VAALCO Energy Inc. said Oct. 17 that the first appraisal well in its 2019-2020 drilling campaign has confirmed oil in the Dentale reservoir beneath the Etame Field offshore Gabon.

Drilled to a total depth of 10,260 ft, the Etame 9P appraisal well encountered both Gamba and Dentale oil sands, the company said in a news release. About 35 ft of Dentale oil sands were encountered, verifying the presence of a Dentale oil column identified in the Etame 4V well drilled in 2001. The company estimates gross recoverable oil resources of 2.5 to 10.5 million barrels of oil in the subcropping Dentale reservoirs.

In addition, the company said an oil column encountered in the Gamba reservoir was thicker than expected, which could push up ultimate oil recovery from the planned Etame 9H and Etame 11H wells.

No H2S was encountered in either reservoir, VAALCO said.

“We continue to assess the viability of drilling future Dentale development wells as we aim to extend the overall life of the field by continuing to add reserves and production,” VAALCO CEO Cary Bounds said in the release. “We are now focused on drilling the Etame 9H development well which, if successful, could result in additional production volumes coming online in December.

Operations are underway to plug back to a shallower depth and drill the Etame 9H horizontal development well section in the Gamba reservoir, the company said.