The Africa-focused independent spun the bit on the Starfish-1 probe off Ghana in the early hours of Wednesday morning with the Stena DrillMax drillship.
The well will test the Starfish prospect off Accra with drilling set to take between 35 and 40 days in water depths up to 1500 metres. Total depth is estimated to be about 3850 metres.
Ophir only farmed into the block in December, taking a 20% stake and operatorship from Australia’s Tap Oil.
Tap said on Wednesday that the well is targeting a large stratigraphic trap which is “interpreted to be potentially comparable the (Tullow Oil’s) Jubilee oilfield” also off Ghana.
Tap’s estimate of P50 prospective resources is potentially 431 million barrels, with Ophir putting its estimated mean prospective resources at 292 million barrels of oil equivalent with a 20% chance of success at the probe.
Starfish-1 is Ophir’s first well off Ghana.
Other partners in the play are Tap on 17.5%, Afex Oil on 20%, Vitol on 30% and Rialto Energy on 12.5%. Ghana National Petroleum Corp has a 10% carried interest.
In April Ophir and its partners hired the Stena DrillMax but did not reveal a contract rate. The unit was on contract from Stena Drilling to US independent Hess to the end of the second quarter with options to the end of the year.
*Eoin O’Cinneide, Upstreamonline