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Cameroon Factories Receive First Gas

Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG) has started delivering natural gas to the first set of customers in Douala, the commercial city of Cameroon. The company is also supporting additional customers to convert their factories to take gas and raise the supply ten times fold.

The initial customers are receiving about 0.7 million standard cubic feet per day – the total average demand, which is also the current output at the plant. The project is on course to raise capacity to 8 mmscf/d by the end of 2012.

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Tullow Expects Production Boost To 90,000BOPD

Irish operator Tullow Oil, anticipates working interest production to surge from an average of 58,100 BOEPD in 2010, to between 86,000 and 92,000 BOEPD in 2011. Production had dropped to an 58,300BOEPD average in 2009, from 66,600BOEPD in 2008. The expected 48% uptake, in 2011, is thus bucking a three year downward/flattening trend. Much of the anticipated increase, of course, is coming from Jubilee, the newly commissioned deepwater oil field offshore Ghana.

Jubilee started up at 50,000BOPD at the end of November 2010. It is expected to ramp up to 120,000BOPD by June 2012.

NDPR Achieves First Diesel

Nigerian independent, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, commenced production of diesel oil a week to Christmas 2010. The product has specific gravity of 850kg/ m3 and flash point ranging between 6668oC to tank.

NDPR feeds 800 Barrels of Oil Per Day from its daily crude oil production of roughly 5,000BOPD to the diesel topping plant, located in its flowstation on its Ogbelle oil field in eastern Nigeria.

“A Joint Chemex(contractor) and NDPR teams continue to monitor and fine tune operating parameters until a steady state is reached”, the company said in a statement. “I am pleased to announce that our Company had, by this simple little achievement, now elevated itself, into the ‘one-in-class’ status of an Integrated Independent Nigerian Oil Company’ declared Layi Fatona, NDPR’s managing director, in an emailed message to staff. “First, to you all operating Staff at Ogbelle, I say Congratulations and well done! A Milestone, one so dear to my heart you all have helped and supported to deliver. To God, the biggest Gentleman out there and upstairs of our respective mind and abode, we all must praise, always, not just for giving us the good thoughts, but the ability and will to execute. For his grace and the state of our individual health, I continue to be eternally grateful to him.”. It was a very Nigerian official message.

Circle Gets Closer To The Magical 10,000BOPD

Circle Oil, the LSE listed minnow, is inching close to 10,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) in its only producing concession on the continent. The company placed the Al Ola-1X discovery well, in Egypt’s NW Gemsa Lease, on stream after perforating an interval in the Kareem Rahmi sand and flowing at approximately 1,400 BOPD on a 28/64”choke. The overall production from the Geyad and Al Amir SE fields, on the same lease, was over 8,500 BOPD as of late December 2010. These production levels are now being managed to allow the planned water injection wells to be drilled and the waterflood to become fully operational. “As previously announced, for an interim period, production is expected to be 7,000-8,000 BOPD after which oil production levels will be systematically and incrementa1ly increased together with the planned gas production once the waterfiood is in full operation. Further development drilling is also envisaged with the drilling of Geyad-3.

The Al Amir SE-7X water injector was spud on November 27, 2010 and was drilling ahead (08:00 hrs, 19 Dec 2010) in the Belayim Formation at a depth of 2,645metres(8,677 ft) MD. This well was also planned to drill deeper to test the Lower Rudeis potential previously identified in wells A1 Amir SE 6 and Al Ola-1X.

Alen Comes On Stream In 2013

First production at Noble Energy operated Alen field, I Block “I”, off Equatorial Guinea, is estimated to commence by the end of 2013 at 37,500 Barrels of Condensate Per Day(BCPD) gross (18,750 barrels per day,  net to Noble). Natural gas reinjection is estimated to be 380 Mmcf/d during gas-recycling. The total cost of development is estimated at $1.6 billion ($735 million net).

The field development plan was approved by the Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy in early Januay2011. Noble Energy’s  board of directors sanctioned the project in December 2010, followed closely by the approval of all partners, including the Nigerian independent Atlas Petroleum (27.55%), UK’s Glencore Exploration (23.75%), Osborne Resources limited, a company within the PA Resources Group(5.7 %) as well as the government company GEPetrol, with a 5% carried interest in Block “I” . Formerly known as Belinda, Alen is a liquid-rich gas-condensate field and was Noble Energy’s first operated discovery in the Douala basin. The reservoir lies primarily in Block “O’ where the original discovery was made, and extends into the northern part of Block “I”. Noble Energy is Technical Operator of the project with an average working interest of 44.65%.

Initial field development will include three production wells and three subsea natural gas injection wells tied to a processing platform. Produced condensate will be separated and piped to the Aseng floating production, storage, and offloading vessel on Block “I”, approximately 24 kilometres to the south, where it will be held until sold. Associated natural gas will be re-injected back into the reservoir to maintain pressure and maximize liquid recoveries. The Alen processing facility will be located in approximately 85 metres of water and is designed to handle 440 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natural gas and 40,000 barrels per day (BPD) of condensate.

The Company expects to recover gross condensate of approximately 88 million barrels. In addition, there is an estimated 930 billion cubic feet of gross natural gas resources at Alen that will ultimately be produced as part of Equatorial Guinea’s integrated gas monetization project. Natural gas handling capacity at Alen is being planned for significant expansion as part of the gas monetization project.


Africans Don’t Export To Africa

By Fred Akanni

Qf  the four top oil producing countries on the continent, only Libya exports crude oil to energy starved African countries.

Algeria doesn’t export to Africa. Neither does Angola or Nigeria, according to figures from the latest edition of OPEC Statistical Bulletin (See chart).

On the contrary, the much vilified Iran ships 127,000 Barrels of oil every day to African destinations. Saudi Arabia does a little more, exporting 165,000BOPD) to needy countries in the east and west of the continent.

Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest producer, delivers almost half of her crude to North America (1.42MMBOPD) and sells 652,000BOPD to Europe. It exports 85,000BOPD to Asia Pacific region, which includes the voracious China.

Angola exports around half of its crude production (933,000BOPD) to North America, with 300,000BOPD to Europe. This southwest African country exports 537,000BOPD to the Asia Pacific region. This confirms several commentaries that Angola is Africa’s largest crude exporter to China.

Algeria refines almost half of its production into petroleum products for domestic consumption and export. Of the remaining 744,000BOPD, the country sends 393,000BOPD to North America, 203,000BOPD to Europe and 125, 000BOPD to the Asia Pacific region.

Apache’s Production Surges in Egypt

In 2008, Apache Egypt accounted for 21 percent of the company’s global production revenue. We completed 215 of 238 wells drilled during the year and achieved record daily production in the first quarter of 2009 of over 161,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) of gross oil and condensate and daily gross gas production of nearly 685 million cubic feet per day.

South Africans May Produce Oil In Venezuela by 2012

PetroSA, the South African state hydrocarbon company, expects first oil from its joint venture mature oil fields projects with Venezuela’s PDVSA within 24 months of concluding a technical study.

PetroSA ‘s CEO Sipho Mkhize says the company was investing $10million to have the study finished within six months, and “we could be producing from that field within 18-24 months after the completion of the technical study,” Mkhize told journalists.

In September 2008, PetroSA signed an agreement for participation in exploration and production activities in the Orinoco Oil Belt, in Venezuela, where the company would conduct a study to quantify and certify reserves in the Boyaca 4 Block.

Italians Face Opposition In Ugandan Adventure

By Toyin Akinosho, in Lagos

Italian major, ENI, has encountered its first major opposition in its current acquisition binge across the African continent.

The Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) it signed with Heritage Oil, for a share in two of Uganda’s most prospective acreages now mean nothing, as Tullow Oil has exercised a right to buy Heritage’s entire stakes in Blocks 1 and 3A, which contain at least half of the 700Million barrels of oil already proved up in Uganda.

Tullow issued a press release saying it had served notice on Heritage on January 17, 2010, potentially wrecking ENI’s plan to build a new presence in Uganda.

The Ugandan bid was the third of ENI’s petroleum rights agreements across Africa in four months. In August 2009, it signed a strategic partnership with Congo’s Ministry of Petroleum “with the aim to develop the host country’s oil reserves”, according to ENI’s spokesmen. In September, 2009, ENI acquired operatorship of the offshore exploration permits Cape Three Point and Cape Three Point South (Eni 47.2%), off the Ghanaian coast. In December 2009, ENI announced it had signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement for the assignment of Heritage’s 50% interest and operatorship in Blocks 1 and 3A in Uganda, for a total amount of $1.35 billion, following the agreement reached last November by the two companies. About the time of the SPA agreement for Ugandan resources, ENI commenced production in Oyo field in deepwater Nigeria. This was the outcome of an agreement, signed in 2007, with the Nigerian Independent Allied Energy, for joint pursuit of opportunities.

In effect, in four months, ENI had concluded three petroleum rights deals and one field production, in four African countries.

With this bullish run on the continent, it can be assumed that ENI will go ahead to deal with Tullow Oil, to achieve the purpose which its SPA with Heritage was meant to. Only this time, it would be competing bend on with other investors, who have, like itself, been visiting Tullow’s data room. If the speculations were true that Tullow favours dealing with TOTAL or ExxonMobil, then the Italian major faces a real challenge. The treasures in Uganda may well be worth a bruising battle: “Over the last six years, Tullow and Heritage have invested over US$700 million in the Lake Albert Rift basin in drilling 27 wells to prove up over 700 million barrels of oil and identify over 1.5 billion barrels of potential yet to be explored”, Tullow said in its pre-emption statement.

Brand New Rigs For Angolan Deepwater

Angola will host two of the 60 brand new rigs expected to be deployed worldwide in 2010. Saipem 12000 is one of Saipem’s three rigs due to leave the yard this year — one drillship and two semisubmersibles — all of which are contracted. The Saipem 12000 drillship is under construction in the Samsung yard in South Korea and is expected to leave the yard by February 2010. It will work for TOTAL off Angola through February 2017, at an undisclosed dayrate Transocean has four drillships under construction; all of which are contracted. One of them, The Discoverer Luanda is an enhanced Enterprise class rig. It will be completed in early-2010 and go to work for BP off Angola for seven years ending in 2017 in the low- $430s.

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