Australian and London listed Rialto Energy says it will move to carry out a drill stem test on the 50 million barrel Gazelle P3 well offshore Africa’s Cote d’Ivoire.

Rialto, which has previously indicated estimated mean contingent resources of 50 m bbls of liquids and 396 Bcf of gas, plus total mean prospective resources of 511 m bbls of liquids and 1,785 Bcf of gas in block CI202  which contains Gazelle, says a drill stem testing programme should complete in the next two weeks after Gazelle-P3 well encountered the expected oil and gas-bearing zones in an Upper Cenomanian reservoir.

Already the company has received approval for a field development programme at Gazelle, and it has secured a gas sales memorandum of understanding  – which will be followed by a final binding agreement at the point of a final investment decision- with the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

Rialto commenced a three well test programme on the field back in March using the  Transocean GSF Monitor rig.

After Gazelle-P3, the rig is due to move to drill Gazelle-P4, which is a second development well.

“The overall objective of the Gazelle-P3 well was to suspend it as a producer,” commented Charlie Nieto, Rialto’s chief operating officer. “Based on the encouraging results of the sidetrack we will commence testing operations – an important step in achieving this outcome.  Having resolved the significant challenges encountered with drilling to date, Rialto remains on track to deliver the Gazelle Development,” he added.