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Tanzania Is Desperate To Be Mozambique

By Sa’ad Bashir, Dar es Salaam

Tanzania is claiming it would hold 200 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas resources after 2015. It is the latest in the government’s routine public statements touting a likely increase in its hydrocarbon reserves.

Tanzania does this chest beating about its gas upsides fairly regularly. It is a tendency unusual among African governments, especially those in who are just joining the old club of hydrocarbon resource rich countries on the continent.

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AP Completes Processing In Cote d’Ivoire’s CI-513 and CI-509

AP's-Cote-d'Ivoire-Assets

Three dimensional (3D) seismic processing has been completed for the entire 4,200 km2 survey over Blocks CI-513 and CI-509, offshore Cote d’Ivoire.

African Petroleum, the Australian minnow which operates the assets, says that “final angle-stacks have been received for both CI-513 (May 2013) and CI-509 (June 2013), allowing for prospects to be matured further”. The company enthuses that the 3D “seismic data shows encouraging submarine fan leads and prospects over Blocks CI-513 and CI-509 and has confirmed the presence of major turbidite fan systems”.

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Congo Will Feed Eni In The Near Term

Congo is set to be the main cash cow for Eni in the near future.  The Italian operator, currently struggling with production in Libya and Nigeria and looking forward to an LNG project in Mozambique, now has a low hanging fruit to catch in the central African nation. On August 1, 2013, Eni reported it has made an oil and gas discovery estimated at 600Million barrels of oil with 700 billion cubic feet of gas at its Nene’ Marine exploration prospect, which is located in the Marine XII Block offshore Congo.

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Namibia Is Oh So Disappointing

Wingat-Murombe

By Sully Manope

Namibia has experienced four dry holes out of four wells drilled in the country in the last 18 months. The wells were drilled in two distinct, “promising” basins.

The Brazilian Independent, HRT, in late July 2013, plugged and abandoned its second unsuccessful well in the space of three months. Wingat-1 and Murombe-1 were drilled in Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) 23, in water depths exceeding 1,400metres in the Walvis basin.

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El Kuran Will Spud, Will It Not?

The El Kuran well is being operated by New African Global Energy and is expected to spud in July. It is a Jurassic fractured carbonate play on a large anticlinal feature that had previously been drilled by Tenneco in the early 1970’s and had tested light oil at low rates. “The primary goal of this well is to prove commercial flow rates”, Africa Oil Corp., a partner on the prospect, says. “Based on the results of the initial well, fracture stimulation and horizontal drilling may be considered”.


Spaniards Set To Plunge Offshore Walvis Basin

Repsol plans to spud the Welwitschia-1 well in Petroleum Exploration Licence(PEL) 0010 in the Walvis Basin, offshore Namibia in mid-February 2014. The Spanish operator will take delivery of the Rowan Renaissance (UDW drillship) in December 2013, when it will move directly to Namibia. A drilling location has been agreed, a site survey largely completed and the longest lead items are being manufactured, according to Tower Resources, which holds 30% in the acreage.

The Welwitschia-1 well will target reservoirs at several levels and age zones ranging from Paleocene to Albian. Repsol operates PEL 0010 with 44% interest. Arcadia Energy holds 26%


AOC Unsure Of Spud Date For Bahasi Prospect

Africa Oil Corp., says that preparations continue for drilling the onshore Bahasi prospect in Kenya’s Block 9. But the Canadian minnow provides no detail about the date of spud, only noting that the company “will operate the Bahasi well on behalf of its 50% joint venture partner Marathon Oil and will utilize the Great Wall drilling Rig #190”.
AOC describes the prospect as “a large anticlinal feature in the Lower Cretaceous Anza rift”, claiming it is “on trend with the Paipai discovery made early this year in Kenya Block 10A”.


Ngisi Increases The Fortunes OF The Chewa Hub

By Sully Manope
The Ngisi-1 well, located 5km to the North East of the Chewa-1 well offshore Tanzania, has successfully encountered new gas pay zones as well as confirmed the northeastwards extent of reservoirs encountered in the Chewa discovery. “These wells have increased the mean recoverable resource of the Chewa-Pweza-Ngisi hub from 3.7 TCF to 4.5 TCF, in excess of pre-drill expectations, in addition to derisking exploration upside in several nearby targets”, according to Ophir Energy, which holds a 40% interest in Tanzania’s Block 4, with BG as 60% operator.

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Starfish Smells Like A Duster

Starfish Smells Like A Duster

By Toyin Akinosho

The latest wildcat well being drilled offshore Ghana is looking like a dud. “Initial interpretation of the wireline logs and MDT data is that no movable hydrocarbons have been encountered in the well, based on the current data”, reports Rialto Energy, the Austrailian minnow which has 12.5% stake in the Offshore Accra Contract Area. “The forward plan is to complete wireline logging operations and evaluation of the well data and block prospectivity. The well will be plugged and abandoned as programmed”.

The Starfish prospect is located offshore Ghana along the prolific offshore West African Margin. The partners regard it as a large, deep-water prospect, “analogous to the Jubilee discovery with unrisked prospective resources estimated to be in the range of half a billion barrels (431 MMbbls (p50); 665 MMbbls (pmean))”.In buying its stake of the Offshore Accra Contract area in December 2012, Rialto Energy was expected to pay around $3 million, and provide a bank guarantee in respect of its participating interest share of the approved work programme and budget for the current exploration period.The company’s share of the well cost is expected to be $10Million. “The prospect was matured following reprocessing of the original 3D seismic data and the acquisition of the new 3D survey in 2011 over the outboard deep water area”, Rialto says in the release. Starfish-1 was drilled to a final total depth of 4,380 metres. Wireline logging operations were undertaken to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of the primary target. The Offshore Accra Contract Area is operated by Ophir Energy, the Australian independent, with 20%. Other partners include Afex, also with  20%, and Vitol (30%). Tap Oil, which won the lase, holds 17.5%.


The Niger Delta Is Not A Mature Basin-Omatsola

By Toyin Akinosho

People often say that the Niger Delta basin is a mature basin, an oil rich province in the waning days of its productive life. Ebi Omatsola disagrees. “The Niger Delta is a mid- life basin”, he argues.

EBI OMATSOLA

EBI OMATSOLA

“Only 2% of Niger Delta wells have reached deeper than 15,000feet(4572metres) Total Depth”, laments Omatsola, managing director of Conoil Producing, the Nigerian independent. “70% of the wells in the basin have not gone deeper than 9,000feet(2743metres) True Vertical Depth. This is something like scratching the surface”, he told a monthly technical meeting of the Petroleum Club recently. Operators, he said, are afraid of taking risks. “Once we run into a shale sequence which gives us a heart attack, we run away”, he told the club, an assembly of owners as well as  ranking managers of E&P companies.

“Rent A Depth”

Omatsola says that policies should be introduced that allow government let companies rent a depth. “If you are holding on to an acreage and you can’t go deeper than a certain depth,can I take it over?”, he asked. “So long as I can show that I can, I should be offered the deeper parts of the acreage below which you can’t go and I should have obligations to drill a certain number of wells, for a certain number of years, before I give it up”. He said that companies “keep talking about incentives”, to do what should ordinarily be in their own interest.

The Niger Delta basin has 37Billion (proven) barrels of oil left, after 47Billion have been produced in 55 years, but oil companies can still find more than twice these remaining reserves, if only they can breach their comfort zones and drill deeper.

There have been several, sporadic attempts in the past. In the mid- 90s, Shell attempted a deep drilling campaign, with mixed results. A decade after, ExxonMobil and TOTAL jointly  spud  a well, targeted to drill deeper than 15,000feet, but pressure problems forced them to stop, even though they were using a High Temperature, High Pressure rig.

As I write this, Agip is drilling a deep well, Ogbainbiri Deep, to appraise and develop the deep sands earlier encountered in Ogbaibiri 2, which is currently producing at shallower depths.

“You’d never find new oil if you’re stuck with the same idea”, warned Omatsola, a 71 year old former Chief Geologist at Shell Nigeria. “Here’s a basin that has productive zones as deep as 20,000feet(6,096 metres),” and that doesn’t have to reach “the lower part of the Agbada(the oil prone, sandy shale sequence in the basin) or Akata, (the massive shale, high pressure sequence)”.

He should know. Conoil, which he heads, is currently drilling a well, Ango-2, with targets at deeper than 16,000feet(4,877 metres) for commercial sized oil pool. Earlier in the year, Conoil flowed 4,000BOPD of light (340 API)oil in two reservoirs inAngo 1Stk 3, in Oil Mining Lease(OML) 59, at depths  between 15,400ft and 15,550ft True Vertical Depth (TVD). “The reservoirs are ponded against a shale ridge”, Omatsola says of the play concept. “It’s the deepest productive zone in the Niger Delta”.

The word ‘productive’ is instructive. Agip has a number of wells that have reached deeper than 16,000feet, but are not producing.

The Ango 1Stk 3 results have provided Omatsola more ammunition to campaign for deep drilling in the Niger Delta. Showing a number of slides of seismic lines indicating strong seismic events at great depths (around 6secs),he told the Petroleum Club that “the Coastal Swamp belt is the most productive depobelt” of the five extensional depobeltsin the onshore terrain of the Niger Delta. “Here, there’s 16,000 feet of untested sequence”.

Omatsola admitted that there were challenges to overcome, in getting everyone on board his “go-deeper” campaign. “You must understand basin modeling”, he told his audience. For this “the geoscientist (geologist and geophysicist) is the key”.

Companies need to embark more on High Resolution deep seismic imaging, which pictures the subsurface clearly as deep as eight (8)seconds (seismic time), equivalent to about 23,000feet(7,010metres)-after time depth conversion.

“We must close the skill gap in the industry and have earth scientists who can tell Schlumberger what they want and not just receive what Schlumberger claims it has to offer”.

And then the industry has to have the tools of deep drilling. “There are only three rigs in the country with the capacity and two of them are owned by Depthsize”. The rigs he was talking about, he said, “must have depth capacity of up to 35,000feet(10,668metres), rated to at least 15,000psi (pounds per square inch) choke/kill/ manifold pressure. Such rigs must be over 3,000HP (Horse Power), absolutely” .

Nigeria, he concluded, must be ready to tap into and develop the potential upside of the Niger Delta Basin.

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