24 September 2013 – Ophir Energy plc (Ophir or the Company) announced Monday that it has secured a rig for its West African drilling campaign starting in 1Q 2014.
Rig Secured for West African 2014 Multi-Well Campaign
Ophir has agreed heads of terms for a deepwater drillship for its operated multi-well West African drilling program in 2014. A total of six firm plus additional contingent slots have been agreed. The program is scheduled to commence in Gabon in early February 2014 with drilling of the c.1.0 billion barrel pre-salt Padouck Deep prospect on the Ntsina Block. The second well is expected to target the Affanga Deep prospect on the Gnondo Block with the third well likely to be the pre-salt Okala prospect on the Mbeli Block. Further details of the later drilling sequence and rig details will be provided in due course.
Portfolio Rationalization: Congo, Madagascar and Somaliland Update
Rationalization of Ophir’s portfolio and a focus of resources onto the core assets continues. Following earlier exits from the DRC and Uganda, Ophir has recently exited its position in the Marine IX block in Congo Brazzaville.
In Madagascar, Ophir has informed the Government of its intentions to relinquish operatorship and its interest in the Marovoay Block (2012).
In Somaliland, the company has reduced its stake from 75 percent to 25 percent by entering into an agreement to farm-down a 50 percent stake and operatorship in the Berbera Blocks SL9 and SL12 in return for a carry of the Company’s remaining 25 percent share in a planned seismic program.
Nick Cooper, CEO, commented:
“We are pleased to have secured a rig that enables our 2014 West African drilling program to commence in early February. This program will run in parallel with our ongoing drilling activites in East Africa using the Deepsea Metro I (UDW drillship) and means we now have confirmed rig slots secured for our next 12 months of drilling, targeting prospects with unrisked potential that is a multiple of our discovered resource base. We have also continued to rationalize the portfolio to focus resources on our core, material assets; recently exiting or scaling back our positions in Congo, Madagascar and Somaliland.”
*Ophir Energy plc press statement