VAALCO Energy joins ExxonMobil, Chevron offshore West Africa with $66.5 million Svenska Petroleum Exploration acquisition

February 29, 2024

(WO) – VAALCO Energy, Inc. has entered into a sales and purchase agreement (“SPA”) to acquire Svenska Petroleum Exploration AB (“Svenska”), a privately-held exploration and production (“E&P”) company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Svenska’s primary asset is a 27.39% non-operated working interest in the deepwater producing Baobab field in Block CI-40, offshore Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. The gross consideration for the acquisition is $66.5 million.

Source: Svenska Petroleum Exploration

Svenska’s primary license interest is a 27.39% non-operated working interest (30.43% paying interest) in the CI-40 license, which includes the producing Baobab field, located in deepwater offshore Cote d’Ivoire.

The Baobab field is located 30 km off the coast of Cote d’Ivoire in water depths ranging from 900 to 1,300 m. Baobab consists of five distinguishable reservoir units in Middle to Late Albian sequences.

The field was discovered in March 2001 with the Baobab 1X well and a second well, the Baobab 2X, was drilled in 2002 to appraise the field. Commercial production from the field began in August 2005.

There have been four drilling campaigns at Baobab to date, with the most recent including four production wells and two water injection wells. All wells are tied back to four subsea manifolds that are connected to an FPSO.

Cumulative gross production from the field has been approximately 150 MMbow, a portion of the estimated over 1 Bboe volumes initially in place.

Current production from the Baobab field is approximately 4,500 WI boed, with 1P WI CPR reserves at the Effective Date of 13 MMboe (99% oil), and 2P WI CPR reserves of 21.7 MMboe (97% oil).

These reserve figures reflect currently sanctioned development activities; however, CI-40 has a significant growth runway with incremental development potential on the Baobab field, as well as the nearby Kossipo field, expected to provide a material uplift to the reserve and production volumes, supporting long-term production of the asset into the late 2030s.

CI-40 has a long history of production and significantly de-risked reservoirs. With almost 20 years of production to date, the FPSO is planned to come off station at the start of 2025 for planned maintenance and upgrade work to allow the FPSO to continue to produce through the end of the expected extended field license in 2038. The scope of work for the FPSO upgrade is currently being finalized.

Production on Baobab is expected to re-start in 2026 following the FPSO work program. In addition, a fully appraised development drilling program is expected to start in 2026, targeting the significant incremental probable reserve base on the field.

VAALCO sees reduced geological risk relating to this drilling program and the joint venture partners have already commenced the ordering of certain long-lead drilling items. Further future drilling phases have not yet been sanctioned, but there is significant incremental potential in both the Baobab field itself, as well as the nearby Kossipo development, which has also been appraised by two wells drilled in 2002 and 2019.

The CI-40 license has an initial term through mid-2028 with the contractual option to extend the license term by 10 years to 2038. Given the development activities associated with the FPSO upgrade and future drilling program, the license partners are currently in discussion with the relevant government bodies in Cote d’Ivoire to secure early license extension on CI-40.

In addition to the CI-40 license in Cote d’Ivoire, Svenska currently owns a 21.05% working interest in the early stage Uge discovery in the OML 145 concession in Nigeria alongside partners ExxonMobil (21.05%), Chevron (21.05%), Oando (21.05%) and NPDC (15.80%). There are minimal commitments on this license interest and no drilling or development is currently planned.

George Maxwell, VAALCO’s Chief Executive Officer commented, “The Baobab field in Cote d’Ivoire has many parallels with Etame in terms of the historic production profile and how the upside is realized through development drilling campaigns meaning this is an asset type that we understand well. The field has been significantly de-risked through the drilling of 24 production wells, five injection wells and a near 20-year production history.”

“The planned dry-docking and upgrading of the FPSO in 2025 will position us well for the expected production growth from the 2026 drilling program and for future drilling campaigns for many years to come. We are partnering with a great operator and believe our significant development experience offshore West Africa and the successful managing of our FPSO changeover in 2022 will provide insight and experience to help enhance future success at Baobab.”

Lead image source: Svenska Petroleum Exploration

Connect with World Oil
Connect with World Oil, the upstream industry's most trusted source of forecast data, industry trends, and insights into operational and technological advances.