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TOTAL Returns to the “Cape of Storms” in late 2017

By Toyin Akinosho
TOTAL will return to drilling in the ‘Cape Of Storms’ in late 2017, a full year and several months after the original planned date.

The French major halted drilling in Block 11B/12B in South Africa’s offshore Outeniqua Basin in November 2014 because of mechanical problems on the rig, caused by the challenging environment in the Agulhas, with its chaotic combination of currents, waves and winds, which contrasts sharply with the mild metocean conditions of the West African deepwater.

“There’s only a small window in the year that we can drill in this part of the continent”, a ranking TOTAL earth science executive said on the side of the Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa. “The place is quite turbulent.”

Asked to comment on TOTAL’s programe for its South African operations, Guy Maurice, the company’s senior Vice President E&P Africa responded in the negative: “No, I don’t want to make any declarations today”. It was he (Maurice) who announced a halt to drilling of the Outeniqa well at the same conference in October 2014.

South Africa is not anywhere high on TOTAL’s upstream ranking, at least for 2017. Mr. Maurice’s conference presentation included activity in Angola, Nigeria, even Cote d’Ivoire. He gave a date for Final Investment Decision on its planned field development in Uganda, but South Africa was clearly missing.

Aminex Moves Caroil-2 to Ntorya-2

Prospect significant for extending the Ruvuma play onshore

London listed Aminex has moved a drilling rig towards the Ntorya-2 appraisal well in the Ruvuma basin PSA located largely onshore in southern Tanzania.
The Caroil 2 drilling rig is likely to spud the much anticipated well before the end of October 2016.
The contract, executed with Caroil, the French driller, is for one firm well with an option for a second well.
Aminex has a 75% working interest and is the operator of this well, which is positioned approximately 1500m southwest of the Ntorya-1 discovery well, which flow tested at 20 MMscf/d with 139Barrels associated condensate in April 2012.
The appraisal, coming four and half years after the discovery, a period in which Tullow Oil exited the asset, is indicative of the challenges of resource volume.
But Ntorya is significant for one thing: it has successfully extended onshore the Ruvuma Basin fairway which has been proven in deepwater Tanzania and Mozambique as containing over 130 Trillion cubic feet of gas.


Kenyan Herdsmen Want To Be Nigerians

By Sully Manupe, East Africa correspondent

Simba experience similar to Tullow’s ‘Nigerian moment’ in Turkana Region
Canadian minnow Simba Energy has experienced, in Kenya, what some Nigerian farmers have gone through in their own country. It’s the disruption of operations by cattle herdsmen claiming land access.

Herdsmen cut cables at the Seismic survey site protesting against the ongoing activity by Simba Energy on onshore Block 2A in Wajir County. They vandalised part of the working equipment.
James Jenkins, Simba’s country manager, said his company had suffered huge losses as a result of the standoff between them and members of the pastoralist community.

By saying that some individuals had misled locals to oppose the ongoing works, Jenkins has inadvertently recalled what this magazine described as Tullow Oil’s Nigerian Moment in Kenya in late 2013.

A year and half after the British explorer made a  commercial discovery in the Turkana region, a Kenyan Member of Parliament (MP) led a protest, against Tullow’s operations in the Turkana county, north of the country, during which a security fence was broken and property was destroyed.

Weeks after that incident of November 2013, Tullow signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the local authority, the community, as well as the central government, on community interface.

It so happens in Simba’s case, the Canadian independent already had an MoU with the community, though a local committee claimed the company had failed to honour the MoU with the community to start development projects.

“The company has floated all our engagements,” Mr Abdinur Abdi Abdullahi, the committee’s secretary, was quoted to have said. To which Jenkins responded: “As a company, we are here to do our work, we will abide to all the rules given by the local clans and the Wajir county government. Unfortunately, we have been hindered by few individuals who do not share our ideology,” he said. “The community was getting the wrong information on what we are doing and think that we are going to disrupt their lives,” local media reported Jenkins as saying.

As in many cases in Nigeria’s century long experience with  foreign oil companies, the community is divided. Mzee Mohamed Dakane, described in the local press as “another elder”, reportedly, differed with Abdulahi,  saying the company had employed more than 250 locals as staff. “The people are not happy with the action of the committee which was responsible in paralyzing company’s activities,” said Mr Dakane.

Simba and partner Essel Group Middle East (EGME) had been quite advanced in the seismic operations before the disruption; over half of the 530 line Kilometres had been surveyed.

CGG In Joint Venture With Ghana’s State Company For Seismic Services

By John Ankromah

The world’s largest geophysical services company wants to form a joint venture with an arm of Ghana’s state hydrocarbon company. Paris based CGG says it has signed an agreement with GNPC Operating Services Company Ltd (GOSCO), an independent Ghanaian E&P services company, to form a joint-venture company dedicated to conducting high-end 2D, 3D and 4D marine seismic acquisition and related services in the territorial waters of the Republic of Ghana.

The primary aim of the joint-venture company, known as GOSCO Geoscience Limited (GGSL), is to make available world-class seismic vessels and state-of-the-art marine seismic acquisition technologies and services to oil and gas industry players operating in Ghana. The new joint venture will be a Ghanaian indigenous company and be based in Accra. Its creation also recognizes and supports the requirement for knowledge transfer and capacity-building in the Ghanaian E&P industry as well as the need for safe and efficient oil and gas operations undertaken to the highest international standards.

Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO, CGG, said: “We have joined forces with GOSCO to set up this joint venture as a response to recent growing industry interest in Ghana’s oil and gas potential. This move is another example of CGG’s strategy to work in partnership with local oil and gas players to benefit from their experience of working in the country while bringing them the benefit of CGG’s global expertise as a leading technology provider. We believe this joint venture will create a strong vehicle for growth in Ghana’s E&P industry.”

Drilling Returns to South Lokichar in October 2016

The Tullow Oil-led Joint Venture working in Kenya’s proven South Lokichar oil basin plans to recommence drilling activities in Blocks 10BB and 13T, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The initial programme comprises of four wells and there’s potential to extend this by a further four wells.

“The first two wells will be the Etete and Erut prospects in the north of South Lokichar basin”, reports Africa Oil, a Canadian minnow who is one of the three partners in the JV. “Other potential prospects in the programme include further appraisal of the Ngamia and Amosing fields to target un-drilled flanks, with an aim of extending the size of these existing discoveries.

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Gaz du Cameroun Pushes Ahead with Drilling Campaign

By John Ankromah

The Train Rig contracted to drill two wells into the onshore Cameroon’s Logbaba Field, has arrived the port of Douala, the country’s main port. Its arrival confirms that Gaz du Cameroun (GDC) is close to fulfilling its plans to commence drilling in early third quarter 2016 and complete drilling by the end of 2016.

The new rail-mounted drilling platform for both a twin and step-out well will be located at the existing Logbaba plant and well site, approximately 13km from the port. The equipment is being supplied and operated by Savannah Oil Services.

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Nigeria: 11 More Rigs out of Work

Four deepwater rigs, their contracts having expired, have left Nigerian waters between April and June 2016.

Five of the seven rigs belonging to Seepco, the Indian operator, were stacked in May 2016, after working ceaselessly on Anieze and Okwuibome fields for about a year.

Shell has finally released Transocean’s Sedco-702 rig, the remaining one of the two Transocean rigs that have been on the Bonga field for four years. Chevron has released Pacific Khamsin, one of two Pacific Drilling rigs that have operated both on the Agbami and a string of other deepwater prospects for at least the past two years. Pacific Bora, drilling on Agbami is likely going away in August 2016. ExxonMobil has released Seadrill’sWest Capella, working on the Usan field. TOTAL has released Pacific Sirocco, working on the Akpo field.

Onshore of Nigeria, the minor independents Waltersmith and Platform Petroleum have released rigs which were, just three months ago, active on a total of five wells between the two of them.

Details of Rig Activity in Angola and Nigeria for May 2016 can be found here

Mozambique Approves Appraisal Plan for Tembo Discovery

Wentworth has announced that the Government of Mozambique has approved the two-year appraisal period for the Tembo gas discovery the company made in December 2014.

Under the plan, Wentworth becomes the Operator of the Rovuma Onshore Concession and increases its participation interest in the Concession from 11.59% to 85%. State owned EmpresaNacional de Hidrocarbonetos (“ENH”) retains a 15% participation interest as a carried partner through to the commencement of commercial operations. In addition, ENH has the right to acquire a further 15% participation interest in the Concession from Wentworth within 18 months from the date of submission for a development plan for consideration equal to the proportionate share of past costs incurred.

The company says it will start implementing a work programme in 2016 with the reprocessing of approximately 1,000 km of existing seismic data, the cost of which will be funded from internally generated cash flow.  Commencing the second half 2017, the Company plans to acquire a minimum of 500 km of new onshore 2D seismic data.  The drilling of an appraisal well is anticipated to occur in 2018 after the identification of a suitable drilling location based on the evaluation and integration of the new and existing seismic data.

The Tembo-1 well was drilled to a total depth of 4,553 metres into rocks of Upper Jurassic age. Natural gas and some condensate was recovered by modular formation dynamics testing (“MDT”) confirming the petro physical analysis of 11 meters of pay in sands of Cretaceous age.

“Tembo-1 was a milestone well for the Rovuma basin and an extensive amount of pertinent geologic data was collected which will have a significant impact on future exploration efforts in the basin. Further analysis of the geologic and petro physical data has led to the identification of additional zones of potential bypassed pay. These zones and the tested gas bearing sands will be subject to further evaluation with additional seismic and drilling. The agreed appraisal area, located around the Tembo-1 discovery onshore, measures approximately 2,500 km2 providing the necessary running room to develop this potentially world class play fairway”.

Drilling Contractors Champion Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) With Awards

IADC Nigeria, the only African chapter of the International Association of Drilling Contractors, assembled the relevant executives of the West African oil industry for the second edition of its annual Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Awards Ceremony recently.

The event featured upper-management cadre of the major companies, representatives of West Africa’s largest regulatory body-the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and IADC Nigeria’s own members.

“The IADC believes that stakeholders, including rig and service operators in the hydrocarbon industry have a moral obligation of ensuring workers perform tasks in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner”, noted Sola Falodun, IADC Nigeria’s Chairman, after Itoro Unam of Sea Drills Mobile Units had led the safety moment. “Most all we have a social responsibility of sustaining the development of energy requirement for the development of mankind”.

Oando clinched the biggest award at the event.

Please find herewith some of the scenes at the memorable event



















Fuller details in the current issue of  Africa Oil+Gas Report




CGG Completes Carpet Seismic Coverage of Gabon’s Pre-Salt

CGG has acquired and processed over 25,000 km2 of new 3D BroadSeis™ multi-client seismic data over available and licensed blocks in Gabon’sCGG-Gabon-Map South Basin. It is to aid companies participating in the country’s on-going 11th deepwater licensing round.

“A fast-track pre-stack time-migrated dataset for this survey is available now, along with sample pre-stack depth reverse time-migrated (RTM) data in one area”, the company says. “The final RTM for the whole of the survey area will be available this summer”.

The world’s top geophysics company is excited that it was able to carry out a project of such a scale, in conjunction with the state hydrocarbon firm Direction-Generale des Hydrocarbures of Gabon (DGH)- at a time of  depressed oil prices.

The survey’s objective, CGG explains, “is to image potential prospective structures at base salt level without compromising the shallower post-salt image quality”.

Then the company boasts: “The data do not disappoint. Even a preliminary ultra-fast-track dataset produced onboard was described as “way beyond expectations” by a major oil company interpreter”.

On the full fast-track dataset, more detail below the salt is being revealed than has ever been seen before, revolutionizing the understanding of the geology of the area. Early seismic imaging results indicate the presence of thick syn-rift and sag sequences below the salt, which are the key intervals of a pre-salt petroleum system and indicate many exciting prospects, some of which continue beyond the borders of the survey so that their full extent cannot be gauged.

CGG claims that the Gabonese bid round“has generated considerable interest from both International Oil Companies (IOC’s) and newcomers alike, encouraged by the success of exploration in the conjugate margin offshore Brazil, as well as recent pre-salt discoveries such as Ruche, Tortue, Diaman and Leopard in nearby Gabonese waters. CGG has worked directly with the Direction Generale des Hydrocarbures of Gabon (DGH) to acquire and process to enable evaluation of this prospective area”.  The Gabonese government has not yet corroborated that claim.

The company says the survey is being processed using the latest high-end imaging technology to produce the clearest images. “The fast-track PSTM volume shows clear uplift over the existing data, while the fast-track PSDM shows the full benefits of advanced velocity modeling and depth-migrated modern broadband 3D seismic data. The uplift in subsalt imaging that will be achieved in the final dataset is dramatic; the RTM fully depth-migrated example shows clearly defined tilted fault blocks and horst features as well as the highly complex nature of the thrusted and distorted salt and sediment overburden.

“Multi-layer tomography (TomoML) and full waveform inversion (FWI) are being used to create the final velocity model, with RTM being used in the velocity model building iterations. The high-quality, low-frequency data acquired using the BroadSeis solution is particularly beneficial for FWI as the low frequencies prevent cycle-skipping. The imaging improvement from the FWI velocity model can be seen both in the shallower section, where pull-up/push-down image distortions are precisely corrected, and in the deeper salt bodies, where salt flanks and subsalt reflectors show improved focus and continuity due to better overburden description.

“Although this dataset delivers unprecedented images of the subsurface in this area, additional data are being acquired to improve the imaging still further in the most complex geology to the southeast of the survey. Tailored multi-vessel survey design is enabling longer offsets, up to 14 km in the same orientation as the original data, to be acquired over block F14. In block F15, adjacent to the Congo border, a second orthogonal azimuth of the full range of offsets, including those up to 14 km, is being acquired.

Longer offsets and dual azimuths are expected to improve the sub-salt illumination and provide even greater clarity of the most challenging structures. In order to acquire these long offsets an additional source vessel is being deployed. Synchronized source technology and blended acquisition are being used to enable the shot interval to be less than the record length, so that source density, and therefore fold of coverage, can be maintained”.

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