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Angola To Sell 30% of State Hydrocarbon Firm

The Angolan government wants to list up to 30% of Sonangol, the state hydrocarbon company.

The ongoing reform of the economy has already focused on privatization of those subsidiaries of Sonangol that do not belong to the core business of exploration and production.

Indeed, the spinoff of those non-core assets has brought about “significant cost reductions at the national oil company (NOC):, in the opinion of the Ministry of Mineral and Oil, Sonangol’s supervisory ministry.

The government says that privatization process for Sonangoloffers extensive opportunities for new entrants into Angola’s oil and gas sector. “Initial projections point to foreign direct investment flows of up to $10 billion in the next three years, as external players move in to take over from Sonangol in key support service roles previously fulfilled by the NOC.”, the Ministry affirms.

The government believes that the partial privatization of Sonangol“will enable the company to not only to raise money for investment, but will also increase its competitive edge”.

“Ongoing initiatives being promoted include the 2020 oil and gas licensing round, marginal field development, gas monetization, and attractive projects across the value chain, including the international tender for the Soyo refinery and the ramp-up of the Cabinda and Lobito refineries”, the Ministry explains.


Africa Oil Receives First Dividend from its Nigerian Asset

Canadian explorer, Africa Oil Corp. has announced the receipt of its first dividend from Prime Oil and Gas B.V. POGBV, previously known as Petrobras Oil and Gas B.V., a company that holds interests in deepwater Nigeria production and development assets.

POGBV has distributed a $125Million dividend with a net payment to Africa Oil of $62.5Million related to its 50% interest.

“The Company will apply this amount, and any future dividends, in priority towards the repayment of its $250Million POGBV acquisition loan, in order to accelerate the repayment of the loan principal amount”, Africa Oil announced in a release.

Africa Oil Corp.’s interests in POGBV includes 8% and 16% stakes in Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 127 and 130. OML 127 hosts Chevron operated Agbami field, with gross production of over 175,000BOPD, whereas OML 130 contains Akpo and Egina fields, with combined output in excess of 300,000BOPD, in crude oil volume only.

Keith Hill, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, communicated his excitement aboutthe news less than a month after closing the acquisition of a 50% shareholding in POGBV.

“We plan to release our 2020 guidance, including an estimate of cashflows net to our interest in POGBV, with our full-year results on or about February 28th, 2020, and to file the Statement of Reserves effective year-end 2019 by March 31st, 2020″.

Africa Oil Corp. holds producing and development assets in deepwater Nigeria; development assets in Kenya; and an exploration/appraisal portfolioin the rest of Africa and Guyana. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and on Nasdaq Stockholm under the symbol “AOI”

 


Angola Awards Three of the Blocks Offered in 2019 Bid Round

Angola’s National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG), has announced the winners of three concession awards from its 2019 bid round for hydrocarbon blocks in the Namibe and Benguela Basins.

The awards were announced, the agency said, “under the terms of Decree No. 86/18, of 02 April, and in compliance with the predefined Bidding Schedule 2019”.

The three blocks awarded are 27, 28, and 29, and all three are located offshore in the deepwater Namibe Basin.

The International Competitive Bid Round for oil gas licenses, announced last year, is a scheduled offering for onshore and offshore, in the period 2019-2025.

The blocks awarded, which are all considered frontier, currently have no hydrocarbon production. A total of 10 frontier blocks were made available for concession in the 2019 round, which initiated with round presentations in Fall 2019. Other blocks offered during the 2019 licensing round included 11, 12, 13, 41, 42 and 43 in the Namibe Basin, and block 10 in the Benguela Basin.

The state hydrocarbon firm Sonangol, received a working interest of varying percentages in all three blocks, and is joined by others as operators or shareholders, including ENI, TOTAL, Equinor and BP as follows:

* In the act of negotiations, the National Concessionaire and the awarded companies must find means that lead to the identification of interested companies for the conclusion of the constitution of the Contractor Groups.

The date and place of the start of the negotiation process for each block will be announced shortly.-These footer statements are direct quotes from the website of  the National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG).

 


Africa Oil Finalises Acquisition in Agbami, Egina

Canadian explorer, Africa Oil Corp., has announced the closing of the acquisition of a 50% ownership interest in Petrobras Oil and Gas B.V. (POGBV).

BTG Pactual E&P B.V. will continue to own the remaining 50% of POGBV. The total cash payment by AOI to close the Acquisition, including the Nigerian Government’s consent fee, amounts to $519.5Million. This includes a deferred payment of $24.8Million which is due by end of June 2020.

The primary assets of POGBV are an indirect 8% interest in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 127 and an indirect 16% interest in OML 130. OML 127 is operated by affiliates of Chevron Corporation (Chevron) and contains the producing Agbami Field. OML 130 is operated by affiliates of TOTAL S.A. (TOTAL) and contains the producing Akpo and Egina Fields.

Aggregate gross field production from these assets averaged approximately 442,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD)1 for the period January 1st to December 29th, 2019. Average daily entitlement production2 net to AOI’s 50% shareholding in POGBV for the same period, was approximately 33,630BOPD. This compares to a January 2019 average net entitlement production of 22,460BOPD, with growth over the course of 2019 being mostly due to the production ramp-up on the Egina field, which came onstream in late December 2018.

Africa Oil CEO Keith Hill commented, “We are very pleased to have acquired an interest in these established, low unit cost, producing assets with additional appraisal and development upside, that are operated by some of the best companies in the industry. With the addition of production and cash flow, Africa Oil is transforming into a significant, Africa-focused independent E&P company. Combining these assets with our Kenya development project and exploration portfolio, we believe that Africa Oil has tremendous growth potential in a range of oil price scenarios”.

Key highlights 3, 4, 5:

  • A transformational transaction as Africa Oil becomes a full-cycle E&P company with material reserves and production, strong operating netbacks, and free cash flow generation that is supported by an active oil price hedging program at the POGBV level;
  • Year-end 2018 net entitlement proved reserves (“1P”) of 62.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (“MMBOE”) and proved plus probable reserves (“2P”) of 94.7 MMBOE, net to AOI’s 50% shareholding in POGBV, with more than 90% comprised of light and medium oil;
  • Based on the year-end 2018 entitlement reserves and LR’s 2019 production estimates, pro-forma (as of December 31st, 2019) entitlement 1P reserves of 49.2 MMBOE (95% liquids) and 2P reserves of 80.6 MMBOE (93% liquids) net to AOI’s 50% interest in POGBV;
  • These reserves are for the three producing fields only and don’t account for undeveloped discoveries in the licenses;
  • 2019 average operating cost estimate6of $7.0 /BOE;
  • 2019 average operating netback estimate7of $50.1 /BOE;
  • Total cash payment of $519.5Million is funded from cash on hand and a loan for $250Million (“Loan”) provided by Banco BTG Pactual S.A.;
  • A deferred payment of $123Million, subject to update, may be due to the seller depending on the date and ultimate OML 127 tract participation in the Agbami field5; and
  • POGBV has an existing reserve-based lending facility, with a syndicate of international banks with a drawn amount of $1.825Billion.

Asset Highlights

The three fields in these two licenses are all giant deep-water fields, located over 100 km offshore Nigeria, and are some of the largest and highest quality in Africa. All three fields have high quality reservoirs and produce light, sweet crude oil.

Two of these fields, Agbami and Akpo, have been on production since 2009. The TOTAL-operated Egina FPSO, started production in December 2018 and ramped up to plateau production of approximately 200,000 barrels of oil per day during the first half of 2019.

In addition to the current producing reservoirs there are additional growth opportunities in undeveloped horizons within existing fields; adjacent undeveloped discoveries; and identified exploration targets within the licenses that are under consideration for development and exploration drilling. One advanced opportunity is the Preowei oil discovery, which is being considered as a satellite tie-back to the Egina FPSO. In the first half of 2019 the Field Development Plan for the Preowei field within OML 130 was approved by the Government of Nigeria. Preowei is not currently included in the Company’s reserves estimates.

 


Aker Energy Has ‘Captured’ Ghana’s Regulatory Apparatus

Position of the Minority in Parliament to Amendments to Aker ad AGM Agreements

By Adam Mutakawilu, Member of Parliament

The Government of Ghana has worked in the last few days before Christmas to rush through Parliament significant changes to the upstream petroleum sector regime.

Government requested Parliament to ratify within 9 days and 25 December:

  1. amendments to the Cape Three Points – Deep Water Tano (CTP-DWT)

(“AKER”) Petroleum Agreement; and

  1. amendments to the South Deep Water Tano (SDWT) (“AGM”) Petroleum

Agreement.

This “Christmas present” represents the most radical political attack on Ghana’s upstream petroleum sector since the commencement of the fourth Republic. The immediate impact of the proposed amendments will be to emasculate state policy making, state regulation, and state commercial participation in the upstream oil and gas (O&G) Sector and collapse local content development.

It will:

  1. impose certain critical obligations on the Minister which are regulatory in nature;
  2. limit the Minister’s discretion in approving Plans of Development contrary toAct 919 for example by:
  •  compelling the Minister to accept use of FPSO technology as the only option for producing the resources of the AGM Block – even before the appraisal of the field in which the technology must be deployed;
  •  compelling the Minister to accept the contractor’s delineation of the area to be included within a “Development and Production Area” in the Aker Block;
  1. allow Aker within a year of its Final Investment Decision to unilaterally vary the approved development plan without reference to the Minister contrary to Section 27(12) of Act 919.
  2. give Contractors unfettered discretion over oilfield procurement without recourse to petroleum commission or any other governmental authority – also weakening the role of GNPC in Joint Management Committees.

 

THE DIRECT BENEFICIARY of these giveaways will be the Norwegian Multinational, AKER which owns and controls both Aker Ghana and AGM. The direct loser in is Ghana.

The cumulative the medium to long term effect of all these giveaways will be a loss of national control over our precious petroleum resources which will lead among other things to:

  1. billions of dollars lost to the nation; and
  2. loss of Job creation

These amendments have far reaching consequences and serious implication for Ghana upstream petroleum industry beyond AKER. These amendments will lead to demands from Contractors across the board for review of their current Contract terms in order to achieve parity of treatment.

It will be recalled that In April this year the Ministries of Finance and Energy submitted another joint memorandum to Parliament requesting radical changes to the AGM Petroleum Agreement (PA).

  1. They demanded the transfer of the 24% participating interest in the Petroleum Agreement (PA) held by the GNPC Exploration and Production Company (Explorco) (for which GNPC had paid US$ 30Million to acquire the necessary Seismic data in 2010). Explorco was the cornerstone of GNPCs strategy to build national operating capacity such that the benefits that currently derive exclusively to foreign Oil Block operators including the capacity to promote local service providers would now stay in the national economy.
  2. The two Ministers also demanded that a GNPC’s entitlement to take a (paid)additional stake in the AGM PA upon declaration of Commercial Discovery be reduced from 15% to 3%.
  3. The Ministries of Finance and Energy argued disingenuously (and against the advice of industry professionals within the State sector) that these handouts to Aker were justified by the high-cost, high- risk nature of the SDWT Block which made the Project unattractive to investors (and the same material adverse change that they are repeating today). The truth of course is that in terms of drilling targets the SDWT Block is by far Ghana’s most prolific and if anything the Block had become much more attractive geologically over the last six years than at the time the PA was entered into.

Parliament, in its wisdom, imposed conditions on the ratification of the PA amendments (which conditions Government does not appear to have met). And as fate would have it, AGM made a significant discovery within two months of Government’s attempt to give away these important resources. A government with the national interest in mind would have demanded a review of the concessions sorecklessly offered in April. Rather, just 6 months later the same ministers that worked to assist Aker in its plunder of national resources have the temerity to come back to Parliament demanding more concessions for Aker and making arguments about unfair “economic balance”.

The Minister of Energy purported to have procured a legal opinion on the constitutional and legal implications of the proposed amendment of petroleum agreements. Whilst it is correct to state that the effect of the stabilization provisions of the PAs is to prevent legal and regulatory changes from adversely affecting the operations of the upstream operator, it is absolutely not correct to state that there is a constitutional and contractual obligation not to effect changes to laws, regulations and rules that have bearing on the operations of international oil companies. The State’s obligation is to restore the economic balance of the agreement.

In achieving economic balancing, it is not enough to indicate that laws have changed. The Parties must be able to identify the economic balance that existed at the inception of the investment. They must demonstrate quantitatively how the new legislation has upset this balance and materially disadvantaged it. This then becomes the basis for negotiating a set of appropriate compensatory measures.

Certainly, where Parliamentary ratification is required the Executive must facilitate the exercise of Parliament’s supervisory role by concretely demonstrating all of these elements and the appropriateness and timeliness of the compensatory measures proposed. The Executive has not been able to do that. All they expect is for Parliament to take their word for it.

Curiously the memorandum asserts that a first amendment to the SDWT PA was ratified on 3 May 2019. The Hansard shows that Parliament explicitly maderatification of the SDWT PA conditional upon:

  1. an increase in the GNPC additional interest entitlement from 3% (as proposed by the Ministers) up to 10%; and
  2. resolution of the dispute surrounding the interest of the original Ghanaian stakeholder (MSD) in the project (which interest was a critical factor in Parliament’s original ratification of the original PA) and which Aker claimed to have acquired.

Parliament tasked the Minister for Energy to address these issues and report back to it within six months i.e. by 3 November 2019. The Minister has not reported back to Parliament.

In those circumstances for the Executive (and much more the Company)to represent to the world that the PA was ratified is grossly disrespectful to Parliament and contemptuous of this National Institution.

  1. Minister’s Reasonable Assistance

This provision obligates the Minister to provide “reasonable assistance” to ensure that Contractor obtains all licenses, consents and/or authorisations” required for its work and to reduce the costs due to delays in obtaining such permissions. We do not have a copy of the actual language proposed for the AGM PA; however we assume it is the same as that proposed for the HESS PA.

The proposed Article 7.8 of that HESS PA provides that the Minister must provide “reasonable assistance” to the Contractor (i.e. not to do so would be a breach of the PA) and that where the Contractor considers that the Minister is not delivering “reasonable assistance” it canby notice compel the Minister to deliver the relevant “licenses, consents and/or authorisations within 30 days”.

This most unusual amendment makes the Minister the errand-boy for Contractors and undermines the autonomy of regulators and permit givers who are not necessarily under the authority or jurisdiction of the Minister.

  1. Commerciality

This provision says that the Minister has no longer has authority in approving or rejecting a Plan of Development to determine what technologies will be used in developing and producing Ghana’s hydrocarbon resources. The Minister is obliged to accept today that AGM will utilize FPSO technology regardless of what conditions might be found to prevail in a Discovery Area and regardless of what technological advances in development and production technology in the next few years.

To make such a determination of development and production technology before the Contractor has even appraised its first discovery is, to say the least, unwise from an economic, safety, and technological development perspective; and is certainly not“Industry Best Practice”.

Recent developments with regard to the condition of FPSO’s operating (the Tullow Turret Incident etc.) in our Offshore Areas and the adverse impact recorded on production and therefore on state revenues must alert us to the dangers of suchcarte blanche concessions.

 

iii. Taxation and other Imports

Sadly, these amendments provide a sweeping tax exemption for Aker and AGM, its sub-contractors and sub sub-contractors. No withholding taxes in the case of AGM and a reduced withholding tax rate of 5% instead of the 15% withholding tax for any work or services or supply or use of goods, both to domestic and international transactions.

It is reckless for exempting Withholding tax for international transactions as it is like surrendering taxing right to foreign state because the foreign state will apply tax on its worldwide income. Secondly, not Withholding tax on international transactions would result in permanent revenue loss for Ghana. However, not having Withholding tax on domestic transactions may lead to tax evasion as the trail is lost. In the longer run, it will result in large scale tax loss due to avoidance.

The non-resident companies having established a Permanent Establishment (PE)status for tax purposes would be liable for full corporate tax. Sadly, the amendments make it possible for non-residence Permanent Establishment (PE) to be exempted from the payment of tax at the domestic rate. This will cause a substantial tax loss as the tax exemption is for seven years.

Transaction between Sub contractor to sub-contractor is also not subjected to Withholding tax in the case of AGM and a reduced withholding tax rate of 5% instead of the 15% Withholding tax for any work or services or supply or use of goods, both to domestic and international transaction.

The amendments to exempt Transaction between Sub contractor to sub-contractor are unacceptable as it would have similar consequences as said above. Aker and AGM will be exempted from import duty, VAT and all sorts of other taxes.

However,the indirect taxes are not a cost to the Aker and AGM as it avails input credit.

Conclusion

A lot has gone wrong and continues to go wrong in Ghana’s energy sector under President Akufo-Addo. It has gotten to the point that whenever we see a joint memorandum from the Honourable Ministers of Finance and Energy we are filled with trepidation.

Ghanaians have not yet recovered from the PDS scandal.

  •  Today massive historical damage has been done to our oil and gas sector and our economy today – damage that at least in financial terms far exceeds the damage of the PDS scandal.
  • Though rumours are rife we are yet to understand in whose interest this damage has been caused. We will not cast unfounded aspersions. However, as a Minority we will continue to probe and investigate what can only be a described as a betrayal of our people by our government acting in concert with foreign interests.
  •  In matters of such great weight and consequence for the Ghanaian people we believe our colleagues on the Majority side must be willing to put partisan loyalty behind them and act in the supreme long-term national interest.
  • Where our institutions fail us then the people themselves that must act and act decisively. We have come to you the media today to help you inform the public in the hope that citizens will join us to protest and reverse these unconscionable measures. You will hear from us on these matters in the weeks and months to come.

 

HON ADAM MUTAWAKILU

RANKING MEMBER,

COMMITTEE ON MINES AND ENERGY


TOTAL Bets on Angola for the Next 25 Years

French major TOTAL, as operator, and its partners Equinor, Exxon and BP, have signed an agreement with the Angolan national oil, gas and biofuels agency ANPG and the state hydrocarbon firm Sonangol, to extend their consortium’s production licenses to 2045.

As part of the agreement, Sonangol will obtain a 5% interest in Block 17 on the effective date and an additional 5% interest in 2036. The consortium will also pay some production bonuses to the State of Angola along the life of the license and will spend $20Million for social programmes.

TOTAL describes Block 17 as “a true success story, with almost Three Billion barrels of oil produced since 2001 by four floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units: Girassol (2001), Dalia (2006), Pazflor (2011) and CLOV (2014)”.Located 150 kilometres off the Angolan coast in water depths ranging from 600 to 1,400 metres, the block produces around 440,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. “The potential of this very prolific block is still high”, the company affirms, “with more than 1 Billion barrels yet to be produced”.

Three short-cycle brownfield projects — Zinia Phase 2, CLOV Phase 2 and Dalia Phase 3 — are currently under development on the block, to add 150 Million barrels of resources, and other brownfield projects for extending the production of Pazflor, Rosa, Girassol and Dalia are under study.

“Additional exploration campaigns might also help unlock further resources and two wells are already planned to be drilled in 2020”, TOTAL explains.

 


Lukoil, Waltersmith, Among Winners in Eq Guinea’s Licencing Round

By Foluso Ogunsan

Russian giant Lukoil, Nigerian minnow Waltersmith and US. Independent Noble Oil are among the seven companies awarded concessions for nine blocks in the results of Equatorial Guinea’s 2019 licensing round.

Block EG-27 (formerly Block R) in the Niger Delta Basin, was awarded to Russian energy multinational Lukoil and GEPetrol. Block EG-23 in the Niger Delta Basin, which hosts the Estaurolita gas discovery, was granted to WalterSmith, Hawtai Energy and GEPetrol.

EG-09 in the Douala Basin was awarded to Noble Energy (already an active operator in the country) and GEPetrol.

In the Rio Muni Basin, EG-18 was awarded to Africa Oil Corporation and GEPetrol; EG-03 to Vaalco Energy, Levene Energy and GEPetrol; EG-04 to Vaalco Energy, Levene Energy and GEPetrol; EG-19 to Vaalco Energy, Levene Energy and GEPetrol; Block P to Vaalco Energy, Levene Energy and GEPetrol; and Block EG-28 to GEPetrol.

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has also signed a cooperative agreement with Russian geological research company Rosgeo and Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA for the study of prospective onshore mining area on the country’s mainland.

The Ministry aims to sign production sharing contracts as soon as possible to enter into the next phase of negotiation. To work more collaboratively with potential investors, all of the blocks were offered on a drill-or-drop basis, with a reduction of signature bonuses to a minimum of $1Million and elimination of all pre-qualification requirements. The drill-or-drop policy provides each company with an initial two-year period to explore, process seismic data, define well locations, bring in additional investment, if necessary, and begin drilling. Only after this period, in which a company has the opportunity to evaluate and reduce its risk from the data obtained, will the company have to decide whether it wants to proceed with the exploration well or relinquish its license.

Equatorial Guinea’s next licensing round will take place in 2020 and will include a different set of criteria by which to select potential blocks and new acreage


Savannah Now Owns the Seven Asset

By Dahlatu Bashir

Savannah Petroleum, the UK listed minnow, has become a full-cycle E&P company following the transformational acquisition of ‘the Seven Assets’, comprising largely the hydrocarbon properties owned by the defunct Seven Energy.

After a drawn out transaction, which began in October 2017, Savannah, with market capitalisation of $260Million, now owns:

  • An 80% interest in Seven Uquo Gas Limited (SUGL) which in turn holds a 40% participating interest in the Uquo field located in South East Nigeria (with SUGL assuming responsibility for all operations of the gas project at the Uquo field following the concurrence of Frontier Oil to give up the gas in the field and retain the liquids);
  • A 51% interest in the Stubb Creek field located in South East Nigeria (through 100% ownership of Universal Energy Resources Limited); and
  • An 80% interest in the Accugas midstream business, comprising the 200MMscf/d Uquo gas processing facility, a c.260km pipeline network and long-term gas sales agreements with downstream customers.

One of Savannah’s partners in the Transaction is African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) who, as part of the Transaction completion, acquired 20% interests in SUGL and Accugas in return for cash consideration to Savannah of $54Million which it has paid.

The Transaction gives Savannah:· A material producing asset base which is expected to generate significant asset-level free cash flows, “complementing the Company’s prolific Niger exploration and development assets; Exposure to significant upside potential, through both volume and margin uplift, via the utilisation of additional capacity within Accugas’ infrastructure; and  A strong platform in the well-established and high potential Nigerian oil and gas industry”, the company avers in a Press release.

 


Old Mutual Takesa Piece of Nigerian Gas Infrastructure

By Pospectus Mojjido, in Abidjan

With the conclusion of the takeover of Seven Energy assets, a widely known South African Insurer now owns a piece of a grid length, natural gas pipeline in Nigeria.

African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) is a member of the Alternative Investments unit of the Old Mutual Group, the South African insurance company.

As part of the Transaction completion, AIIM acquired 20% interests in Seven Uquo Gas Limited (SUGL) which in turn holds a 40% participating interest in the Uquo field located in South East Nigeria and Accugas, a midstream business, comprising the 200MMscf/d Uquo gas processing facility, and a c .260kilometre gas pipeline network.

AIIM promptly paid $54Million as cash consideration to Savannah for that 20% share.

The Old Mutual Alternative Investments is one of the largest private alternative investment managers in Africa, with over $4.2Billion under management in infrastructure assets, private equity and impact funding, according to its website. Its investment approach, it avers, goes “Beyond the Obvious” and “enables us to uncover opportunities others may overlook”.

AIIM says it has committed over $1.8Billion in equity investments over the last 19 years. It says its experience spans a range of infrastructure asset classes including toll roads, renewable energy, power generation, ports and communication infrastructure assets.

The company has established local offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire and its website says it is currently managing investments with operations spanning 17 countries across East, West and Southern Africa.

 

 


Senegal Set For Launch of First Licencing Round

Bolstered by discoveries of oil and gas off its shores in the last six years, Senegal has decided it will go to the market to offer exploratory tracts.

The state hydrocarbon company PETROSEN, has given the word that the country’s first offshore licensing round will be launched at the Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry (MSGBC) Basin Summit & Exhibition in Dakar in January 2020. The round will be open for six months – until the end of July 2020 – and will comprise 10 offshore exploration blocks.

The MSGBC Basin is the defining exploration frontier of Africa’s oil patch in the post oil-price- crash era. It has hosted, since 2014, several high-profile oil and gas discoveries, set in a variety of play types, both on and off the carbonate shelf, including the Albian sandstone shelf edge SNE oil field – the largest global discovery of 2014 – the 25Tcf Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project – the largest gas discovery of 2015 – and the Lower Cenomanian sandstone basin floor fan Yakaar-1 gas well – the largest global discovery of 2017. All are located offshore Senegal, within ~100 km of the Dakar Peninsula, leaving a vast area yet to be explored.

TGS, the Norwegian geoscience company, claims it holds a range of data across this acreage to support the licensing round, including two dimensional (2D) seismic, three dimensional (3D) seismic, Multibeam and Seafloor Sampling data. The company is also currently acquiring additional 3D seismic data to provide potential bidders with a greater subsurface understanding ahead of bid submissions.

Two new wells are to be spudded in 2020 in AGC and Guinea-Bissau, south of Senegal and in close proximity to blocks in the upcoming license round. Wolverine-1 (CNOOC) and the Atum and/or Anchova (Svenska/FAR) prospects will target shelf edge plays and give vital information about similar plays in the open blocks. The majority of the blocks and acreage offered in the licensing round are in ultra-deepwater depths, as operators plan to target the large, clean, well-sorted sands of the unrestricted basin floor.

 

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