Ophir Energy said it would up its drilling campaign in Equatorial Guinea after securing the use of a rig.
The firm has contracted Ocean Rig's "Eirik Raude", a semi-submersible rig, and plans a 60 day programme beginning in April 2012 of three firm wells, plus one contingent well in its Block R field.
Ophir said the wells are designed to "delineate sufficient additional gas reserves and facilitate a fast-track gas development".
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To date, Ophir has drilled two gas discoveries in Block R.
The company also re-stressed the importance of a deal done between the government of Euatorial Guinea and exploration firms, relating to the commercial structure of a second liquid natural gas (LNG) train in the country.
Ophir said one option on the table could result in a final investment decision by the end of 2012, with first LNG from Block R being targeted for 2018, Ophir said.
"We are pleased to have secured a rig for the Equatorial Guinea programme and look forward to spudding the first well in April," said chief executive Nick Cooper.
"The advancing commercial agreements with the partners in the second LNG train project demonstrate a clear route to commercialising gas discoveries in country."
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