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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”.

Angolan Rig Count Reaches A New Bottom

AngolaThe number of active rigs drilling in Angola was reduced by three in April 2016. The total fell from 17 to 14. The Maersk Delivererdrilling for Chevron was cancelled; so was the Transocean’s Global Santa Fe (GSF) Driller I, drilling for ExxonMobil.

Deliverer and Driller I were drilling in Block 14 and Block 15 respectively in March 2016.

The Ensco DS-6, which was in action on Block 31 for BP in March, is now on standby and not even in Angola.

Find the full details of the rigs active in Angola here..


With One Disappointing Well, Dana Can Justify Its Retreat from Africa

Dana Petroleum was winding up its portfolio in Africa, with the exception of Egypt, as of the time it drilled Manatee-1, in Cameroon’s Bakassi West Permit, in March 2016.

The well encountered some gas shows, and although the result derisks the 12 other prospects and leads in the permit, the site of Manatee-1 remains the most optimum on the acreage’s play map.

Although the permit is in the Cameroonian segment of the prolific south east offshore of the Niger Delta, Manatee-1 was drilled on two dimensional (2D) data, acquired in early 2014, two years after Dana Petroleum won the licence. The U.K.-based subsidiary of South Korea’s state-owned KNOC had pulled out of Mauritania and Guinea but was committed to Manatee-1 as an obligatory exploration well.

Drilled with the jack up Paragon M825, Manatee-1 reached total depth of 1,447 metres, intersecting 26metres of gas bearing section of varying quality throughout the wellbore. “Wellbore conditions did not permit the acquisition of a full suite of logging tools in the deeper sections of the hole which makes the analyses of these lower intervals inconclusive at this time”, a press release on the well indicated. ”Additional technical work will be completed with the samples and material collected from the well to improve the understanding of their quality in a post well analysis”, the release explained.

Dana Petroleum holds 55% participating interest in Bakassi West, with two Canadian minnows SDX Energy and Soft Rock Oil Co Ltd, holding 35% and 10% respectively. “The secondary objective was to see whether we could make a commercially viable gas discovery”, notes Paul Welch, Chief Executive of SDX Energy, the 35% partner. “At this stage it is too early to quantify the Manateee-1 gas potential

and our technical team will be working closely with our partners to evaluate the well results to determine if the gas volumes on the block have commercial potential”. SDX may be keen on staying in West Bakassi, but Dana Petroleum prefers to focus on Egypt as its preferred country of interest in Africa. The three other countries that the company has interests are entirely on the North Sea: the UK, Norway and the Netherlands.

Tullow Plays Word Games with Sub-commercial Probe in Kenya

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

The phrase: ‘Strong Oil Shows’ do not mean a discovery

Tullow has plugged and abandoned the new field wild cat Cheptuket-1 in Block 12A onshore Kenya.

The well, drilled by PR Marriott Rig-46, had “good oil shows”, a way of saying it is non-commercial. But Tullow and its partner, Africa Oil say the well wasn’t drilled for commercial success.

The companies refrained from using the term ‘Discovery’, because  the well didn’t encounter a single commercial pool of oil. However, by claiming that Cheptuket-1 had ‘strong oil shows’, a phrase unknown in exploration lexicon, they led the energy media to interprete it as a discovery. Read what Tullow and Africa Oil said about the well: “The objective of the well was to establish a working petroleum system and test a structural closure in the south-western part of the basin. The strong oil shows(emphasis ours) encountered in Cheptuket-1 indicates the presence of an active petroleum system with significant oil generation and represents the most significant well result to date in Kenya outside the South Lokichar basin. Post-well analysis is in progress ahead of defining the future exploration programme in the basin”. Cheptuket-1 is the first well to test the Kerio Valley Basin and was drilled to a final depth of 3,083 metres”.

It is clear that Tullow and Africa Oil’s geoscientists are trying to say that the result of this well has given hints on better prospects elsewhere in the Kerio Valley, but there’s not even a guarantee that it has significantly de-risked the basin, otherwise the partners would have said so. The report on Cheptuket is, geologically misleading.

Nigeria: Marginals Are More Prominent on the Rig site Than Other Players

On a per capita basis, Nigerian marginal field operators are more

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