FirstAfrica Oil plc has contracted with GlobalSantaFe, Inc. for its jack-up rig, Adriatic IX, to drill its EOV-4 appraisal/development well from late December 2005. The EOV-4 well is located in the East Orovinyare Offshore Oil Field (EOV Field) in Gabon, and is the first of four wells that will be drilled in the field. Additionally, two pre-existing appraisal wells are to be re-completed as producers. FirstAfrica has further signed a letter of intent to contract GlobalSantaFe's Adriatic VI from March 2006 for the remaining four wells in the anticipated field development program.
FirstAfrica is the permit holder (100%) and operator of the EOV Field, which is located 13 kms offshore in 28m of water. Oil was discovered by the previous operator, Marathon, in the late 1990's and a recent review of the field's technical data by the independent consultant, ECL, has led to an increase in oil volume estimates, with a new 2P estimate of recoverable oil of 11.5 million barrels. The field development programme is being fast-tracked and it is expected that production will be from 6 wells via infield flow-line to a FSO.
Robert Kirchner, Chief Executive Officer of FirstAfrica, stated, "We are very pleased to secure the GlobalSantaFe contract in the face of the existing tight market conditions in West Africa. The timing of the first well, and our ability to contract further for the Adriatic VI in the Spring, will permit us to meet our aggressive timeline of producing first oil by year-end 2006."