshore North Gabon Basin. In addition, well log responses in the deeper pre-salt stratigraphy are similar to those observed onshore Gabon where they are indicative of an interbedded pre-salt source and reservoir system. Full analysis and interpretation of the log data is ongoing.

The key pre-drill risk was that of seal and trap integrity. The lack of the anticipated thin salt drape over this high relief prospect and the lack of sealing shales within the targeted reservoirs appear to be a cause of the prospect’s failure.

The Vantage Titanium Explorer will now move to the Gnondo Block to drill the Affanga Deep prospect which has the potential to hold mean recoverable resources of 170mmb and to derisk several follow on prospects which could provide the basis for a hub development. The rig will then return to target the Okala pre-salt prospect on the Mbeli Block.

Nick Cooper, CEO, commented“The Padouck Deep-1 result is disappointing but its failure appears to be prospect-specific and does not dampen our enthusiasm for the broader pre-salt play offshore Gabon. The well did confirm the presence of thicker than anticipated, good quality reservoir sequences and also evidence of a working hydrocarbon system. Despite the lack of commercial success with Padouck Deep-1, these are positives for future exploration of the play. Trap integrity was identified as the key risk pre-drill and the absence of salt across this prospect is likely to have contributed to the result. The next pre-salt well will be on the Okala prospect where a thick salt section is interpreted above the target reservoirs.”

Press Release, March 19, 2014

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