All posts tagged featured


Egbolom Is the Biggest Field On Offer In the Impending Marginal Field Round

Shell operated Egbolom field, in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 23, is the asset to have in Nigeria’s impending Marginal Field round.

Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, has proposed an asset sale this year and the country’s regulatory agency, the Department of Petroleum Resources, is working frantically to deliver on the call.

Of all the 40+ fields likely to be on offer, Egbolom, an onshore (Swamp) asset, located in the Central Niger Delta, has the highest estimated Ultimate Recoverable (2P) Reserves of 85Million barrels, a volume that is over 30% higher than the second largest field, which is located in the prolific south east shallow water Niger Delta.

The smallest field in the play is Chevron operated Obira field, located in OML 89.

Egbolom was discovered in 1982, and has lain fallow ever since. The Central Niger Delta swamp is the site of one of the most militant, oil theft and crude oil flow disruption activity in the entire Niger Delta basin.
Full marginal field reserves map can be accessed here.


Cairn’s SNE North-1 Is Unimpressive, But Better than the Last Probe

By Fred Akanni, Editor

Results of the SNE North-1, Cairn Energy’s most recent probe offshore Senegal, are better than what came out of the FAN South-1 exploration well drilled just slightly earlier.

But the preliminary analysis of the hydrocarbon footage suggests that the reservoirs are not as developed as the equivalent encountered in offset wells SNE 1 and 2.

What is encountered in the primary objective is not oil, but condensate, of 11 metre net thickness. Only four metres of oil was identified in the secondary objective, which had not been probed anywhere else in the sequence and as such could be an upside. “The well encountered oil in the deeper secondary objective, in a separate accumulation to the SNE field”, Cairn says in their release.

The entire gross hydrocarbon interval is however 24 metres thick, which is quite thin compared with 97 metre (average) gross hydrocarbon interval encountered in the same sequence in SNE 1 and 2.

If these are the same reservoirs, as in SNE 1 and SNE 2, then SNE North 1 is not adding any much volume to what’s already documented. If they are not the same reservoirs, however, the fact that they are thinner reservoirs does not preclude them for being better gushers than thicker reservoirs encountered in the offset wells.

SNE North-1 is being plugged and abandoned and the Stena DrillMAX rig will be released.

Cairn is trying to sound optimistic about this result, the second consecutive not-so-great result in the Senegal campaign. “Further work is being undertaken to establish the potential commerciality of this discovery and to integrate the results with the block wide data gathered to date”, the company says. “The well result has positive implications for further hydrocarbon potential to the north of the structural trend containing the SNE field and SNE North-1 discovery well, as well as for broader exploration potential in the permit.

SNE North-1 is located in ~900 metres (m) water depth, ~ 90 kilometres offshore in the Sangomar Deep Offshore block and ~15km north of the SNE-1 discovery. The well reached a Total Depth (TD) of 2,837m. Operations have again been safely and successfully completed ahead of schedule and under budget, following drilling and logging.

“A full set of oil, water and gas samples was recovered to the surface. After completing conventional logging, a series of Modular Formation Dynamic Testing (MDT) mini-fracs were obtained across the reservoir section to help calibrate the geo- mechanical model of the SNE field and aid development well design.

“This marks the end of the five well 2017 drilling campaign”, Cairn says. The operator and its partners are reviewing the potential for further exploration drilling operations in 2018, within the Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep Production Sharing Contract area.


NNPC Invites Tenders For Conversion of Product Loading Facilities To Digital

The Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC) Limited, a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) intends to carry out the Conversion of Loading Facilities from Analogue to Digital at its Port Harcourt, Enugu, Aba, Kano and Jos Depots.

In this regard, NPSC hereby invites suitably qualified, experienced and reputable
prospective Contractors to submit pre-qualification documentation.
Access the Tender Here


No Transit Tax to Tanzania on the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline

Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, expressed gratitude to “the Tanzanian government and people” for the generous concessions the latter have granted his country on the 1,445 Hoima (Uganda) to Tanga (Tanzania) crude oil pipeline.

“There will be no pay transit tax, no Value Added Tax, no corporate income tax, they gave us 20 years depreciation tax holiday, granted us a free corridor where the pipeline passes and promised to buy shares in the pipeline”, President Museveni said on Saturday, August 5, 2017.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the construction of the pipeline, named the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. With him at the stone laying, in Tanga, was Tanzanian President Joseph Pombe Magufuli, and ranking ministers from both countries, as well as a crowd of cheering Tanzanians.
Because of those concessions, Museveni explained, “the cost of delivering a barrel of oil from Hoima to the Tanga on the edge of the Indian ocean will be $12.2, making Uganda’s crude profitable even at today’s cost of about $50 per barrel.

Cost has been the core issue in the choice of route for the evacuation of crude from landlocked Uganda to the nearest coastal town from which to export the hydrocarbon.

French major TOTAL pushed the Ugandan government into jettisoning the Hoima (Uganda) to Mombassa or Lamu (Kenya) route for the Hoima (Uganda) to Tanga (Tanzania) route by stating repeatedly that the Tanzanian route was “the least cost” route.

The idea that Ugandan crude would pass through Kenya had seemed settled for several years, and been accepted by the (then) main player Tullow Oil, until TOTAL showed up in the scheme.

One of TOTAL’s key argument was that the Kenyan route was mountainous and as such expensive, compared with the rather flat land route from Hoima to Tanga. There were also security concerns.

But the generous concessions by Tanzania, announced last Saturday had also helped.

Museveni asked other East African countries (Rwanda, Congo DRC, South Sudan) to look at the East African Crude Oil Pipeline as an East African community asset and argued that new discoveries in the region would find ready evacuation to the sea through the pipeline.

The heated crude oil pipe line, reportedly the longest of its kind in the world, will cost $3.5Billion and is expected to be completed by 2020. The pipeline works will be undertaken by Total E&P, CNOOC and Tullow Oil together with the two governments of Uganda and Tanzania. At peak, the line will pump 216,000 barrels of crude oil for export daily.


Three important oil trade chokepoints are located around the Arabian Peninsula

By the US Energy Information Administration

Nearly 59Million barrels per day (b/d) of global petroleum and other liquids production moved on maritime routes in 2015, or almost 61% of the world total. Many of these products transited the Suez Canal and SUMED Pipeline, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and the Strait of Hormuz chokepoints around the Arabian Peninsula.

Chokepoints are narrow channels along widely used global sea routes, and they are critical to global energy security. The inability of oil to transit a major chokepoint, even temporarily, can lead to substantial supply delays and higher shipping costs, resulting in higher world energy prices. Although most chokepoints can be circumvented through the use of other routes that add significantly to transit time, there are no practical alternatives in some cases.

The Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most important chokepoint, with an oil flow of 18.5 million b/d in 2016. The Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, and in 2015 its daily flow of oil accounted for 30% of all seaborne-traded crude oil and other liquids. More than 30% of global liquefied natural gas trade also transited the Strait of Hormuz in 2016. At its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz is 21 miles wide, but the width of the shipping lane in either direction is only two miles wide, separated by a two-mile buffer zone.
There are limited options to bypass the Strait of Hormuz.

Only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pipelines that can ship crude oil outside of the Persian Gulf and have additional pipeline capacity to circumvent the Strait of Hormuz. At the end of 2016, the total available crude oil pipeline capacity from the two countries combined was estimated at 6.6 million b/d, while the two countries combined had roughly 3.9 million b/d of unused bypass capacity.

The Suez Canal and the SUMED Pipeline are strategic routes for Persian Gulf oil and natural gas shipments to Europe and North America. Located in Egypt, the Suez Canal connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. In 2016, 3.9 million b/d of crude oil and refined products transited the Suez Canal in both directions, according to data published by the Suez Canal Authority. Northbound flows rose by about 300,000 b/d in 2016, largely because of increased crude oil exports from Iraq and Saudi Arabia to Europe. Southbound shipments decreased for the first time since at least 2009, largely because of lower exports of petroleum products from Russia to Asia.

The 200-mile long SUMED Pipeline transports crude oil through Egypt from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Crude oil flows through two parallel 42-inch pipelines that have a total capacity of 2.34 million b/d. The SUMED Pipeline is the only alternate route to transport crude oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea if ships cannot navigate through the Suez Canal.

Closure of the Suez Canal and the SUMED Pipeline would require oil tankers to divert around the Cape of Good Hope near the southern tip of Africa, which would add approximately 2,700 miles to the transit from Saudi Arabia to the United States. In 2016, 1.6 million b/d of crude oil was transported through the SUMED Pipeline to the Mediterranean Sea and then loaded onto tankers for seaborne trade.

The Bab el-Mandeb Strait is a chokepoint between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East and is a strategic link between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. Located between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea, it connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Most exports from the Persian Gulf that transit the Suez Canal and the SUMED Pipeline also pass through Bab el-Mandeb.

An estimated 4.8 million b/d of crude oil and refined petroleum products flowed through this waterway in 2016 toward Europe, the United States, and Asia, an increase from 3.3 million b/d in 2011. The Bab el-Mandeb Strait is 18 miles wide at its narrowest point, limiting tanker traffic to two 2-mile-wide channels for inbound and outbound shipments. Closure of the Bab el-Mandeb could keep tankers originating in the Persian Gulf from reaching the Suez Canal or the SUMED Pipeline.

Entire article and illustration by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Principal contributors:
Lejla Villar, Mason Hamilton


French Consortium Tasked to Revamp Cameroon’s Sole Refinery

By McJohn Ntonto, in Douala

A consortium of French contractors have won the contract to modernise and extend the effluent treatment plant at the refinery of the National Refining Company (SO.NA.RA) in Limbé, Cameroon.

SUEZ,SOGEASATOM and INGENICA, wona$25.84Million of which SUEZ has a share of about $7Million. It is SUEZ’ first venture in treating effluents from the refining industry in sub-Saharan Africa.

For SOGEASATOM, which is handling general revamp of the refinery, West Africa is a familiar business place.

SUEZ has made a lot of noise about its $7Million effluent treatment contract, which is a significant part of the revamp. “It will make significant improvements to the quality of the treated effluents before they are discharged into the natural environment, thus helping to limit the SO.NA.RA refinery’s environmental impact”, the Paris based company says in a widley distributed press release. “Ensuring these effluents are treated optimally is a key issue for Limbé, one of Cameroon’s beach resorts, in order to protect the coastline and enhance the region’s attractiveness”.

SO.NA.RA’s site – the only refinery in Cameroon – is 82% owned by the government, and produces almost 2Million tonnes of refined hydrocarbons per year. “SUEZ will equip the plant with POSEIDON™ technology, a solution which has an excellent reputation for pre-treating effluent using flotation in the refinery”, the company claims.


Africa: The Liberal Electricity Market Is In Tatters

By Toyin Akinosho

..or perhaps it is struggling hard to take off

When Egypt signed a contract with Siemens, the German engineering firm, for delivery of 14,400MW capacity gas fired power plants in the space of four years, a putter of applause went up around the world.

One West African commentator noted that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had tackled his country’s energy crisis with military fervour.
Siemens itself commended the head of state for choosing not to prolong Egyptians’ suffering by “starting a negotiation and tendering process that could have lasted for two or three years with nothing being developed.”

Within 12 months of the agreement, the first two of the 24 large gas turbines had been mounted on their bases in BeniSuef, a small town located some 115km south of Cairo. The rest of the project was rapidly on course for commissioning by 2019. This single but sizeable order will immediately increase Egypt’s power supply capacity by 50%, to 42,000MW.

4,000KM SOUTHWARDS IN GHANA, incidents of Dumsor (long period of darkness interspersed with short periods of light) ended and power cuts became less frequent when a 210MW diesel fired power barge arrived the country’s waters in November 2015. It was the first of two power ships ordered from Turkey. Ghanaians have been paying for slightly more stable electricity.

There are parallels between Egypt and Ghana’s ways of tackling the power outage challenge.
Read more


M&P’s Production Drops in Gabon

By Njoroge Karoo

French junior Maurel & Prom says that its First Half (1H) 2017 oil production in Gabon stood at 24,705BOPDgross, operated, or 19,764BOPD(net) for M&P’s80% share.

This level was below the fields’ production capacity, which had been impacted by a strike that disrupted operations in Q1 2017. “The consequences of the strike continued into Q2 2017”, the company says.

All the fields concerned are in the Ezanga permit.

M&P is listed on Euronext and headquartered in Paris, but has more operations in Africa than anywhere else in the world. It has oil production assets in Nigeria as well as both exploration permits and production rights in Gabon.In Tanzania, the company has gas producing assets. In Nigeria it holds, for instance, roughly 22% of the shares of Seplat, a dual Nigeria and London listed junior.


Kenya: Three Wells Most Likely for the rest of 2017

By Sa’ad Bashir, East African Correspondent, in Dar es Salaam

It’s not clear if other companies, apart from Tullow and partners, will drill any more wells in Kenya in 2017. But Tullow and its JV partners have confirmed that three wells are planned. Drilling is underway in one of them, to test an undrilled fault block adjacent to the Ekales field.

The Ngamia-11 appraisal well will be drilled and completed for use in an extended water flood pilot test in conjunction with the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) and the Etete exploration well is planned to test a prospect adjacent to the Greater Etom structure.

Tullow says that further locations are currently under evaluation to be added to the programme.

Water injection testing on the Amosing and Ngamia fields has been successfully demonstrated and underpins the feasibility of water injection for the development of these fields.

Africa Oil Corp. has a 25% working interest in Blocks 10BB and 13T with Tullow Oil plc (50% and Operator) and Maersk Olieog Gas A/S (25%) holding the remaining interests.


Platform Petroleum Opens Geoscience Building At UNN

By Foluso Ogunsan

Platform Petroleum Limited, the E&P arm of the Platform Petroleum Holdings Limited, invited the industry and academia to its commissioning of a Geoscience Building in the east of Nigeria.

Nestled in the lush rolling savannah hills of the University town of Nsukka, eighty kilometres north of Enugu, the one-storey white and brown structure of the Department of Geology named Austin Avuru Building houses two forty-eight seater lecture rooms dedicated to 500 Level and Postgraduate students, fourteen offices all ensuite, seven laboratories and a museum.

All rooms are installed with 1 and 2-horsepower cooling units Six entry and exits points facilitate easy movement in and out of the 5-block/wing structure. The facility sits on 6000 square metres with the built-up area accounting for 930 square metres. Ground to topmost ceiling height of 13.9metres and a wrap-around car port space with accommodation for 50 vehicles well parked. Water supply is provided by three 5,000 litre tanks situated behind the building.

Platform Petroleum Limited organised a bidding round to award the construction project. Safrador Nigeria Limited came out tops, and was awarded the contract on the 26th of October 2015.
Construction began the very next month of November starting with clearing and levelling the site. Groundbreaking occasion for the building construction itself held December 1st 2015 the board of Platform Petroleum Limited present for it.

The project divided into two phases Building Construction, Landscaping, Perimeter Fencing, Creation of a 100-metre Access Road and adjoining drainages 0.8metres deep by 0.6 metres wide being the first phase, while the furnishing of the building the second phase.

Total work scope took 16 months, logging 28,800 man-hours. The building construction which basically happened on site with blocks and paving stone created in-situ ran within specified time of a year ready for handover by December 2016 with the original presentation and handing over ceremony slated for December 26 2016.

Handover date was postponed because The University authorities wanted a little more. The building has its entire electrical and waste disposal facilities embedded in the ground for both aesthetic and practical reasons. According to the builder, trunk lines used to connect light from source buried underground though more expensive are the better option, same for the sewage disposal as they’re neater, safer and stronger. Specified ducts spread around the building make provision for repairs when needed.

A power-plant is located in the old Geological Building right across, powers the Austin Avuru Building in addition to the institution’s supply system. The building has an open space plan in accordance to oil and gas operating standards whereby an area made unsafe can be evacuated within the shortest possible time. It also serves for free-flow of traffic between the old Geological PTDF Endowment Building and the new Austin Avuru Building.

As such no reason for gates. White Texcote swathes the entire building, considering the regularity of rainfall and soil type present within the area, will such colour be the wise decision? “The use of Texcote is also to avoid unnecessary staining of the wall via human contact. Its prickly nature dissuades regular contact with human skin, ”he builder explains
HOW IT ALL BEGAN-
UNN’s department of geology had been “chased out” of their former basement abode in the Faculty of Biology and were managing the space at a smaller Geology Building built with an endowment fund by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund PTDF. That place wasn’t big enough to house lecturers, according to Dimchidozie .I. Princeton, a petroleum geologist and lecturer in the Department. It was created primarily for laboratories.

At an E&P summit K. Mosto Onuoha, Chair of the Shale Gas programme at the University, fellow of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) and the longest serving member of the faculty, met with Austin Avuru, founding Chief Executive of Platform Petroleum and intimated him of the plight facing the department.

Avuru took action immediately. Communication began on May 12th 2015 when Project manager Nojeem Onifade brought an official letter stating Platform Petroleum Limited’s intention to present an endowment to the institution. Fast-forward two years later and a building is in place to house the lecturers of the department, provide laboratories, museum and dual lecture rooms.

THE MAKING OF THE ENTREPRENUER AUSTIN AVURU-
Moshe Ameachi, Acting Group Managing Director of Platform Petroleum Holdings, himself an Alumnus of University of Nigeria Nsukka, recounted a paper co-authored by himself and Austin Avuru which the latter presented at the 1988 NAPE Conference and Exhibition, stating the viability of the Marginal Fields Allocation. He at the time was a senior officer to Mr Austin Avuru at NNPC, the Nigerian state hydrocarbon company and he thought a Return On Investment (ROI) of 10% was good enough for the Nigerian entrepreneur to take advantage of.

They held on to the idea and when an opportunity presented itself, with the marginal field bid rounds of 20002/2003, they swung into action. Avuru became the Managing Director of Platform Petroleum, one of the over 80 companies that contested for the 24 marginal fields on offer. Platform had a redoubtable board: Edmund Dakouru, a respected geoscientist and former GM Exploration at Shell Nigeria, former GMD NNPC was its chairman. There was Sylvester Adegoke, one of the country’s top professors of geology, as was Moshe Amaechi himself, on the board.
Platform Petroleum led every other company in the bidding round and was awarded five fields, which got whittled down to three, then to one and half. It was called the Asuokpu-Umutu field. A total of 31 Nigerian companies (some of them in pairs), were awarded 24 fields in all.

Platform Petroleum went ahead to become the first of the 24 marginal field operators to bring its field on stream. They had partnered with Lekan Fadeyi’s Newcross Petroleum, which provided funding and thus began a sixteen year harmonious joint venture still exists at present. Austin Avuru led Platform until 2010 when seeking more challenges he took Platform into a partnership with Shebah Petroleum to birth SEPLAT PLC, which bought the 45% equity belonging to Shell, TOTAL and ENI, in Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 4, 38 and 41.

If the Nigerian indigenous E&P landscape is a Universe, Austin Avuru is one of its shining suns. In less than three years since Seplat commenced operatorship of those three assets, with Avuru as its CEO, the company had tripled production and taken the company public listing on two stock exchanges- The London Stock Exchange and Nigerian Stock Exchange. He’s also championing the indigenous gas agenda and got an offtaker for SEPLAT’S produced crude, a step away from the agreements marginal field operators have with IOC’s to offtake their crude, often times a fractious contention.

Benjamin. C. Ozumba, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Vice-Chancellor of University of Nigeria Nsukka, declared that Austin Avuru was a rare breed who asks what he can do for the institution and fulfils his pledge.
OSA OWEIADOLOR, MANAGING DIRECTOR PLATFORM PETROLEUM Limited, describes the organisation he leads as “a local content vehicle dedicated to value-creation”. He stated the entire project creation has been a huge sense of fulfilment, responsibility and value creation which we believe earns us the right for more responsibilities.

For the man at the centre of it all Austin Avuru, here’re his words- “My father used to say, whatever God gives you, you should share it! There’s always something to share from whatever God gives. We do not talk about what we spent, we show you what we do! I expect the Department and University to maintain this facility, it’s already been built for them, maintaining it is a responsibility they should shoulder. Let’s do other things for other institutions across the country.

The student who would be utilising this facility should be the best and work hard at what they do. If this doesn’t encourage them, I don’t know what else will! Succinct words from a well tested proven hand”.

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