Following the Ceiba discovery, Triton
Energy acquired 4,200 square kilometers of 3-D seismic and embarked on
a multi-well exploration campaign that resulted in three encouraging but
commercially unsuccessful wells and two additional discoveries.
"The Okume and Oveng discoveries opened a new significant fairway of
prospect opportunities, and it was on the strength of these successes
that Amerada Hess acquired Triton," said Brian Maxted, Amerada Hess' senior
vice president of West Africa.
The company is currently formulating a development plan for Okume and
Oveng, which should be submitted for government approval later this year.
Amerada Hess is studying an integrated development program for the overall
fairway that would be brought-on in a phased manner as the infrastructure
The development will likely be a combination of platforms and subsea
systems with FPSOs for processing, storage and offloading.
"Amerada Hess recognized the intellectual capital in place at Triton's
exploration team and left the group in tact," Maxted said. "As a result,
we haven't missed a beat since the acquisition."
Since late January the company has announced the Ebano, Akom, Elon and
Abang new discoveries. All four fields will likely be part of the phased
development along with Okume and Oveng.
The new prospect fairway opened up by the Okume and Oveng discoveries
is Upper Cretaceous deepwater channelized turbidite reservoirs that occur
in discrete channel systems.
The string of discoveries demonstrated the importance of 3-D seismic
ahead of the drillbit to predict oil, Maxted noted.
"Every wildcat well we drilled based on the 3-D was a success," he said.
"To date, Triton and now Hess has drilled six out of 10 successful wells,
which is impressive for new exploratory drilling.
"Three-D seismic has been the key to unlocking the play."
Blocks F and G contain largely subtle, stratigraphic plays, making 3-D
"Once geoscientists identify the first field in a fairway and understand
the geology of that field, repeating the success isn't too difficult,"
Maxted said. "The challenge is unlocking each of these fairways and calibrating
the 3-D to then be able to predict future success. Once a fairway is identified
the 3-D seismic is quite reliable at pinpointing additional targets —
but it takes real courage to go in with an un-calibrated 3-D dataset and
chase subtle stratigraphic plays."
Maxted said the firm is about to embark on a new wildcat exploration
program to try and open up the next fairway in the blocks. The next exploration
wave will continue into next year and will include at least an additional
eight wells over the next year.
The firm is stepping out initially to the north into block F to test
the best prospects on three or four potential new fairways. Three-D seismic
indicates there are also at least two additional fairways in block G that
will be tested later this year, he said.