Nkembe block

Location 30 km offshore Gabon, Atlantic Ocean
Area 1,210 km2
Joint Venture

Pura Vida (100%* and Operator)

* Pura Vida’s interest is subject to the right of the State of Gabon to participate in any development for up to a 20% interest under the Production Sharing Contract

Water Depth 50 - 500 metres


The Nkembe block is an area of 1,210 km2 in water depths of 50-500 metres approximately 30 km off the coast of Gabon in the oil prone Gabon Basin.  The block is proximate to many producing oil fields, including several fields operated by Total, the largest producer in Gabon. 
Pura Vida has acquired existing well and seismic data on the Nkembe block.  In addition, Pura Vida has purchased a further 845 km2 of previously acquired 3D seismic data.


Pura Vida has recognised a 20 mmbo (2C) gross contingent resource at the Loba oil field (discovered in 1976).  The main prospectivity identified by Pura Vida is in the sub-salt where Pura Vida has interpreted there to be large scale prospects that will be better defined by the new 3D seismic.  This new 3D seismic will be acquired as a part of the commitment on the block.
Discoveries in the Gabon Basin led to the establishment of the oil industry in Gabon which has thrived for over 50 years. The Basin contains extensive production from reservoirs both above and below the salt layer.  Both of these plays will be targeted by Pura Vida in the Nkembe block.  The reservoirs above the salt have been producing since the 1950s when Elf Aquitaine began exploration, while the reservoirs below the salt have been producing since the 1960s when Shell began exploration in the onshore and southern offshore of Gabon.  
New technologies in seismic acquisition and processing have overcome the challenges caused by salt features, leading to a resurgence of industry interest in sub-salt plays, and resulting in a number of major discoveries in recent years.  Pura Vida will apply these technologies to unlock the sub-salt potential within the Nkembe block.
10 well drilling campaign targeting pre-salt 
potential to add significant value to Pura Vida’s Nkembe block
The close proximity of the Loba discovery to existing fields and Government owned infrastructure provision it for quick and cost effective development.

Forward Plan 

Pura Vida’s first phase work program comprises acquiring 550 km2 of Multi Azimuth 3D seismic data and the drilling of one well to 2,000 metres below the sea bed, which is required to be completed by 2017.