Joint venture partner, AIM-listed Sterling Energy confirmed the operator started drilling using the semi-submersible rig Ocean Confidence.
The well is about 56 kilometres off Cameroon and is expected to take about 70 days to drill.
It will target a Cretaceous structure in the licence, where the primary target is estimated to have mean un-risked, gross prospective resources of 422 million barrels of oil and 170 billion cubic feet of gas.
Bamboo-1 will intersect a number of stacked fan targets in the play.
This is the first probe to be drilled on the Ntem concession, which was placed under force majeure in 2005 because of a maritime boundary dispute.
The dispute is unresolved, but Cameroon’s state oil company lifted the force majeure to allow drilling.
Murphy holds 50% stake in the acreage after it farmed-in in 2011, while Sterling holds the remaining 50%.