Houston-based Vaalco Energy is stepping up technical studies ahead of a planned development offshore Equatorial Guinea, with options currently centred on a production platform linked to a floating storage and offloading vessel.

Under new chief executive George Maxwell, the West Africa-focused company has been looking at ways to boost profit margins on existing fields and is also revisiting long-dormant potential projects to see if they can be commercialised.

Vaalco has been a partner in the Venus discovery in Equatorial Guinea since 2012, and long-running discussions on developing this field have most often pointed to a floating production, storage and offloading vessel as the favoured concept.