Africa-focused oil and gas firm Ophir Energy said 2012 has the potential to be a transformational one for the company, as it announced details of its drilling programme off the coast of Tanzania.
Ophir said the drill-ship Odfjell Metro-1 will initially be used on the following three wells: Jodari-1, Mzia-1 (previously named 1W) and Papa-1 (previously named 3A).
The Jodari-1 and Mzia-1 wells are both located in Block 1 of Ophir's offshore Tanzanian assets, while the Papa-1 well is located in block 3. For efficiency reasons the Mzia-1 top hole section will be drilled first, as part of a batch drilling programme, then the rig will move to drill Jodari-1 in its entirety, before returning to Mzia-1 to complete the bottom portion of the well.
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There was no day off on New Year's Day for the workers on the drill-ship, as they spent the day starting work on the Mzia-1 well. The drilling of the top hole section of Mzia-1 well is expected to take 7 to 10 days.
Ophir holds 40% of blocks 1, 3 and 4 of the offshore Tanzanian licence, and recently handed over operatorship to its 60% partner BG International, who will manage the programme with the Metro-1 drill-ship.
In an update on its other activities, Ophir said the Fugro Geo Caribbean seismic vessel commenced mobilisation in the Tanzanian East Pande licence on 30 December 2011, while in Equatorial Guinea the compay is close to securing a rig for a three or four-well drilling programme in Block R.
A seismic programme is also underway on the Mbeli and Ntsina licences in Gabon. Ophir is equal joint owner on these blocks with Brazilian energy giant Petrobras, and is the operator on both licences.
"2012 has the potential to be transformational for Ophir," suggested Ophir Chief Executive Officer, Nick Cooper.
"Ophir plans to drill at least nine wells across our portfolio in 2012," Cooper disclosed.
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