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Nigeria is Africa’s Busiest Drilling Site

Nigeria Rig Count

Nigeria’s rig count of 43 in August 2013 accounts for more than a third of Africa’s total rig count of 125 for the month.
Of the details provided by the Nigerian chapter of the International Association of Drilling Contractors, Shell, the country’s largest operator, utilized nine rigs in all, with eight (8) on onshore locations (three in swamp, five on land) and one drilling a deepwater well.

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Lukoil Spuds Sierra Leone Well, Bullish On The West African Transform Margin

Lukoil Office

Russian operator Lukoil has spud a well on the Savannah Prospect in the SL-5-11 block located in deepwater off the coast of Sierra Leone in West Africa. The Eirik Raude drilling rig is expected to drill the well to a target depth of 4,700 meters below the sea bed. The water depth at the drilling location is more than 2,000 meters.

Eirik Raude is the largest 5th generation self-propelled offshore drilling rig in the world. The rig has a height of 122 m, width of 85 m, deadweight of 52,500 tons and transit speed of  seven knots, with a crew of 120 people.

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The World Is Drilling Less

August 2013 Rig Counts

The global oil patch has put fewer rigs on location in August 2013, than it did around the same time last year. This is official.

Worldwide rig count for August 2013 was 3,416, up 54 from the 3,362 counted in July 2013, and down 113 from the 3,471 counted in August 2012, according to Baker Hughes, the company whose data on such things are considered the industry reference. The company, however warns that the Middle East rig count, in its statistics, excludes rigs in Syria for June July and August 2013.

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Ogbele Production Drops By 31%

Goodie Ibru

New reserves estimates, of 23.6MMBbls of oil and condensate, suggest that new drilling could more than double output
By Moses Akin-Aremu

Nigeria’s flagship marginal oil field recorded a sharp drop in output in 2012.

The Ogbele field in eastern Nigeria delivered 507,774 barrels last year, a 31% decrease from the 732, 638 barrels reported in 2011, according to the yearly report of the Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP), operator of the field. This means a reduction from 2,007BOPD to 1,387BOPD on average. The company reports “natural decline of Ogbele wells #4ST and #5ST as well as mechanical string failure of Ogbele well #3”.

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Sinopec Pays $3.1 Billion For A Chunk Of Egypt

Pompey's Pillar in Alexandria..Photo by Toyin Akinosho

Chinese behemoth Sinopec is paying $3.1 billion for 33 percent of  Apache Corp’s hydrocarbon assets in Egypt. The two companies say that this is the first step of a global strategic partnership to pursue joint upstream oil and gas projects. Apache will receive the money in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments, in exchange for Sinopec gaining a 33 percent minority participation in Apache’s Egypt oil and gas business. Apache will continue to operate its Egypt upstream oil and gas business.

The Egypt partnership is subject to customary governmental approvals and is expected to close during the fourth quarter, with an effective date of January 1, 2013.

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OMLs 83, 85 Bid Is a One Day Auction

Any chance of winning? Seplat’s CEO, Austin Avuru

…and final bids for OMLs 52, 53 and 55 must be accompanied with a non- refundable fee equaling 15% of the offer.
By Fred Akanni

Chevron’s sale of its 40% stakes in Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 83 and 85, in Nigeria’s shallow offshore, will be a one day auction. It is planned not to be as complicated as the company’s sale of its equity in OMLs 52, 53, 55, three onshore leases in the east of the country.

Sometime between mid- September and October 15, 2013, Chevron will simply choose a date on which participating companies will make an offer and the top bidder will be asked to pay, company sources say.

The data room for OMLs 83 and 85 was opened last May, a full month before bids were invited for the three onshore leases. But interest in OMLs 52, 53 and 55 has been marked, with 36 companies making indicative offers as of the deadline of July 29, 2013. Twenty five of these were weeded out. The 11 companies which made it to the second round are currently evaluating the data in Chevron offices in Houston, the United States. They include: Seplat, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO), which is in league with Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, Sogenal Ltd, Seven Energy, Britannia U, First Exploration and Production Ltd, Amni International Petroleum, Sahara Energy Group Belema and the Dangote Group. They will be expected to make their bids before the end of September. All such bids are to be accompanied with a non-refundable commitment fee which is 15% of the bid offer.  Three finalists are expected to have been announced by October 1, 2013.

But while there’s so much buzz around OMLs 52, 53 and 55, talk around progress of the sale of OMLs 83 and 85 has been muted. There is certainly much less appetite for OMLs 83 and 85, which are located offshore Bayelsa state, regarded as one of the most active sites of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. OMLs 83 and 85 are also less advantaged because they are undeveloped assets, compared with the eastern onshore OMLs which are mostly producing properties.

Still, OML 83’s Anyala and OML 85’s Madu fields are very prospective acreages that have been the talk of the upstream property market in Nigeria for upwards of eight to 10 years. Chevron “inherited” Anyala and Madu, with its acquisition of Texaco in the late 90s. The fields themselves had only been discovered in the early 1990s and Chevron, though willing to increase output, had kept putting off sanction for their development.

The Information Memorandum sent to the invited companies declares that OML 83’s Anyala field “has discovered total resource and upside potential (as deeper opportunities are mapped) of over 200MMBOE(8/8ths). The field’s discovery well, Anyala 01A, drilled in 1974, encountered 259 feet net gas sands, 50 feet net oil sands and 34 feet net undifferentiated hydrocarbon. Additional five exploratory and six appraisal wells were drilled and evaluated between 1996 and 2006. The field is fully covered by seismic data, Chevron notes in the IM, stating that “250km of 3D seismic data was acquired over Anyala field in 1993 and processed in 1994. 700 km of 2000 vintage migrated full stack3D seismic data was bought in 2006. Time-depth chart is based on Anyala 4 and Anyala 8 check shots and seismic stacking velocity”.

OML 85’s Madu field has discovered total resource and upside potential (as deeper opportunities are mapped) of over 140MMBOE (8/8ths). Approximately 45% of discovered resource is gas. The field was discovered in 1992 with Madu 01 well, drilled in 80 feet of water to a TD of 9, 114 feet True Vertical Depth subsea. The well encountered 170 feet net oil and 146 feet net gas in six hydrocarbon zones. Additional nine appraisal wells were drilled and evaluated between 1992 and 2006, the company says.


The Charmed Life Of The Explorer’s Explorer

Eddie Iyamu

Eddie Iyamu was the authentic hero, a true Nigerian original
By Toyin Akinosho

“I nearly fell off my chair the day he told me at our Tinubu office that he had just resigned his top Exploration Manager job at Shell”, Samuel Oluwole Ariyo recalls, again and again.

He tells this personal story all the time, and every new recall is told with more excitement.

The man in the tale is Eddie Iyamu, the first Nigerian to be made Exploration Manager at Shell, and the first homegrown geoscientist to reach that position in any oil major operating in the country.

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Tanzania Is Desperate To Be Mozambique

By Sa’ad Bashir, Dar es Salaam

Tanzania is claiming it would hold 200 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas resources after 2015. It is the latest in the government’s routine public statements touting a likely increase in its hydrocarbon reserves.

Tanzania does this chest beating about its gas upsides fairly regularly. It is a tendency unusual among African governments, especially those in who are just joining the old club of hydrocarbon resource rich countries on the continent.

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Shell, Transcorp, Kicked Out Of Chevron Asset Bid

Femi Bajomo, FHN's Chief Operating Officer

11 companies left standing in second round

Shell Nigeria, the country’s largest operator and Transcorp, an ambitious firm controlled by the flamboyant “Afrocapitalist” Tony Elumelu, are two of the high profile companies weeded out in the first round of the bid for Chevron’s 40% stake in three Oil Mining Leases(OMLs) in Eastern Niger Delta.

The acreages are OMLs 52, 53 and 55, which contain proven oil and gas reserves of 555MMBOE, according to Chevron’s Information Memorandum, quoting the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). 

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Ghana Is 40% of Tullow’s Worldwide Production


West Africa represented 77% of Tullow’s  88,600 BOEPD working interest production in the first half of 2013, with Ghana alone  delivering 40% of the entire volume. The 88,600BOEPD figure is up 14% from half year 2012. It helped boost first half 2013 revenue by 15% to $1.3bn and moved operating cash flow before working capital to exceed $1bn for the period.

“The Jubilee field is Tullow’s flagship offshore operated asset contributing around 40% to the Group’s overall production”, Tullow remarks in a recent release.

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