HOUSTON, TX – Houston-based Vaalco Energy has awarded a $120 million contract to charter the Emas deep-water offshore construction vessel Lewek Constellation at the Etame Marin oil field off the coast of Gabon, according to a report in FinancialPost. Due for delivery in 2014, the Lewek Constellation is an ice-class multi-lay offshore construction vessel with heavy-lifting capabilities that is equipped to lay pipe in ultra-deep water.
The Etame offshore field was discovered in 1998 by Vaalco Energy, according to OffshoreTechnology.com. It began commercial production in 2001 after three delineation wells were drilled. There are an estimated 23 million barrels of oil in the Etame block. The Etame field is part of the larger Etame Marin concession. The field is owned by a consortium led by Vaalco Energy, which owns 28.07 percent. The consortium also includes PanAfrican Energy Gabon Corp. (31.36 percent), Sasol Petroleum West Africa (27.75 percent), Sojitz Etame Ltd. (2.98 percent), PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (2.34 percent) and Energy Africa Gabon (7.5 percent), according to OffshoreTechnology.com.
The government of Gabon awarded a 19-square-mile exploitation area around the Etame field to the consortium in 2001. The term of the exploitation area will end in 2021. Emas AMC is a global offshore contractor that provides integrated offshore solutions to the oil and gas industry. It is the operating brand of Ezra Holdings Ltd. The Singapore-headquartered contractor said the scope of work for its undersea subsidiary Emas involved engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning of rigid pipelines as well as transportation and installation of flexible pipelines and two fixed production platforms.
CJ D’Cort, Emas CEO, said the maiden charter for the high-spec new build encompassed many of the contractor’s core strengths including heavy lifting and rigid pipe laying. The Lewek Express pipe-laying vessel will also carry out part of the contract, for which Emas signed a letter of intent with an unnamed explorer earlier this month. Project management and engineering are expected to begin immediately at Emas AMC’s Houston office, with offshore activities starting early in 2014.