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FID Slips For Africa’s Big Four Oil Projects

By Toyin Akinosho

Two weeks to the end of 1st Half 2018 and the much advertised Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) have failed to materialise for four big African oilfield projects.

The $20Billion Ugandan Albert Basin project, (200,0000BOPD at peak), which was the most certain of the four to take FID, still has a number of conditions precedent to reach the financing close. Yet this was the project that was reported as likely to get the nod in the last quarter of 2017.

The sanction may happen in 2018, but we now know that project commissioning date will slip beyond 2020. CNOOC, the Chinese behemoth with 44% stake in the upstream development, said last week that start-up was unlikely before 2021. This project has been on the drawing board for nine years.

Two greenfield deepwater oil projects offshore Nigeria, Bonga South West Aparo (BSWAP) and Zabazaba, collectively billed for over $25Billion, look nowhere close to getting sanctioned anytime in the year.

It is now certain that an FID in 2018 cannot not work for the SNE field, offshore Senegal, located in 1,100metre Water Depth in the Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep Blocks.


Full details of Financial Sanctions for large sized Projects in Africa are available in this link, as well as in the June 2018 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report.


TransForcados Pipeline Shut In For the 7th Day Running

The TransForcados Pipeline in Nigeria, blown up on May 7, 2018, had not been re-opened as of the afternoon of May 14, 2018, a full week after.
Over 15 oil fields, producing about 250,000BOPD through the pipeline, are shut in.
Shell pumps the roughly 50,000BOPD crude it currently produces in its operated Western Niger Delta fields (held in Joint Venture with NNPC, TOTAL and ENI) through the facility. The crude is exported out of the country from the Forcados Terminal.
So do the six Joint Ventures that NPDC has with Nigerian independents (Seplat, Shoreline Natural Resources, Neconde, Elcrest E&P, NDWestern and First Hydrocarbon Nigeria).
Crude oils from four marginal fields (Pillar operated Umuseti field, Energia operated Ebendo field, Platform operated Egbaoma field and Midwestern operated Umusadege field) are also pumped through this facility, although the marginal field operators have an alternative evacuation route, through the ENI operated Kwale to Brass pipeline.

Seplat declared, in its 1st Quarter 2018 report, that it had a ready alternative to TFP in case of extended outage, and it was working on a second alternative, expected to be commissioned by 3Q 2018. It wasn’t clear, however, as of Monday May 14, 2018, if the London listed firm had activated the alternative.


Aggressive Conoil Doubles Production, Aims For A Quadruple

By Fred Akanni, Editor-in –Chief, from Lagos

Conoil is finally implementing the plans it had on the drawing board as far back as five years ago: take its daily crude oil production higher than what it was at the peak 14 years ago.

The Nigerian independent is on a drilling and field development campaign as aggressive as the difficult environment can allow, but it has taken production from 12,000BOPD to 20,000BOPD in the last few months, and is on course to triple it within the next two years.
With field optimisation and new drilling, Conoil has increased its output in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 103 from less than 1,000BOPD to 1,500 BOPD and from 11,000OPD to 18,500 BOPD in OML 59.

Conoil has drilled 11 wells from 2014 to date, a time when majors and independents alike, in Nigeria, have been largely on a break from the rig site.

The company has about four wells still planned for 2018.

Conoil discovered the Ango field in OML 59 in 2012 and has drilled five development wells (Ango-2,3,4,5 &6) in the new field since 2014. It has drilled three (3) exploration and appraisal wells (Obodo-28, 29 and Ekokor-1) in OML 150, (formerly OPL2007) and two exploration and appraisal wells (Anim-1&2) in OML 153, formerly OPL290.

Conoil will be hooking up three wells- Ango-4, 5 and 6 -in OML 59 in the next several months, expecting to use them to top up the volume with 20,000BOPD.

In February 2018, the company made a discovery, with Toju Ejanla-1, in cretaceous sediments on the western flank of OML 103. The finding has far reaching geologic significance: it is located on the cusp of the Niger Delta and Benin Basins. 
Conoil is expanding its facilities to take care of anticipated surge in production.

Currently it has two platforms (Aunty Julie and Mr. P) and it is building two platforms, including a Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU, in the United States, which will be deployed on OML150 and OML 153.


Madu, Anyala FID Delayed……..

The Nigerian independent, First E&P finalised the acquisition of three dimensional (3D) seismic data on Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 83 and 85.
These are the very acreages it has an agreement with Schlumberger to jointly develop, but the Final Investment Decision is unlikely to be taken before June 2018 for the development of the properties, which include Anyala (OML 83) and Madu (OML 85) fields in shallow water off the East Central Nigeria Delta. One key reason for the delay: Schlumberger and First E&P don’t see timing the same way. “There has been misalignment between the two partners on several milestones”, a source at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) explains.
Taking FID anytime after June 2018 means at least a full year after the NNPC, First E&P and Schlumberger signed a tripartite agreement for development of those two fields.
Project FID was supposed to have been taken by December 2017, with first oil expected by 2019. That is not going to happen now.
Under the agreement, Schlumberger will contribute the required services in kind and capital for the project development until first oil. The joint project team will leverage the technical expertise of Schlumberger and the extensive local knowledge of the partners. The project is to be developed with an existing FPSO and is designed to add 50,000 Bbls of oil per day and 120 MMscf of gas per day.


Oil Theft Caps Seplat Output Below 65KBD

Seplat Petroleum could easily have produced much higher than 65,000BOPD, on average, even from its assets in Western Niger Delta (WND) alone, but for perennial crude oil theft in 2018.
The company announced a gross Liquid hydrocarbon output of 61,150BOPD for first quarter 2018 from Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 4, 38, 41 and the Umuseti field, in the Western Niger Delta, as well as OML53, in the Eastern Niger Delta.
Excluded is production in OML 55, also in the east, which, like the Umuseti field, it doesn’t operate.

“Production uptime in Q1 stood at 82%”, the company says in its first quarterly report. The 18% downtime is the result of perennial outage of the TransForcados Pipeline. due to leaks brought on by crude oil theft related vandalism. For specific periods in January, February and March, the pipeline was savaged.

Seplat says in the report that the Amukpe to Escravos pipeline, its main alternative to the TransForcados, “is expected to be commissioned and operational in Q3 2018”.
Vandals hacked into the TFP in very late December 2017, leading to outage in the first two days of January. Incidents happened in early February 2018, causing a four day outage from February 3 to 7. Outages occurred twice in March; first around March 7 and the second at the end of the month.
Seplat production in OMLs 4, 38 and 41, have been known to surge to 70,000BOPD, at optimum during the period.
The company also delivered 351MMscf/d of gas on average during the period, far more natural gas volumes than it ever had and which would have been even much more if not for those outages.


Eland Not Ready For Ubima Development

Nigerian authorities are lenient about the entire marginal field exercise

AIM Listed Eland Oil and Gas is not ready for development work on Ubima field, located onshore eastern Nigeria.
The company farmed into the asset as a 40% technical and financing partner to All Grace Energy Ltd., holder of the field, as far back as 2014.

It was two years after All Grace Energy was awarded the field by the Nigerian authorities, on a discretionary basis, outside of the process of a bid round.

The Ubima field is covered with three dimensional (3D) seismic data. Shell, the former operator, had drilled four wells on the structure. It would seem that its development would be easy.

But Eland had struggled as a going concern for the past five years. Even in the year it purchased equity in Ubima, it recorded a loss of over $10Million.

Today, Eland is back in the black, but it is not in a hurry to take Ubima to first oil. The company says the scheduling for evaluation and production of Ubima 1 is planned for 2018, with full field development being scheduled for 2019. The exact details of the development will be subject to the results obtained from the Ubima-1 re-entry.

“Work is currently on-going with pipeline surveys to both evacuation opportunities to the south through the Bonny Oil Terminal and to the north east through Brass River Oil Terminal”, Eland says in its full year 2017 report. “We expect to finalise these studies prior to completing the Ubima-1 re-entry”.

Eland cannot commit adequate time and resources to Ubima just yet because (1) it is busy with an aggressive development drilling campaign on OML 40 and (2), there are still cash flow issues, even with the seeming success of OML 40 (where it now produces in excess of 20,000BOPD from as low as 3,000BOPD three years ago).

In April 2018, Eland is continuing with drilling of with Opuama-9 and 10. “Further drilling activity on OML 40 is being considered for the Gbetiokun field development with the re-entry and completion of Gbetiokun-1 and the drilling of Gbetiokun-3 also potentially within 2018, subject to the various regulatory approvals being in place”.

Eland is also planning an exploration well on the Amobe prospect, to potentially be drilled in late 2018 or 2019, in the same acreage. “This large, robust, structure is similar to Opuama in structural style, shows structural closure over a vertical interval of 5,000 feet, and is located less than seven kilometres from the Opuama Flow Station. Best estimate prospective resources are assessed by NSAI at 78 MMstb, with very high upside potential”.

There is really no space for Ubima development here.


ENI’s Egypt Joint Venture Announces Half A Billion Barrel Crude Oil Milestone

Italian giant ENI has reported that cumulative oil production of AGIBA, the operating joint venture company between its subsidiary IEOC Production BV and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), reached 500Million barrels in mid March 2018.

AGIBA has been active since 1981 with operations mainly focused in Egypt’s Western Desert Area.

With recent development of a number of new discoveries such as Rosa North, Emry Deep and Melehia West Deep within existing conventional asset, AGIBA, leveraging on its operated infrastructures “has been able to produce and valorize oil resources amounting to around 110 MMbbls in the last five years, thus reaching the target of 500 MMbbls as oil cumulative production”, the company says in a release on its website.

“This achievement confirms the success of ENI’s strategy to focus on exploration activities which offer high value and quick development within a mature environment by optimising traditional drilling/infilling campaign and the synergies with existing upstream infrastructure and national hydrocarbons export network”, ENI explains.

The Italian payer, on a n aggressive campaign across Africa, says it plans new exploration investments in Egypt in the next four years “to valorize the deep oil potential and the gas resources of the Melehia Concession”.

ENI has equity production of more than 250.000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in North Africa’s largest economy.


Amni In Talks With NAPIMS for 8-Well Tubu Development Campaign

Amni has progressed talks with its Joint Venture partner NAPIMS, the investment arm of the Nigerian state hydrocarbon company NNPC, over field development plan for the Tubu oil and gas field in shallow water southeast Niger Delta.

The conversations have happened in Houston, where Amni has technical office and in Lagos, where it is headquartered.

The undeveloped discovery is the main asset in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 52 that Amni purchased from Chevron in 2013.

Chevron had done a comprehensive appraisal of the field, drilling a total of seven wells, but had stopped short of full scale development.

The company has in plan to drill eight more wells as part of field development, but it’s not clear whether this includes a gas development, as Tubu also contains, apart from pure oilfield reservoirs, both non associated gas reservoirs and associated gas accumulations.

This story was initially published in the Vol 19, No 1, (January 2018) issue of the Africa Oil+Gas Report


Egypt To Return, Again, To The Market

Egypt, the perennial launcher of bid rounds, has said it will launch international tenders for oil exploration in the second half of 2018.

But first, there will be a bid round for natural gas asset

The Government owned Al-Ahram Newspaper reports TarekEl-Molla, the country’s charismatic petroleum minister, as declaring that Egypt will launch a lease sale specifically for companies to explore for oil, as it seeks to add crude oil reserves to its growing discovery of gas.

But before Mr El-Molla’s interview with Al-Ahram, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co (EGAS) announced its plans to launch gas exploration and production tenders for 11 onshore and offshore areas ahead of June 2018.

El-Molla also said that the country has experienced stability and economic progress since the disruption of the Egyptian version of the Arab Spring in 2011.

“The Egyptian oil sector has started to settle after the 30th June Revolution in spite of the unstable scene the country witnessed after the 25th January Revolution,” he told Al-Ahram.


Angola Trounces Nigeria in 2017 Crude Oil Output

By Sully Manope, in Luanda

Angola averaged daily crude oil production of 1.632Million in 2017, compared with Nigeria’s 1.510Million, according to the current (February 2018) issue of OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR).

These figures were obtained by OPEC secretariat through direct communications with the approving authorities in both countries, the report explains.
Production data obtained by the Secretariat from secondary sources are significantly different in terms of pattern; they cite Nigeria as having produced 1.66MMBOPD contrasted with Angola’s 1.639MMBOPD.

But for us in Africa Oil+Gas Report, the officially supplied data (ie one provided by the countries’ authorities) in the MOMR, corroborates the data on Angola’s dedicated reporting website, which we access every month.

Nigeria does not have a comparable website with the Angolan site, which presents every month, almost in real time, crude oil production data by all the companies operating in the country.

The Central Bank of Nigeria reports all liquid hydrocarbons, including natural gas liquids and condensates in its quarterly statements. The CBN fourth quarter 2017 report indicated 1.8MMBPD of liquid hydrocarbons produced by Nigeria. This is not as definitive as the Angolan reporting. The OPEC report and the Angolan dedicated website, report just the crude oil data. Condensates are not counted in OPEC production quota even though they are sold in the market as crude oil.

Find the full details of Angola’s 2017 production, including the main producers and their gross and net output, in this link.

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