HOUSTON, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: EGY) today provided an update on its drilling activities offshore Gabon. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100316/NY71495LOGO) VAALCO has successfully completed the new development well (EAVOM-3H) in the Avouma field. Production from this well commenced at a natural flow rate of approximately 3,000 gross barrels of oil per day ("BOPD"), rising to 4,000 gross BOPD once the Electrical Submersible Pumps ("ESPs") were engaged at the minimum setting. VAALCO will determine the optimal production rate for the well in the coming weeks. As previously announced, VAALCO is undertaking workovers to replace the ESPs on the EAVOM-2H and ETBSM-1H wells, located on the Avouma platform. The contracted rig, the KCA Deutag "Ben Rinnes," will then be moved onto location to drill an exploration appraisal well to evaluate an untested fault block on the South West flank of the Ebouri field with the Gamba reservoir as the primary objective. The well will also test a secondary objective in the Dentale formation. The Ben Rinnes will then be employed to drill a further exploration well, Prospect Mu, to the North of the Etame field. The well will be drilled in 60 meters of water to a depth of 2,700 meters to evaluate the Gamba reservoir and the underlying Lucina formation. Studies undertaken by VAALCO and its consortium partners with respect to Prospect Mu indicate that potential reserves in excess of 30 million gross barrels of oil are estimated to be recoverable. The Company's subsidiary, VAALCO Gabon Etame, Inc., operates and owns a 28.07% net interest in the Etame Marin block. Other partners in the block are Addax Petroleum Etame, Inc. (31.36%), Sasol Petroleum Etame Limited (27.75%), Sojitz Etame Limited (2.98%), PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (2.34%) and Tullow Oil Gabon SA (7.5%).