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Seadrill Starts A new joint venture with Sonangol

Seadrill Limited has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Empresa de Serviços e Sondagens de Angola Ltda, an affiliate of Sonangol E.P), the Angolan state hydrocarbon firm. The new joint venture, Sonadrill, will operate four drillships, focusing on opportunities in Angolan waters.

Each of the joint venture parties will bareboat two drillships into Sonadrill. The Seadrill drillships will be from our existing owned or managed fleet. The Sonangol drillships, Libongos and Quenguela, both 7th generation high spec ultra deepwater drillships, are currently under construction at DSME shipyard in Korea and expected to be delivered in the first half of 2019. Seadrill will manage the delivery and mobilization to Angolan waters under a separate Commissioning and Mobilization Agreement with Sonangol.

Seadrill will manage and operate the four drillships on behalf of Sonadrill which will have an initial term of 5 years.

Anton Dibowitz, CEO, commented: “We are excited to have been selected by Sonangol to manage their newbuild drillships and to partner with them in pursuing opportunities in this important deepwater basin. Sonadrill will give us the opportunity to gain incremental access to a market that is expected to show significant growth over the next years, further strengthen our relationship with key customers and provides an attractive opportunity to continue expanding our fleet of premium ultra-deepwater rigs.”

Newcross Is Excited About Awoba NW-2 Discovery

By John Ashuks, in Port Harcourt

The Newcross Group, a Nigerian firm of E&P independents, is excited about the results of Awoba NW-2, reporting over 400 feet of pay more than encountered in Awoba NW-1, the discovery well drilled by Shell in 2001.

This is the first well the company would drill as operator of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 24, which it purchased from Shell, TOTAL and ENI in 2015.

Awoba NW-2, drilled with the Chinese rig Sheng Li-4, successfully appraised multiple reservoir complexes, “through a focused, highly deviated well trajectory that targeted spatially diverse pools because of complex geology”, the company reports.

The well discovered four new hydrocarbon accumulations.  Total footage was 450feet Net Oil Sands and 520 feet Net Gas Sands (True Vertical Depth).

The NNPC/Newcross Joint Venture currently averages about 30,000BOPD in OML 24.


Aker Finalises Pecan Field Appraisal, Offshore Ghana

Aker Energy is finalising a successful drilling operation of the Pecan-4A appraisal well offshore Ghana.

The well was drilled at the Pecan field in the DWT/CTP block, to a vertical depth of 4,870 meters in 2,667 meters of water. The DWT/CTP block offshore Ghana contains seven discoveries, of which Pecan is the main discovery to date.

The main purpose of Pecan-4A appraisal well was to confirm Aker Energy’s understanding of the geology in the area and to identify deep oil water contact in the Pecan reservoir. This was successfully proven.

“We are pleased to announce the well results, confirming our understanding of the area, as well as the resource base and upside potential in the DWT/CTP block. Based on these results, we will optimise the Plan of Development for the Pecan field. There is still a lot of work to be done, including to conclude the phasing of the development, the size of first phase and detailing of the concept. Our most important priority going forward is to deliver a robust field development plan to the Ghanaian authorities,” says Jan Arve  Haugan, Chief Executive Officer at Aker Energy.

Based on existing subsurface data from seismic, wells drilled and an analysis of the Pecan-4A well result, the existing discoveries are estimated to contain gross contingent resources (2C) of 450 – 550 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE). Aker Energy estimates that with the next two appraisal wells to be drilled, the total volumes to be included in a Plan of Development (POD) have the potential to increase to between 600 – 1,000MMBOE. In addition, there are identified multiple well targets to be drilled as part of a greater area development after submission of the POD.

“Aker Energy sees great potential in this promising area offshore Ghana. We see the foundation for a phased development producing through several production units. Since we became the operator less than a year ago, we have established an open, inclusive and transparent collaboration with Ghanaian authorities. This partnership will enable us to unlock the vast potential in the area to the benefit of both the Ghanaian society and our license partners. We are looking forward to continuing and further strengthening this partnership to develop the Ghanaian oil and gas industries,” concludes Haugan.

Aker Energy is the operator of the DWT/CTP block with a 50% participating interest. Aker Energy’s partners are LUKOIL (38%), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10%) and Fueltrade (2%).


Will Brulpadda, Now Spud, Open Up South Africa?

The potentially game changing well is being drilled in the Outeniqua Basin

Four years after it was forced to quit, TOTAL has re-entered the Brulpadda-1AX on Block 11B/12B offshore South Africa.

The French major looks forward to drilling results, in what it considers a “basin-opening opportunity”, in the first quarter of 2019.

TOTAL halted drilling of the well 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.

Block 11B/12B is located in the Outeniqua Basin, approximately 175 kilometers off the southern coast of South Africa. The area has a proven petroleum system from the nearby Sable and Oryx oil fields, according to geoscientists working on the prospect. Brulpadda is one of five similar submarine fan prospects with direct hydrocarbon indicators defined utilizing two dimensional (2D) seismic surveys acquired across the Paddavissie Fairway in 2001 and 2005. The Brulpadda Prospect has gross prospective resources of more than 500Million barrels with significant follow-on potential in the success case.

TOTAL is drilling in South Africa at a time of significant uncertainty around oil and gas exploration in the country, with an Upstream Petroleum law stuck in parliament over 10 years with no clear line of sight to resolution. But if the well turns out to be a discovery in an otherwise barren landscape, it has the tendency to kickstart a drilling queue.

Brulpadda-1AX is being drilled in 1,432 metres of water by the Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig to a total depth of 3,420 meters subsea. The well will test the oil potential in a mid-Cretaceous aged deep marine fan sandstone system within combined stratigraphic/structural closure. Drilling and evaluation of the well is expected to take approximately 85 days with a gross budget of approximately US$154 million, including contingency for downtime due to weather.

TOTAL operates Block 11B/12B with a 45% interest in Block 11B/12B, while Qatar Petroleum and Canadian Natural Resources Limited have 25% and 20% interests, respectively.


Spud Date For Kolmani River-2 Is Likely Mid January 2019

By Shaddum Lawal

The advance team for the drilling of NNPC’s gas well in Bauchi State, in Nigeria’s northeast, has started moving to site.

Kolmani River-2 will be appraising the 1999 gas discovery made by Shell in Kolmani River-1. The Anglo Dutch major drilled the well to a depth of 3,000metres. Although there were no tests, the company booked 33Billion standard cubic feet of gas as possible estimated recoverable reserves.

The new well will be drilled by the Drillog operated Rig 101, which will move from Moni Pulo’s Ituk-3ST1 in Akwa Ibom state, in the country’s southeast onshore, to the site of Kolmani River 2, in the  Gongola Basin.

As we reported in the November 2018 edition of Africa Oil+Gas Report, the well is unlikely to spud  before the end of the year. The spud date is likely second week of January 2019. NNPC’s Frontier Exploration Services, which is in charge of the project. had earlier announced Q3 2018 spud for the much awaited spud 2, citing Rig contract awards, road construction, site preparation and Mobilisation to location, as likely to have been done as far back as July 2018. However, Drilliog Rig 101 had only just commenced Ituk-3ST 1 in October 2018 and the likelihood of finalising that well of mid-November 2018 were slim.


ENI Hits New Pay dirt, off Angola

Italian explorer ENI reports it has made a new oil discovery in the Afoxé exploration prospect located in Block 15/06, offshore Angola. “The discovery is estimated to contain between 170 and 200Million barrels of light oil in place”, the company asserts in a release, even though it admits the well had not been tested.

The Afoxé-1 NFW well is located in the south-east area of Block 15/06, approximately 120 km off the coast, 50 km south-west from the Olombendo FPSO and 20 km west of the recent Kalimba-1 discovery. The well was drilled in a water depth of 780 meters and reached a total depth of 1,723 meters.

“Afoxé-1 NFW proved a 20 meters net oil pay of high quality oil (37° API) contained in Upper Miocene sandstones with excellent petrophysical properties”, ENI explains in a very upbeat announcement. “The well has not been tested but an intensive data collection has been carried out that indicates a production capacity in excess of 5,000 barrels of oil per day. The new nearby discoveries of Kalimba and Afoxé are now accounting together a potential of 400 – 500MMBOE of high quality oil in place and represent a new cluster that can be exploited jointly in a new development concept.

Afoxé discovery is a further confirmation of the oil exploration potential still held in southern part of Block 15/06, previously considered mainly gas prone. ENI is planning to drill up to 4 new exploration wells back to back in Block 15/06 during 2019”.


Angolan Rig Count Inches Up

The number of rigs actively drilling in Angola has increased in the last one month.

Italian explorer ENI, brought into the country’s waters, the drillship Poseidon, owned and operated by Ocean Rig. The vessel had just finalised a well in deepwater offshore Namibia in October.

It will bring, to 5, the number of rigs active on one well or the other in the country. That is a whopping 25% increase in rig numbers, from four rigs in October.

The Angolan government is desperate for a return to a vibrant E&P sector, after five straight years of declining activity.

A November 16, 2018 report by  Reuters, noted that Carlos Saturnino, head of the state hydrocarbon firm Sonangol, indicated that ExxonMobil had shown interest in some blocks in the Namib basin, in the country’s deep South, “while advanced discussions are being held with BP, Equinor and ENI for the rights to the ultra-deep offshore blocks 46 and 47”. .

The news agency also reported that French major TOTAL, the largest producer in the country by operated volume, plans to drill its first exploration well in four years. “Beneath 3,630 metres of water on block 48, it will be one of the world’s deepest.”


Shell Finds Over 1 Trillion Cubic Feet of Gas in Eastern Nigeria

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher, Africa Oil+Gas Report

Shell’s geoscientists have put a figure on the company’s recent gas and condensate discoveries, made in the course of a drilling campaign onshore Eastern Nigeria. The company encountered 1.5Trillion cubic feet of gas and 42 Million barrels of condensate, in shallow and deep reservoirs.

The revelation came in the course of several technical sessions at the just concluded annual conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).

The four well campaign, which utilised the High Temperature/High Pressure rig Hilong 27, was aimed at deep, High Pressure gas targets in the Gbaran -Kolo Creek -Epu field areas, in what is classified as Central Swamp Depobelt of the Niger Delta Basin, to unlock all the reserves that are located deeper than normal hydrostatic pressure on these fields. It ran between 2014 and late September 2018, when the rig was released to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, a local subsidiary of the Italian giant ENI.

The new discoveries, however span both shallow and deep reservoirs.

“You know how the Niger Delta works”, one ranking Shell earth scientist told Africa Oil+Gas Report on the side-lines of the NAPE conference. “You are targeting deep, but you can encounter new hydrocarbons in the shallow sands in the process”.

The 1Bscf/d Gbaran Field gas project was already in production before the campaign, but it was only producing in the hydrostatic pressure zones before this campaign.

The new gas will be available to the 22MMTPA (3.5Bscf/d) Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas NLNG Plant in Bonny, also in Eastern Nigeria.




ENI Chases New Oil in Proven Angolan Block

Following its discovery of Kalimba 1 in June 2018, Italian major ENI set up an accelerated exploration programme in Angola’s Block 15/06, where it already has some producing fields.

The company commenced a drilling campaign involving four (4) exploration wells.

In the event of success, this strategy will enable a fast-track development of these new resources, leveraging on synergies with existing infrastructure and significantly reducing their time-to-market.

In the first week of November 2018, ENI has signed, with state hydrocarbon company  Sonangol, an amendment of Block 15/06 Production Sharing Contract which defines the new perimeter of the block, now covering an additional area of 400 km2 on the west side.

The company says it increased production by 50,000BOEPD in the course of 2018 and is hoping to reach a peak of 170, 000BOEPD by early 2019.

Block 15/06 (ENI Angola SpA 36.84% Operator, Sonangol P&P 36.84%, SSI 26.82%) is located approximately 130 km west of Soyo, in water depths ranging from 200 metres to 1,800 metres. The developed fields Sangos, Cinguvu, Mpungi, Ochigufu e Cabaça S.E. are tied back to the two FPSOs installed in the block, Ngoma and Olombendo, with an overall oil treatment capacity of 200,000BOPD. Ngoma and Olombendo FPSO started production in November 2014 and February 2017 respectively.



TOTAL’s Cape of Storms Well For Re-entry in December 2018

By Toyin Akinosho

….only exploratory probe by a major oil company in South Africa in the last 25 years.

TOTAL’s re-entry of the Brulpadda-1AX well on Block 11B/12B, offshore South Africa, is expected to spud by the end of December 2018.

The Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig has been mobilized from the North Sea and is expected to arrive in South Africa in mid to late December 2018. The Brulpadda prospect, at a water depth of 1,431 metres, was defined on two dimensional (2D) seismic data and is one of five submarine fan prospects with large prospective resources on the block. The well will test the southern Outeniqua Basin within the Paddavissie Turbidite Fan Complex.

This is the only exploratory probe by a major oil company in South Africa in the last 25 years.

TOTAL’s original contract with the rig company was expected to run between June 2018 and April 2019. The contract value, including compensation for mobilization /demobilization period, is estimated up to $55Million. The company expects the drilling of the firm well to take 60-80 days.

TOTAL stopped drilling the Brulpadda-1AX well in September 2014 because of mechanical problems on Eirik Raude Ocean rig, caused by the challenging environment in the Agulhas, with its chaotic combination of currents, waves and winds. The company said it would return to site the following year, in late 2015. But by then the world of oil had dramatically changed from what it was in 2014 and far flung frontiers like ultradeepwater South Africa dropped off the priority. In late 2016, TOTAL spokespersons affirmed that the company would return to drill in South Africa in 2017. “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 told Africa Oil+Gas Report at the time.  “The place is quite turbulent.” The 2017 date didn’t happen.


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