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AAOG resumes Tilapia drilling after rig repairs

London-listed player says work on the TLP-103C offshore well has recommenced

London-listed Anglo African Oil & Gas has resumed drilling operations at its latest well on the Tilapia offshore field in Congo-Brazzaville after rig repairs.

AAOG said on Monday that work on the TLP-103C offshore well has recommenced at a depth of 660 metres, and the operator now expects to reach total depth toward the end of December.

TLP-103C will be drilled to a total depth of 2700 metres.

Work was paused after an issue was detected on the brake system. Drilling was suspended to allow for French rig company SMP to remove these parts and repair them.

“These parts had met testing requirements during the pre-spud third-party rig inspection but performance had subsequently diminished. The parts in question have now been repaired and reconditioned in Paris by the drilling contractor and reinstalled to the rig,” AAOG said.

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The suspension occurred before intersection of any of the target horizons being the R1/R2, Mengo and Djeno.

“Had the parts failed further into the drilling programme then the effect could have been materially adverse,” AAOG added.

In addition, the drilling contractor has accepted that this delay is “entirely their fault” and have agreed that, in addition to the rig being on zero rate during the delay, they will compensate AAOG for costs incurred due to it, the company said.

David Sefton, executive chairman, commented: “This delay has been extremely frustrating not only for the company but, more importantly, for its shareholders.

“ However, it was clearly the right decision for AAOG to insist on a suspension of drilling pending these repairs rather than risk a serious incident should those parts have failed when intersecting a target horizon.

“We have had open and frank discussions with SMP and we are assured by them that we should not expect any further issues with the rig and look forward to announcing our results in due course,” Sefton said.

The new TLP-103C replaced the TLP-103, which was drilled earlier this year but encountered “a series of challenges… caused by localised geological conditions, which resulted in ground movement that impacted the safe operation of the rig”.

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