The Zama discovery, which is located in Block 7 in the Sureste Basin, is planned to be developed with an investment of $325m.

According to Talos Energy, the appraisal program of the oil discovery will be made up of three reservoir penetrations, which includes drilling of two wells and a sidetrack with the Ensco 8503 rig.

The company said that the Zama-2 well is being drilled to the north of the Zama-1 well, which led to the oil discovery last year. Zama-2’s objective will be to confirm the oil water contact and gather information to better understand the aquifer support of the reservoir.

The well will also be deepened about 500m under the Zama reservoir to assess the Marte exploration prospect, said Talos Energy.

Following that, an up-dip vertical sidetrack will be drilled from the primary bore hole. The sidetrack will be cored and will undergo a drill stem test (DST) that is likely to be carried out in the second quarter of 2019.

The second appraisal well, called Zama-3, will be drilled to the south of the original Zama discovery well. Its objective will be to help delineate continuity and quality of the reservoir in the southern part of the offshore field.

Zama-3 will also be cored to give a better understanding of the reservoir geology, said Talos Energy, which expects the Zama discovery appraisal program to be wrapped up by mid-year 2019.

Talos Energy president and CEO Timothy Duncan said: “The timing of the commencement of the appraisal program will allow us to stay on track of our goal, which is to achieve initial production from the Zama discovery in 2022.”

Talos Energy is the operator of Block 7 with a stake of 35% and is partnered by Premier Oil (25%) and Sierra Oil & Gas (40%).

Last month, Talos Energy awarded McDermott International a conceptual and engineering services contract for the Zama field development.