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Seven Large African Gas Projects Queue Up For FID in 2018

By Toyin Akinosho

Seven sizeable gas projects in Africa, four of them meant for export, are on the queue for final investment decision in 2018.

Three of these projects: ENI operated Baltim SW project in Egypt, Seplat operated Assa North/Ohaji South in Nigeria and BWOffshore led Kudu gas to power in Namibia, are meant for the domestic markets in their countries. Each of these domgas projects will deliver in the range of 300-350MMscf/d, at peak.

The biggest projects; Anadarko’s Area 1 project (6MMTPA) in Mozambique and NLNG’s Train 7 (8MMTPA) in Nigeria are meant for shipment to industrial economies outside the continent, mostly in Asia.

The 2.2MMTPA Fortuna LNG in Equatorial Guinea, is the smallest of the gas export projects.
There are no numbers yet for the deliverable volumes for BP/Kosmos’ Tortue LNG project offshore Senegal. What is known is that the size of the reserves is estimated at 15Tcf.

Full details of 2018 Projects around Africa, including this author’s Kickstarter article: ‘Pregnant with Projects’ and the editorial survey: ‘Who Is Doing What and Where in 2018?’ are available in this link.

Egypt’s Zohr Gas Reaches The Market In Record Time

By Fred Akanni

Expected to reach 1Bscf/d, pumped into the domestic gas grid, by 2019

The massive Zohr gas field in deepwater eastern Mediterranean offshore Egypt has started production, two years after discovery.

The field is producing 350Million standard cubic feet per day.

The gas is being pumped from Zohr to Port Said’s new land station at El-Gameel, where it is being treated and transferred to the national natural-gas network.

ENI, the Italian giant, had promised, almost immediately it discovered the field in September 2015, to deliver the project in record time.

Zohr Gas field is located inside the 3,752km² Shorouk Block, within the Egyptian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), in the Mediterranean Sea. The field is situated more than 150km from the coast.

ENI owns a 100% stake of the Shorouk license, through IEOC Production, and the acreage is operated by Belayim Petroleum Company (Petrobel), a joint venture between IEOC and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).

ENI was granted approval for the Zohr Development Lease by the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) in February 2016. The field is expected to reach full production capacity, around 1Billion cubic feet per day, in 2019.

First Gas Flowing in Algeria’s Reggane Nord Project

The Groupement Reggane Nord (GRN) consortium has commenced production from four out of six Reggane Nord gas fields.
The first wells were put in production on 13 December 2017. A total of ten wells are planned to come on stream by the end of the year.
A ramp up of production targets a flow rate of more than 280 million cubic feet of gas per day by mid-2018.

Reggane Nord is the first gas project that has been brought into production from this prospective region in the south west of Algeria.
With first gas, the commissioning period started in which the performance of the constructed Gas Treatment Plant will be tested and the new built GR5 national gas transport pipeline will be filled with the gas from Reggane Nord.

The project scope is including drilling, completion and tie-in of 18 new development wells already drilled, plus the completion and tie-in of 5 existing exploration-delineation wells, in addition to further wells to be drilled beyond first gas. This will ensure the targeted sales gas plateau rate.

Background Reggane Nord project

Field development in the Algerian Sahara is being carried out by the joint company “Groupement Reggane Nord” (GRN), which has been established by the project partners especially for this purpose. The Groupement Reggane-Nord (GRN) partners are Repsol (29.25%) as licence operator, DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG with its 19.5%-share, Algeria’s state hydrocarbon company enterprise Sonatrach (40%), and Edison (11.25%). Reggane Nord is located in the Reggane basin of the Algerian Sahara desert.

Exploration activities started in 2002. The Field Development Plan was approved on 30 November 2011, followed by the foundation of the Groupement Reggane Nord and the start of field development in 2012. The Reggane Nord project comprises of six dry gas fields of Reggane, Azrafil Sud-Est, Kahlouche, Kahlouche Sud, Tiouliline and Sali.

The scope to first gas included design, construction, commissioning and start-up of the Central Processing Facilities (CPF) including a Gas Treatment Plant (GTP), a gathering network (flowlines, trunklines, manifolds) to connect the wells to the GTP, a Gas export pipeline (approx. 74 km) from the GTP to the new built GR5 national gas transport pipeline as well as a Living Base and Security Camp.
The production phase of the project is expected to span about 25 years.

ENI Pools $4.7Billion From Seven Lenders For Coral South FLNG

Italian giant ENI and its partners have pooled $4.675Billion worth of debt facility from seven lenders for the Coral South FLNG development, offshore Mozambique.

In the company’s announcement regarding the project’s financial close, Africa’s most aggressive hydrocarbon explorer lists five export/import credit agencies as participants in “covered loans”.

ENI and Co are also taking two direct loans, one each from an unnamed Commercial Bank and the Korea Export Import Agency (KEXIM).

ENI reports that the total amount of debt is split in the following facilities:

• France owned BPI Export Credit Agency -Covered Loan
• Korea Eximbank (KEXIM), the official export credit agency of South Korea-Covered Loan
Italian Export Credit Agency(SACE)-Covered Loan
• Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure)-Covered Loan
• China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) -Covered Loan
• Commercial Bank Direct Loan (Unnamed Bank/s)
• KEXIM Direct Loan

Coral South FLNG, located in Area 4, in deepwater Rovuma Basin, is the first project sanctioned by the Block’s Partners for development.

It targets the production and monetization of the gas contained in the southern part of the Coral gas reservoir, by means of a floating LNG plant with a capacity of 3.4 MTPA. A Sale and Purchase Agreement was signed in 2016 for the sale of 100% of the LNG production to BP.

ENI is the Operator of Area 4, holding a 50% indirect interest through its participation in ENI East Africa (EEA). In March 2017, ENI and ExxonMobil signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement to enable ExxonMobil to acquire a 25% interest in Area 4, through EEA.

The remaining interests in Area 4 are held by CNODC (20%), Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos E.P. (ENH, 10%), Kogas (10%) and Galp Energia (10%).

FID Dates Slip Again For ANOH and Fortuna

By Fred Akanni, in Malabo

London listed juniors: Seplat Petroleum and Ophir Energy, have again slipped in their proposed dates for final investment decisions (FID) on their respective gas monetisation projects.

They had both declared the end of the first half of 2017 as target date, missed that timeline and now they are both saying that First Quarter 2018 is more likely.

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Don’t Rule Out FID For Kudu Gas To Power in 2017

BW Offshore, the main investor in the upstream part of Namibia’s Kudu Gas To Power project, has not ruled out financial sanction for the project before the end of 2017.

The company indicated in the events guidance in its 3rd Quarter 2017 report, that Final Investment Decision for the 800MW project remains one of the several milestones on the cards for second half of the year.

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NLNG Mulls A 2018 Date for Financial Close on Train 7 Plus

Nigeria LNG Limited has declared it is making steady progress towards achieving Final Investment Decision (FID) on its Train 7 Plus (7+) project during 2018.

“This phase of the company’s strategic growth programme will on completion upscale NLNG’s annual production capacity from the current capacity of 22MMTPA (Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum) to 30MMTPA”, the company’s spokesman, Kudo Eresia-Eke, said in a release.

He was quoting Tony Attah, NNLG’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, who said at the World LNG Summit holding in Portugal, on Wednesday November 29, 2017, that West Africa’s largest gas export company was looking to the project’s financial close in 2018, “with the full support of the NLNG Board.”

This would mean that the prospects for constructing the 8MMTPA capacity train has brightened since it came on the drawing board at least 12 years ago, as Natural gas grows to account for a quarter of global energy demand, becoming the second-largest fuel in the global mix after oil by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s New Policies Scenario.

The current period in which this Final Investment Decision is being taken certainly has its own challenges. There is ample supply and the prices are low, but the IEA says that so long as “gas remains affordable”, its growth in the near future is assured. To NLNG’s advantage, “LNG accounts for almost 90% of the projected growth in long-distance gas trade to 2040: with few exceptions, most notably the route that opens up between Russia and China, major new pipelines struggle in a world that prizes the optionality of LNG”, the IEA says in its latest report.

“With Nigeria’s proven reserves of about 192 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and another 600 trillion cubic feet in potential, this milestone development is coming at a crucial time. I am excited about this development which would not be possible without the support of our Board and shareholders”, Attah said at the Summit, attended by the world’s leading LNG stakeholders.

“NLNGhas so far converted over five trillion cubic feet of associated gas, which otherwise would have been flared, to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids (NGLs) for both export and domestic use. It is Nigeria’s most significant natural gas utilization intervention to date, which is helping to preserve the environment and support Nigeria’s economic growth”, Attah told the audience. “From an initial investment of about $6Billion, NLNG has grown into a $15.6Billion investment with an asset base of about $11billion”, he explained. “The company has generated $90Billion in revenues as well as paid $5.5 billion in taxes to the government. The company has also has helped monetise the country’s gas resources and significantly contributed to reducing gas flaring from 65% to less than 20%,” he remarked.

NLNG runs an integrated plant on Bonny Island where its current six liquefaction trains share common facilities including storage tanks, shipping capacity and loading jetties with a gas intake of 3.5Billion standard cubic feet of natural gas per day.

All these have been achieved with a management staff entirely made up of Nigerians and a workforce which is 95% indigenous.

NLNG is owned by four shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l (10.4%).

Dangote’s Gas Project Is the Riskiest of the Industrial Quartet

By Sully Manope

Dangote Industries’ proposed 1,100kmdeepsea pipeline from the Niger Delta to Lagos, Nigeria’s top commercial hub, is the most uncertain, from a business perspective, of the four projects under development at the company’s Lekki Port complex.

Whereas there’s clear demand for petroleum products and fertilisers from the refinery and fertiliser complexes under construction and the Petrochemical Plant will have customers, the domestic gas market, which the pipeline is expected to serve, is severely challenged.

The East-West Offshore Gas Gathering System (EWOGGS), as it is christened,consists of two 38 inch, 550km pipelines, each with a capacity of 1.5 Bcf/day. The two pipelines will be running side by side.

“To talk about a three billion standard cubic feet of gas supply into Nigeria today requires a lot more work than wishful thinking,” says Sam Ojehonmon, an African hydrocarbon market analyst based in Johannesburg.

To start with, some of the projects that are widely expected to be supplied by the EWOGGS are, in reality, going to be supplied by other parties.

Take the560MW Qua Iboe Independent Power Plant for example. It is going to be built by Black Rhino, with which Dangote is a partner. It is located in the vicinity of the EWOGGS’ take off platform and had been widely assumed to be the EWOGGS’ most likely first customer. But that’s a wrong assumption. The gas for QIIPP will be supplied by ExxonMobil, whose Joint Venture with state company NNPC will build a 400MMscf/d processing plant for gas from OML 70, primarily for that project and ultimately for the Nigerian domestic gas market.This fact alone places a direct competition in EWOGGS’ face.

Indeed, the Dangote Industries’ published list of acreages from which the EWOGGS is expected to extract natural gas, begins to look doubtful, with a little bit of scrutiny. The list includes ExxonMobil operated OMLs70 and 138, Amni operated OML 52, Shell operated OML 77, Sunlink held OML 144 and First E&P held OMLs 71 and 72, in which West African E&P, a Dangote subsidiary, has significant stake. Of this list, the gas fields that are ready to come on stream are those in ExxonMobil’s OMLs 70 and 138 and Shell’s OML 77. A Dangote document actually lists OML 138 as scheduled to provide 10% of the 3Bcf/d EWOGGS capacity, but ExxonMobil does not have any agreement yet with Dangote Industries Limited, nor does Shell.

Sunlink has been desperate to monetise its gas in OML 144, As such it is keen to get in board; First E&P will deliver on OMLs 71 and 72, but It’s not clear what arrangement Amni has with Dangote.

Dangote Industries’ expectation is that Africa’s most populous country should be able to utilize 10Billion cubic feet of gas per day, in its power plants and factories, by 2020.

In the last 12 years, the state has built over 10 thermal power plants with nameplate capacity in excess of 5,000MW, expected to be fueled by natural gas. But the volume available has been held down by “in-sufficient Investment focus to grow the required supply capacity”, according to a concept note by the Dangote group, which it shared with Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osibajo, in 2016.

Current gas consumption by factories, power plants and Gas based industries in Nigeria is slightly less than 2Billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Growth in these sectors is reportedly constrained by inadequacy of supply of natural gas.

But the big challenge is the absorptive capacity of the market itself.

The bulk of the gas produced for the Nigerian market is for electricity, an industry considered rather unstable at the moment. “The power sector is beset by “illiquidity, price and securitization challenges”, says Dada Thomas, President of the Nigerian Gas Association. “Lurking behind these monsters are the secondary diseases of inadequate and dilapidated power transmission and gas distribution infrastructure, low economic returns for gas projects”. Other Gas and power analysts have lamented the obstructions imposed by offtake assurances vis-à-vis pipeline tariffs, funding mix and failure of payment guarantee structures.

And yet there are projects under construction and in feasibility studies. Shell and Seplat are collaborating on the Assa North Ohaji South (ANOH) project, which will deliver 600MMscf/d at peak, to the Nigerian market.

This story benefited from extensive excerpts in the piece Huge Ambition, Hefty Risk, at $3Billion, published in the February/March 2017 issue of Africa Oil+Gas Report.

ExxonMobil Is Now Betting on Nigeria’s Domestic Gas Market

By Toyin Akinosho

ExxonMobil will handle the upstream and midstream parts of the Qua Iboe Independent Power Project.
The company’s joint venture with NNPC will deliver the required 100MMscf/d to fire the plant, from the Oso field, in the country’s prolific south east offshore.

The NNPC/ExxonMobil JV will construct a 400MMscf/ gas processing plant and a pipeline from Oso to Qua Iboe Terminal.
These facts fly in the face of insinuations that, with a partnership between Black Rhino and Dangote Industries signing a 540 MW Power Purchase Agreement with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), ExxonMobil had finally let go of the project, conceived close to two decades ago.

As things stand, in fact, the Qua Iboe IPP should, indeed, make ExxonMobil play a bigger role in domestic gas market than it currently does. The company has been the only multinational without a processing plant-meant for producing lean gas- to its name in Nigeria.

Instead it constructs projects around stripping Natural gas Liquids for sale and injecting what would otherwise have been flared, to increase crude output.

“With a 400MMscf/d gas plant and a pipeline from offshore gas field to shore, they will be playing a bigger role in the domestic gas space”, sources at the NNPC, the senior JV partner, say.

“Whoever wants to offtake gas from the remaining 300MMscf/d capacity not dedicated to the QIIPP has to construct its own evacuation infrastructure to the QIT”.

‘Europe Prefers Russian Gas To American Imports’

By Goma Jeyipo, Downstream Gas Correspondent

Europeans will rather buy gas from nearby …state than the increasing LNG imports from the United States.
Part of the reason is a business decision, unrelated to either the political challenges that mainland Europe faces with Russia or the American President Donald Trump’s increasing hostility to European leaders. Neither country, in any case, is pretending to be the best of friends with Europe at the moment.

“At the end it is the prices that count”, says Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive Officer of ENI, the Italian giant. “The U.S. will encounter great difficulty in Europe for the gap, to their disadvantage, of prices. It would not be difficult for Gazprom, which supplies Europe with about 170-180 billion cubic meters, to cut them out, all they would need to do is lower the price by a few cents”.

Further north, in the German capital, Berlin, a clear majority of German citizens reject the USA’s planned expansion of its economic sanctions against Russia, according to research conducted by The Forsa Institute for Social Research and Statistical Analysis forsa for short, one of the leading market research and opinion polling companies in Germany. Whereas half the Germans surveyed support a further diversification of the natural gas provision, only 6% want more imports of American liquefied natural gas. Forsa interviewed more than 1000 German citizens on behalf of Wintershall, the German independent E&P company.

Wintershall says of the survey, published on its website: “The vast majority of Germans (83%) reject the planned increase in economic sanctions, which would also restrict the activities of German and European companies.

“For more than 80 percent of the German citizens, the top priorities for the natural gas provision are its affordability and security of supply. Diversified suppliers and transport routes (50%) are also considered relevant. However, only 6% want to import less natural gas from Russia and instead import more American liquefied gas. Just under a quarter (24%) would like countries that have previously benefited from gas transport revenues to also benefit in future from transit revenues”.

Mr. Descalzi says: “The U.S. are experiencing a phase of excess, the market has grown a lot thanks to shale gas. U.S. President Donald Trump offered to sell LNG in Poland but imposing a political accord is difficult”.
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