All posts tagged featured

Dale Rollins Heads to Papua New Guinea

Dale Rollins, the former Shell Nigeria Deputy MD, who retired as CEO of SAPETRO just two months ago, has moved to Oil Search as Executive Vice President of that company’s Papua New Guinea Business Unit.

Oil Search is listed on the Australian and Port Moresby security exchanges and its main operations are in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Rollins will be responsible “for driving overall performance for the PNG Business Unit and maintaining and developing our in-country stakeholder relations”.

The company also hired Bart Lismont to “lead the newly formed Technology and Value Assurance Group as the Executive Vice President”.

Rollins spent more than 20 years with the Shell Group of companies, finally serving as Deputy Managing Director for Shell in Nigeria, responsible for production operations and 25 ongoing major projects, with production capacity of over 1 Million barrels of oil per day, plus significant gas supply.  His last job was Chief Executive Officer at SAPETRO. It lasted till May 2019.

Dale Rollins has “strong governance and stakeholder engagement experience with various governments, community groups, regulators and joint ventures”, Oil Search says.

The appointment of Rollins and Lismont, Oil Search argues, “will strengthen the Company’s capabilities in opportunity maturation, project execution, safe and reliable operations, and capture important benefits from technology and innovation”.


Naval Chiefs To Assemble in Accra For Gulf of Guinea Issues

The Ghanaian Navy will host over 10 Chiefs of Navies from across Africa along with 250 international senior officials from Navies, Coast Guards and Marine Police from Wednesday next week.

They will be addressing security issues around the increasingly volatile marine and coastal waters in Africa as well as maritime contributions to economic advancement in the crucial Gulf of Guinea.

Ghana is becoming increasingly important as a crude oil export source as well as consumer of natural gas, some of which is pumped undersea through pipeline.

Nigeria has been notorious for crude oil induced piracy.

Virtually all of the countries along the West African coast experience Piracy, illegal fishing, and armed robberies on the Atlantic.

These issues are just some of those to be discussed at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (IMDEC), taking place on 24-25 July 2019 in Accra, Ghana. “These threats not only disrupt regional stability but also hinder the thriving of the economies”, according to Future Banking Tech, the summit’s organisers. “It is essential that international and intergovernmental players continue to build upon joint capabilities to alter this progression.

IMDEC’s ribbon cutting ceremony will be attended by Mahamudu Bawumia (Dr.),  Ghana’s Vice President, , as well as Aduna Bingab Nitiwul, the host country’s Minister of Defence, Ghana, Lt. Gen. Obed Akwa, Chief of Defence Staff, Ghana Armed Forces, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy, Air Vice Marshal F Hanson, Chief of Air Staff. according to the organisers of the event.

Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy, will present the Opening keynote speech, titled: Ghana Navy – past, present and the future. Followed by a panel discussion titledMaritime Forces: Joint Operations and strengthening interoperability. The discussion will be moderated followed by a VIP exhibition tour and a an awards of appreciation will be presented to VIP attendees.


Rystad Sees Rebound in African Frontier Exploration

Norwegian oil and gas consultant Rystad Energy sees a resurgence in ambitious frontier exploration well drilling around Africa, in the next one year.

The continent, it says “appears to be emerging from a long hibernation in terms of oil and gas exploration activities,” and West Africa is the prime locale of these high risk wildcat activities and TOTAL, the French major, will be making most of the probes.

Two such supposedly significant prospects are to be drilled in the Mauritania-Senegal Basin, the flavour of the month for the past five years. “Located on the same structural ridge as the BirAllah and Tortue discoveries, BP’s Orca prospect is estimated to hold gross gas in place resources of 13 trillion cubic feet”, the Rystad statement says, adding  that “TOTAL plans to drill a well on Block C-9 in the Mauritanian basin. This particular well will target a large cretaceous oil and gas play”.

Rystad points to Egypt, where Dana Gas is currently drilling The Merak well a deep-water well in the Mediterranean, scheduled to be drilled to a planned total depth of 2,600 meters, targeting Pliocene turbidite plays along the well route.

Rystad argues that a steep drop in the number of exploration wells in 2015 fueled by budget cuts, failed projects, and poor market conditions has meant that exploration in the region has mostly been on pause and declining further until this year, where an uptick in investments has reversed this negative trend, shining some light on African exploration.

TOTAL’s anticipated first well in Angola’s Block 48, in the ultra-deep-water Lower Congo basin will be targeting a high potential new play in the Miocene and Oligocene channels and lobes. Further down along the southern African coast, the company “aims to drill the deepest well ever completed in the continent”, Rystad reveals. “The Venus prospect is located in a giant basin floor fan of the Orange Basin and is considered to be the largest prospect ever in Namibia”.

The only well that may not be drilled anytime soon is the one credited to a rank unknown company named Trace Atlantic, which  is “currently hunting for a partner to farm out 50% to 70% of its stake” to drill with a frontier deep water floater targeting the Albian age Formosa prospect. Rystad provides neither the geologic basin nor the country location of this Formosa prospect.


NDPR Has Made Some Tidy Profit in South Sudan-Fatona

Its East African foray is turning into cash in the bank for Niger Delta Petroleum Resources NDPR, the Nigerian independent.

And the money is coming from the unlikeliest of places.

“If there was any place elsewhere in Africa where we could access opportunities and quickly develop those opportunities into the same kind of portfolios that we have had in the Niger-Delta, South Sudan was that place”, Layiwola Fatona, Chief Executive of NDPR, told Africa Oil+Gas Report in an exclusive interview.

“We have never regretted going into South Sudan”.

Asked if he wasn’t concerned about crippling security challenges in a country that has been in civil war since 2013, as a result of which its oil and gas production has plummeted, Fatona replies: “We have security challenges in Nigeria and I am here”. Then he says: “Juba (the South Sudanese capital city), is a growing town”.

Fatona contends that South Sudan produces about 160,000BOPD, “the economy is young and there is very low cost of entry. Stability is coming into the country and we have been there for over three to four years.

“For the first time last year, we actually made a little bit of a profit from our engagements there and we are very hopeful that indeed, everything that we have done in Nigeria, growing from a very small producer into a fully integrated entity can be replicated in South Sudan”.

NDPR was in Uganda before South Sudan. Indeed, it won a block in the last bidding round, “but not until we were forced to partner with another entity that we didn’t feel compatible with did we actually opt not to go further in exploring the opportunity in Uganda”.

“We have been looking at Zambia and Mozambique, not necessarily because of any big offshore gas development. We are driven essentially by low cost of entry; we will not be risking any of our shareholders capital in exploration. In other words, anything that we do will have the potential of generating cash flow at the shortest and quickest period of time”.

For the full, extended article: My Journey to Independence, by Olayiwola Fatona, please click here


TOTAL Returns to the Cape of Storms in Q1 2020

French major TOTAL will be returning, within the next one year, for further exploration and appraisal of the prospects in South Africa’s Block 11B/12B offshore South Africa, where it discovered large gas condensate pools in January 2019.

The Paris headquartered company has secured the Deepsea Stavanger for a multi-well drilling programme, beginning with the spud of the Luiperd Prospect in Q1-2020. This was the same equipment and crew that drilled the Brulpadda oil and gas discovery.  Up to three exploration wells are expected to be drilled during the forthcoming campaign.

Block 11B/12B is located in the Outeniqua Basin, located 175 kilometers off the southern coast of South Africa. The block covers an area of 19,000 square kilometers with water depths ranging from 200 to 1,800 meters. The Paddavissie Fairway in the southwest corner of the block includes the Brulpadda discovery and several submarine fan prospects.

The success at both the Brulpadda primary and secondary targets significantly de-risks the other similar prospects identified on 2D seismic.  The joint venture partnership for Block 11B/12B recently completed the first phase of the 3D seismic acquisition program over the Paddavissie Fairway.  The Brulpadda well results will be integrated with the three dimensional (3D) seismic data in advance of next year’s drilling programme.

TOTAL operates Block 11B/12B with 45% interest while Qatar Petroleum and Canadian Natural Resources Limited have 25% and 20% interests, respectively. Main Street 1549 Proprietary Limited holds a 10% participating interest.


Now It Is Possible to Complete a Well without Cementing

By Sully Manope, Coastal West Africa Correspondent

French major TOTAL and the Danish oil service company Welltec have jointly announced the first deployment of a cementless completion.

Building on the experience gained through the continuous deployment of the Welltec® Annular Barrier (WAB®) in the Moho North Albian field which was awarded the first quarter of 2017, TOTAL E&P Congo says it has pushed the boundaries of Metal Expandable Annular Sealing technology by deploying the world’s first cementless completion using the Welltec® Annular Isolation (WAITM) in open hole.

The job was done during the second quarter of 2019.

The Moho field is located in the Congo Coastal Basin, and the reservoirs are carbonates.

The WAITM uses multiple metal expandable packers to provide long length open hole zonal isolation to replace the functions of traditional cement, leading to significant gains in efficiency in the overall well construction process, Both companies say.

The method/process/technology significantly reduces the free annulus space between the liner/casing and the open hole which can be beneficial in highly layered reservoirs of varying permeability where selective production, stimulation or water shut off is required, Welltec explains. In addition to the efficiency gains, the simplified well completions operations enabled by the WAITM eliminated multiple operational risks associated with the cementing process in depleted and over-pressured reservoirs.

TOTAL says it plans to deploy the WAITM in subsequent wells – especially those identified as high-risk.”

“The WAITM technology will without doubt transform how future wells are constructed in the industry” explains ‘Gbenga Onadeko, Senior Vice President, Welltec Africa.



Ibe Kachikwu May Return As Nigeria’s Minister of State For Petroleum

By Uti Wanogho, in Abuja

Almost every credible source, it seems, is “sure” that Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu will return as Minister of State for Petroleum in Muhammadu Buhari’s Second Term.

The Africa Oil+Gas Report had heard this speculation for over three weeks now and had struggled with the story, especially as Kachiku had been widely perceived to have been a lame duck Minister of State for Petroleum in the twilight days of President Buhari’s first term.

He, it seemed, was unable to exert any form of influence in the Ministry as Maikanti Baru, the GMD of NNPC (just retired) supposedly had better access to the President and the President’s top confidantes (Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the Federal Government) and simply sidelined him in matters that, at least ought to pass his table if only for courtesy’s sake.

Still, the feelers we are getting is that he is ahead of the race, than anyone else, to clinch the job again.

President Buhari, it is expected, will keep retaining the job of the substantive minister of petroleum.

First E&P Wins the Most Contested Acreage in Ghana’s Licencing Round

The Nigerian Independent, First E&P, has pulled ahead in Ghana’s keenly contested first licencing round, winning Block GH_WB_02, or Block 2, one of the three blocks available for competitive bidding.

The other winner so far announced has been the ENI/VITOL partnership for GH_WB_03 or Block 3. The winner of GH_WB_04, or Block 4 has not been announced.

The remaining two of the five blocks on offer are expressly for direct negotiations.

Ghana’s Ministry of Energy received 15 applications for Block 2, the highest number for any block.

First E&P and its local content partner Elandel Energy (Ghana) Limited have been invited for negotiations on the detailed terms of the Petroleum Agreement.

First E&P is one of the smallest four out of the 16 companies that submitted 60 applications, in a list which features ExxonMobil, ENI, BP, TOTAL, Cairn, Equinor, Tullow, Kosmos, Sasol, CNOOC, Qatar Petroleum, Harmony Oil and Gas Corporation, VITOL, Global Petroleum Group, Aker Energy.

If it finalises the Petroleum Agreement, this eight year old company will be the fifth Nigerian independent with interests in an acreage in Ghana. The four others are operators: Amni, Oranto, Brittania U, Sahara. None has advanced much in their work programmes even though they’ve held the assets for more than five years.

First E&P holds a 10% of NDWestern, which in turn has 45% of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 34, in Nigeria’s Western Niger Delta basin. It is the operator of OMLs 83 and 85 and is in partnership with Dangote’s West African E&P, in OMLs 71 and 72.

The two Blocks for direct negotiations in Ghana’s ongoing licencing round are (GH_WB_0S and GH_WB_06), or Blocks 5 and 6, both located in ultradeepwater (>2,500metre water depth).

All the five blocks are in the offshore Western Basin.


More Gas Found In Senegal/Mauritania

By Mohammed Jetutu, North Africa Correspondent

BP and partners have confirmed their expectation that the gas resource at Greater Tortue Ahmeyim, offshore Senegal will continue to grow over time and could lead to further expansion of the 10 Million Tonnes Per Annum (10MMTPA) LNG project.

The companies encountered approximately 30 meters of net gas pay in high-quality Albian reservoir in the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim-1 well (GTA-1), drilled on the eastern anticline within the unit development area of Greater Tortue. The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG project is on track to deliver first gas in the first half of 2022, and the well (which has been designed as a future producer) will be used to further optimize the development drilling plans for the BP-operated project.

The GTA-1 well was drilled in approximately 2,500 meters of water, approximately 10 kilometers inboard of the Guembeul-1A and Tortue-1 wells, to a total depth of 4,884 meters.

Meanwhile, Kosmos Energy, the original holder of the licence, is continuing the process to sell down its interest to 10% has received considerable interest from the industry, with initial bids expected over the summer, and transaction conclusion anticipated by year end.”

The Ensco DS-12 rig is enroute to spudding the Yakaar-2 appraisal well in Senegal, before drilling the Orca-1 exploration well in Mauritania, which is expected to spud late in the third quarter. Partners in the cross-border Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project, located offshore Mauritania and Senegal, include SMPHM, Petrosen, BP, and Kosmos.



ENI Grabs One More in Ghana

Italian operator ENI(70%) and its partner Vitol (30%) have been awarded rights to Block WB03, located in the medium deep waters of the prolific Tano Basin, offshore Ghana.

ENI will be the Operator of the license and besides Vitol the Joint Venture will include the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and a local registered Company that will be identified during the phase of contract finalization. The Contract award is subject to approval from the Authorities.

This award comes as an outcome of Ghana’s first international competitive bid round, in which 5 Blocks have been put on offer in water depths ranging from 100 to 4,400 m.

In Ghana’s Tano Basin ENI owns rights to the Development Areas of Sankofa and Gye Nyame as well as to the Exploration and Production area of CTP-Block 4. The new block is located approximately 50km south-east from the FPSO John Agyekum Kufuor (JAK) that is currently producing oil and gas from Sankofa Field. The proximity of these infrastructures will became synergic in case of new discoveries in Block 3.

Ghana is among the key Countries for Eni’s organic growth. The company has been present in the Country since 2009 and accounts currently a gross production of about 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.



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