All articles in the Oil patch Sub-Sahara Section:

Conoil On The Course Of A Major Discovery

The new build swamp barge Majestic drilled through over 150 feet of suspected hydrocarbon column in Ango-1, a new field  wildcat located 30km North east of Otuo South field, in Conoil  operated Oil Mining Lease(OML) 59, in southwestern Niger Delta basin. The High Temperature, High Pressure(HTHP) rig got stuck and pulled out of hole from about 16,000feet(4,876metres) deep, in true vertical depth, where the column was encountered. It is currently on sidetrack. “If the column turns out to be oil, it will mean an entirely new play in that part of the Niger Delta basin”, says an official of the Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR), the Nigerian state regulatory agency.

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Rig Activity Paces Up In Uganda

Rig Activity Paces Up In Uganda

Uganda is experiencing its most intense drilling campaign since commercial oil was discovered six years ago, according to the country’s Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

The major activity are in both blocks 1 and 2, the areas operated by France’s TOTAL and the Irish firm Tullow, the Chamber’s journal reported. Five rigs have been deployed on several locations in the country in 2012, the highest number in a year ever.

Appraisal drilling and well testing activities in the Kigogole, Nsoga, Ngege, Ngara area commenced in 2012. This is the precursor to field development.

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Tullow On Fourth Kenyan Well, Plans For Ethiopia

Tullow Oil Plc is drilling its third operated well and the fourth in which it is a participant, in Kenya. The company opened up the country as a possibly commercial hydrocarbon province, with Ngamia 1 oil discovery (in Block 10BB), logging 143 metres of oil pay over several zones and suspending the well at a total depth of 2,430metres at the end of June 2012. The company proceeded to spud Twiga South 1(Block 13T) on August 31, two months after suspending Ngamia. Results are expected in October 2012.

Meanwhile, Tullow was a 15% participant in the drilling of the offshore well Mbawa-1(Block L8), in the Lamu Basin, operated by Apache. The well encountered 52 metres of net gas pay, the first commercial encounter in offshore Kenya. It was plugged and abandoned in mid -September 2012.

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ENI Enlarges The Ghanaian Oil Tank

ENI Enlarges The Ghanaian Oil Tank

Italian major ENI encountered  76 meters of gross oil pay and 28 metres gross gas and condensate sands in Cretaceous sequences in the Sankofa East-1X well on Ghana’s Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) block. It is the company’s first crude oil discovery on the block, which was always known to be water bearing. Production test yielded 5,000BOPD of what ENI called “high quality” oil in the sand interval. The company said that flow rates were constrained by surface infrastructures.

ENI plans to drill more wells to delineate the size of the discovery and confirm the feasibility of commercial development.
Sankofa East-1X well reached a total depth of 3,650 meters, in 825 meters of water.

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Equatorial Guinea: Ophir – Two Up In Three Well Campaign

Australian operator Ophir encountered 117metre net gas sands in Tonel-1, and a 55-metre gas bearing column containing 40 metres of net pay in Fortuna East-1well, which are two of the three main wells in its Equatorial Guinea 2012 drilling campaign.

The campaign began as batch drilling, with the Eirik Raude semisubmersible first drilling the top-hole sections at both Fortuna East and Fortuna West before moving to the Tonel-1 location to drill the entire well. The three probes are all in Block R. Ophir said the Tonel-1 and Fortuna East discoveries exceeded pre-drill expectations.

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Somaliland: Horn Tests Water In Shabeel North

Horn Petroleum has reported recovering fresh water in an open hole Drill StemTest (DST) conducted over a zone suspected to be hydrocarbon bearing in Shabeel North 1, its second well in Somaliland.
The test was conducted over a 50 metre gross interval, containing several sands in the upper portion of the primary Jesomma Formation which had oil shows. “The test recovered fresh water (1200 ppm Cl-) without any traces of oil”, the company stated in a release. “The current plan is to drill ahead to the originally planned depth of
approximately 2400 metres which will penetrate the remaining section of Jesomma sands at which point the entire
section will be evaluated by electrical logging to determine if further testing is warranted”.

Cote D’Ivoire: Rialto Completes Gazelle Well With “Good Gas Rate”

Rialto, the AIM listed minnow, has Rtested gas flow rate of 19.5 million standard cubic feet per day (19.5MMsf/d) of gas aswell as 133 barrels of condensate per day (133BCPD) in its first operated well in Block Cl-202, offshore Cote
Rialto has now completed the Gazelle-P3 ST2well testing programmeand the well will now be suspended for future use.
The company reported that 40 API Oil was recovered at an unstabilised rate of 760 BOPD prior to well ‘channelling’ gas. “The flow rates confirm productivity of UC-1 reservoir sands”, a press release said.
“The maximum gas flow rate was constrained due to downhole equipment limitations. The estimated deliverability of the reservoir with standard 4.5″ production tubing rather than the 3.5″ test string is 33MMscf/d”, Rialto said. “The main DST focused on the Upper Cenomanian (UC-1C) gas reservoir (over the interval 2632.9-2666.6 mMDRT), successfully achieving an average flowrate during a ten hour period of 17.5 mmscfd gas through a 44/64” choke,
with a flowing wellhead pressure of 1470 psia”.
Prior to undertaking the oil test, cement bond logs indicated that the zones may not be hydraulically isolated in the well bore. As a result, the UC-1A oil reservoir (perforated over the interval 2678.0- 2713.2 mMDRT) achieved an unstabillised flow rate of 760 BOPD before gas, originating from the overlying gas reservoir via behind-casing
channelling, prevented further oil flow from this interval.

Tanzania: Papa-1 Finds Lots More Gas In Ruvuma

The BG/Ophir consortium topped up Tits gas reserves off Tanzania via the Papa 1, in Block 3, in the Ruvuma
Basin. The work is part of the Blocks 1, 3 and 4 drilling programme,operated by BG.
The Deepsea  Metro 1 (UDW Drillship) completed operations at the Mzia-1 discovery (Block 1) on 21 May and the vessel then moved to the Papa-1 location in Block 3. Papa-1 was spud on May 29 and is estimated to take 65 days to complete. Papa-1 targeted the Upper Cretaceous intra-slope channel play within the Rufiji delta. “The
Papa-1 prospect has an unrisked mean estimated recoverable resource of 3.1 Tcf (517 MMboe)”, Ophir said in a release.
Deepsea Metro 1 was expected to proceed to work for American operator, Apache on a single well in Kenya on acreage adjacent to Ophir’s Blocks L9 (60%) and L15 (100%), before returning to continue operations with the Ophir-BG Joint Venture

Frank Timis Threatens To Drill


Will he or won’t he? That is the question, as Frank Timis, chairman of African Petroleum Corp., says his company plans to start drilling for oil off the coast of Liberia in March 2011.

APC has completed a seismic survey of its two exploration blocks, but Mr Timis looks like the kind of operative who would rather get other companies to operate and fund the E&P programme of an asset he has acquired.

Timis told the press that APC plans to bring a floating rig to drill two wells in the area, 48km off the coast and that drilling will cost $100 million.

This magazine’s guess is that March 2011 will come and APC still will not drill, unless one enthusiastic E&P company comes around to buy significant equity in those assets and goes ahead to drill. Since that had not happened by January 15, 2011, there’s no likelihood of APC being on the drill site off Liberia until late in the second quarter of 2011.

But announcements about plans to drill, such as the one that Mr Timis made in October 2010, only lead to pressure by the government of the country in which such assets are held. Right now, Mr Timis would be under pressure to proceed with his “drilling plans”. Liberia, for one, desperately wants “action” on exploitation of its resources. The West African nation is rebuilding its economy and infrastructure after a civil war that ended in 2003. Liberia is giving away its petroleum property to any company who can show sufficient enthusiasm to operate the property. That’s why the parliament approved an oil-exploration deal with California-based Chevron Corp. and Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum Ltd(which has never spent money to drill a well any where).

Chevron Nigeria Is Drilling Again

KS Endeavour To Drill in Meji Field, Chevron Nigeria is returning from a drilling holiday in its prolific shallow water assets.

The California based oil major has contracted the rig KS Endeavour for drilling several wells in the shallow water Meji field in the western Niger Delta basin. “It marks a return of the company’s Joint Venture division to the drill- site and this is quite symbolic”, says Jeffrey Tolkein, an oil industry analyst based in Cairo. Chevron Nigeria’s drilling in the last six months had focused on the Agbami deepwater field. The company’s drilling activity in shallow water, swamp and land, have been on hold as the company focused on squeezing as much crude oil as it could, in areas to which it couldn’t gain access at the height of militant attacks. “Production, not drilling, has been top priority”, says Tolkein. “But for you to guarantee continued production, you have to return to the well site, either for workover, testing, or new drilling”. Chevron refrained from drilling in its swamp assets(Gbokoda, Benin River, Abiteye..) after attacks seven years ago, but has since refurbished the facilities and lined up plans to drill as many as 30 wells in the swamp area beginning in 2012. The shallow offshore, which had been the company’s main cash cow over the last 40 years, had continued to see drilling action, until the sudden stop in drilling in 2010. With the return to drilling operations in Meji and the expectations for swamp activity in 2012, Chevron Nigeria’s drilling activity should progressively rise in the next 15 months and help improve the country’s low rig count(16 rigs monthly average in 2010).

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