The 2017 work program has been primarily focused on appraisal of the discoveries in the South Lokichar Basin in Kenya with the following objectives; confirming reservoir quality and deliverability, resource size and definition, and advancement of the development plans, including the export pipeline. One drilling rig was active during the year drilling both exploration and appraisal wells and for testing and completion operations.
Tertiary Rift -- Kenya
Exploration and Appraisal (Blocks 10BB and 13T)
The 2017 exploration and appraisal drilling campaign was completed in the fourth quarter, following the drilling of the Amosing-7 appraisal well. The PR Marriott Rig-46 has been demobilized. Two discoveries were made during the campaign.
In January 2017, the Erut-1 well resulted in a discovery, proving that oil has migrated to the northern limit of the South Lokichar basin. The second discovery was made during May 2017, at Emekuya-1, encountering significant oil sands, demonstrating oil charge across an extensive part of the Greater Etom structure and further de-risking the northern area of the basin.
The Etiir-1 exploration well, which targeted a large, shallow, structural closure immediately to the west of the Greater Etom structure, spudded in late June and was unsuccessful with no material reservoir development or shows encountered. Although dry, drilling results will be utilized in defining the westerly extent of the Greater Etom Structure. The Etiir-1 well has been plugged and abandoned.
The Ekales-3 well was drilled to a total measured depth of 2,721 meters and finished drilling during the third quarter of 2017. The well targeted an undrilled fault block adjacent to the Ekales field. While reservoir and oil shows were encountered, and oil sampled, the well was deemed non-commercial.
Multiple appraisal wells have been drilled in the Ngamia, Amosing and Etom fields during 2017: Ngamia-10 (65 meters of net oil pay), Amosing-6 (35 meters of net oil and gas pay), Amosing-7 (25 meters of net oil and gas pay) and Etom-3 (25 meters of net oil and gas pay). An extensive wireline evaluation program, including sampling, has been undertaken on all appraisal wells. The Ngamia-10, Amosing-6 and 7 and Etom-3 wells have all improved the definition of the limits of their respective fields. However, the presence of rift edge facies has limited their net pay. These drilling results will be incorporated into the geological models that will be utilized for potential field development plans.
The Auwerwer and Lokone reservoirs in the Etom-2 well were tested utilising artificial lift and flowed at 752 bopd and 580 bopd respectively which was lower than anticipated. As a result, the Joint Venture Partners will undertake further technical work to assess how representative the tests may have been and identify potential options to increase flow rates from the Etom field.
Activity is now focused on collecting dynamic field data through extended production and water injection testing. The Ngamia-11 appraisal well (143 meters of net oil pay) has been completed and is being utilized in a waterflood pilot test planned to be run throughout the first half of 2018. The waterflood pilot will include the previously drilled Ngamia 3, 6 and 8 wells. This pilot is designed to deliver a long-term assessment of the enhanced oil recovery that may be expected as a result of water injection. The waterflood pilot follows up the successful water injection testing program which was completed during the first half of 2017 on the Ngamia and Amosing fields. Additionally, the partnership aims to initiate extended well testing on wells in the Amosing and Ngamia fields, commencing early in 2018, with produced oil from testing initially being stored in the field and later transported as part of the EOPS. The first production from EOPS is expected to commence in the first half of 2018, subject to receiving the necessary consents and approvals.
Africa Oil Corp. has a 25% working interest in Blocks 10BB and 13T with Tullow Oil plc (50% and Operator) and Maersk Olie og Gas A/S (25%) holding the remaining interests.
Field Development (Blocks 10BB and 13T)
In January 2018 the Joint Venture Partners proposed to the Government of Kenya that the Amosing and Ngamia fields be developed as the initial stage of the South Lokichar development. This phase of the development is planned to include a 60,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) Central Processing Facility (CPF) and an export pipeline to Lamu, some 750 kilometers from the South Lokichar basin on the Kenyan coast. This approach is expected to bring significant benefits as it enables an early Final Investment Decision (FID) of the Amosing and Ngamia fields taking full advantage of the current low-cost environment for both the field and infrastructure development, as well as providing the best opportunity to deliver first oil in a timeline that meets the Government of Kenya expectations. The installed infrastructure can then be utilized for the optimization of the remaining and yet to be discovered South Lokichar oil fields, allowing the incremental development of these fields to be completed in an efficient and low cost manner post first oil.
The initial stage is planned to include 210 wells through 18 well pads at Ngamia and 70 wells through seven well pads at Amosing, with a planned plateau rate of 60,000 to 80,000 bopd. Additional stages of development are expected to increase plateau production to 100,000 bopd or greater. It is anticipated that FEED for the initial stage will commence in 2018, with FID targeted for 2019 and first oil in 2021/22.
A JDA, setting out a structure for the Government of Kenya and the Joint Venture Partners to progress the development of the export pipeline, was signed on 25 October 2017. The JDA allows important studies to commence such as FEED, Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, as well as studies on pipeline financing and ownership. These have been initiated and will be continue throughout 2018.
Exploration Blocks 10BA
During 2017, the Joint Venture Partners entered the Second Additional Exploration Period on Block 10BA, expiring October 2019.
Cretaceous Anza Rift -- Kenya
In Block 9, the Company continues to assess the results of its 2014 drilling program. The Government of Kenya has granted a twelve-month extension to the second additional exploration period, which will now expire in June 2018. The Company plans to re-process and reevaluate existing geological and geophysical data while completing gas development and commercialization studies.
Tertiary Rift -- Ethiopia
During the third quarter of 2015 a 2D seismic program was completed in the Rift Basin Area Block, which consisted of approximately 600 kilometers of land and lake seismic. Source rock outcrops and oil slicks on the lakes have been identified in the block where there was previously no existing seismic or wells. The Government of Ethiopia has granted an additional twelve month extension to the initial exploration period, which expired in February 2018. A submission has been made to the Government of Ethiopia for a further extension.