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BW sees new Hibiscus hub off Gabon

Latest discovery in Dussafu Marine licence sets stage for a new development phase

BW Energy is eyeing a separate development of its recent Hibiscus discovery in the Dussafu Marine licence off Gabon as resources are believed to be higher than expected.

The Oslo-listed operator has now decided to drill a sidetrack of the DHIBM-1 discovery well, which uncovered a 33-metre hydrocarbon column after being drilled last month by jack-up Borr Norve, in order to gain a better picture of resource potential in the targeted Gamba formation.

The well had a pre-drill prospective resource estimate of 12 million barrels but the “management assessment is that the discovery may be bigger”, BW chief executive Carl Arnet revealed in a presentation at the Pareto Oil & Offshore conference in Oslo on Wednesday.

He said that Hibiscus "will be a separate development to the Ruche complex”, with a final investment decision on development of the latter due in the fourth quarter of this year.

This would imply a further phase of development in the prolific licence where BW is already producing from the Tortue field developed under the initial phase with the BW Adolo floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

First oil is expected from the $240 million second phase in the first quarter of 2020 from an initial two production wells tied back to the FPSO, with two additional wells to be brought online later next year.

BW is presently finalising the concept for development of the Ruche and Ruche North East finds under the next phase based on a new wellhead platform tied back to the floater for an investment of around $375 million, with first oil targeted at the end of 2021.

It plans to drill six wells to exploit gross reserves of 25.4 million barrels at Ruche, which is expected to boost oil production from the licence by 15,000 barrels per day.

BW hits hydrocarbons off Gabon

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BW has raised its full-year production forecast for Tortue to between 4.1 million and 4.4 million barrels after achieving higher-than-expected average output of 12,300 bpd in the first half of this year.

Proven and probable (P50) reserves for both Tortue and Ruche have now been firmed up at 66.3 million barrels following a recent independent assessment.

However, BW believes there is significant upside potential with other prospects within the block that could result in an expansion of FPSO capacity for future development phases in order to accommodate higher output of beyond 40,000 bpd.

The company plans to drill a further exploration well next year using the Borr Drilling-owned jack-up, which has also been contracted to sink the four production wells under phase two as part of a six-well campaign.

While a location for the probe has yet to be determined, BW has in its sights the Mupale prospect, with a pre-drill resource estimate of 19 million barrels, that is located near Hibiscus in the same Gamba reservoir.

There is also the Hibiscus North lead with estimated resources of 13 million barrels as well as the estimated 7 million-barrel Espadon prospect updip of Ruche located in both the Gamba and Dentale reservoirs.

Overall, the company has estimated prospects and leads within the licence could hold as much as 176 million barrels on prospective P50 resources, including the Hibiscus discovery.

In addition, it has the Walt Whitman and Moubenga finds, with total resources of 14 million barrels, that are waiting to be developed.

BW presently holds a 91.667% operating interest in the Dussafu Marine licence, with Oslo-listed Panoro on 8.333%, though Tullow Oil and state-owned Gabon Oil Company are set to gain stakes under pending farm-in transactions inked earlier this year.

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