All posts tagged featured

CGG Contracted To Acquire Vast Carpet of 3D Seismic Data off Mozambique

Mozambican authorities have selected CGG, the world’s top geophysical company, to acquire new multi-client three dimensional (3D) seismic data on two blocks and their surrounds.

Following a competitive tender process held by Instituto Nacional de Petroleo (INP), the country’s regulatory authorities, in 2016,the government signed an agreement with CGGto commence acquisition of up to 40,000 km2of 3D data over the Beira High in the Zambezi Delta, (offshore) covering blocks Z5-C and Z5-D and surrounding open acreage.

Deliverables will include fast-track PreSTM, Final PreSTM and PreSDM. The seismic data will be imaged with the latest 3D broadband deghosting and advanced demultiple, velocity modeling and imaging techniques, including Full-Waveform Inversion.

This survey will form part of a comprehensive, fully integrated JumpStart™ geoscience program that will deliver a better overall understanding of the prospectivity of the region. Marine gravity and magnetic data will be acquired simultaneously with the seismic to accelerate regional interpretation.

Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO, CGG, said: “This agreement marks the beginning of a fruitful partnership with the INP to promote the potential of the Zambezi basin and other regions of Mozambique. Our advanced 3D seismic and integrated geoscience program will enable oil companies to confidently de-risk this exciting new exploration area and accelerate development of the country’s resources.”

SHELL Completes another Major Gas Export Project in Nigeria

Facility will supply a trickle to the domestic gas market

Shell, the Anglo Dutch super major, has announced production commencement at Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 Facility in Nigeria’s central Niger Delta.

The project is mainly to maintain supply of natural gas to the export market and deliver some molecules to the domestic market.

Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 follows the success of the first phase of the Gbaran-Ubie integrated oil and gas development, which was commissioned in June 2010.

Peak production at Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 is expected in 2019 with approximately 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, comprising about 864Million standard cubic feet of gas per day and 26,000 barrels of condensate per day, according to the Shell Petroleum Development Company, the largest of all Shell subsidiaries in Nigeria.

Eighteen wells have been drilled and a new pipeline constructed between Kolo Creek and Soku, which connects the existing Gbaran-Ubie Central Processing Facility to the Soku Non-Associated Gas plant, a key facility for supply of gas to the 22MMTPANigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Africa’s largest single gas export project.

Shell said that first gas flowed from the wells in March 2016, with the facilities coming on stream in July 2017. Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 will process the condensate from Kolo Creek, Gbaran, Koroama and Epu fields, “thereby assisting in reducing the volume of flaring from its operations”, Shell claims.

The European oil giant said that during construction, members of the community and local sub-contractors provided goods and services in line with the provisions of a Global Memorandum of Understanding. It added that training was provided to the community in pipeline maintenance, scaffolding, welding and piping fabrication.

Baru Underestimates the Output of Nigerian Independents

By McJohn Akobata, in Warri

Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian state hydrocarbon company NNPC, has claimed that Nigerian Independent E&P companies were producing around 10% of the national output.

He made the claim when he met with their representatives in his office in Abuja a week ago.

But 10%, which means 250,000BOPD at the most, and more realistically, 220,00BOPD, is erroneous. On a good day, Nigerian independents produce over 400,000BOPD gross, which is at least 16% of national output, and this is extremely conservative, Africa Oil+Gas Report can authoritatively report.

Mr.Baru, PhD, had apparently not consulted his company’s own generated statistics.

Of course, on a bad day (when key pipelines are shut down), everyone is affected, and that includes IOCs, which then means less production from Nigerian independents correlates with less production from IOCs.

In the month of July 2017, six Nigerian Independents, in Joint Venture with NNPC itself, pumped some one hundred and sixty nine thousand barrels of crude oil a day (169,000BOPD) gross through the TransForcados system in the Western Niger Delta.
Three other such indigenous companies, also JVs with government, collectively delivered on average 182,000BOPD(gross) through the Nembe Creek Trunkline in the Eastern Niger Delta.

That means that Nine Nigerian companies grossed 351,000BOPD in July 2017. These companies include Aiteo/NNPC Joint Venture, Seplat /NPDC Joint Venture, Eroton/NNPC Joint Venture Shoreline /NPDC Joint Venture, NecondeNPDC JV, Newcross/NNPC Joint Venture as well as NDWestern/NPDC, Elcrest/NPDC and FHN/NPDC Joint Ventures, On top of these, four non JVs, including Conoil, Amni, Midwesternand Oriental, produced over 60,000BOPD collectively. Details are available here.

Australian Junior Gets Approval For Increased Stake in Guinea Bissau

Swedish operator and its partner receive licence extension in this promising corner of the North West African margin

Australian minnow, FAR Limited,has been granted approval by Guinea Bissau authorities to increase its stake from 15 to 21.42% in Sinapa and Esperança oil blocks.

The approval reflects the fact that state-owned Petróleos de Guiné (Petroguin) has given up its shareholding until a discovery with commercial value occurs.

Petroguin will assume a shareholding of 10%if a discovery is made. FAR Limited and Svenska Petroleum Exploration AB, the operator, will then have stakes of 19.28% and 70.71% respectively.

The partnership obtained from the government a more favourable agreement regarding the investment needed for oil prospecting in deepwater, including the reduction of royalties to be paid to the Guinea-Bissau state if production begins, FAR notes in its statement. The partnership’s licences to the blocks have been extended by three years and will now expire on 25 November 2020, with obligation to drill at least one prospecting well and spend a minimum of $3Million on each licence, FAR says.

The Guinea Bissau government places a lot of hope on Svenska, the Swedish explorer, to make a significant discovery in in Sinapa and Esperança. The country, afterall, is located in the North West African margin, which has recently proven vast commercial hydrocarbons in Senegal and Mauritania.

Chevron Has Drilled 22 of 36 Wells In The $1.2Billion Deal

Chevron Nigeria has concluded slightly less than two thirds of the drilling funded by a consortium of Nigerian and international lenders, led by Standard Chartered Bank and UBA.

The $1.2Billion transaction, signed in September 2015, was projected to fund 36 wells with a projected peak incremental production of 41, 000 barrels of crude oil per day and 127Million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMscf/d) “in the years ahead”, according to a statement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the senior partner in the NNPC/Chevron JV, of which Chevron is the operator.

16 of the 22 wells drilled so far are in the swamp, in the Gbokoda field in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 49 and were drilled by the rig OES Respect. The remaining six wells, drilled in shallow water, were drilled by Shelf Drilling’s Trident 8, on the Okan field, in OML 90.

It is not clear how much of the incremental production has been achieved by the activity. “The package is projected to generate between $2 and $5Billion of incremental revenues to the Nigerian government over the life of the project, subject to prevailing oil price in the upcoming years”, the NNPC statement had said.

TOTAL Takes Hold of East African E&P

Confirms our prognosis that the Majors are reclaiming the African E&P Frontier

With its $7.45Billion purchase of Maersk Oil, TOTAL has taken over the majority of the 2 Billion barrels sized undeveloped discoveries in East Africa.
Maersk holds 50% of the undeveloped discoveries in Kenya, which have been estimated at 750Million barrels. This sale comes less than eight months after TOTAL purchased 22% of the assets about to be developed in Uganda, fetching it 55% in the upstream part of the entire Uganda basin development project.

This means that TOTAL will be funding the majority share in expenses on the two pipelines that will export crude from Uganda (Hoima –Tanga) and Kenya (Lockhichar to Lamu).

The deal with Maersk is expected to close in 1Q 2018, subject to the consent of the Kenyan authorties. Maersk Oil’s parent, AP Moller-Maersk will receive $4.95bn in the form of Total shares, representing a 3.75% stake in the French major, and Total will also assume $2.5Billion of Maersk Oil’s debt.

TOTAL’s purchase of Maersk Oil, follows Shell’s 28 month old takeover of BG and confirms Africa Oil+Gas Report’s analysis of the retreat of independents from Africa’s E&P frontier, where the majors are extending their footprints.

Fortuna Gets A Dedicated Offtaker, FDI Imminent

Gunvor Group has been nominated as the preferred LNG Buyer for offtake from the Fortuna FLNG project by the Equatorial Guinea authorities, Ophir Energy the operator and OneLNG, its investment partner.

Ophir Energy says that the commodity buyer is committed to take the full contract capacity of the Gandria FLNG vessel of 2.2 MMTPA which will be purchased on a Brent-linked, Free on Board (“FOB”) basis for a 10 year term.

“All parties have agreed the principal commercial terms subject to finalising a Sale and Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) for the offtake ahead of the Final Investment Decision (“FID”) on the Fortuna FLNG project”, Ophir enthusiastically declares in a release.
The contract structure allows flexibility for up to 1.1MMTPA of the Fortuna capacity to be marketed on an alternate basis. Consequently the agreement gives the Fortuna partners alongside the State of Equatorial Guinea, the potential to sell volumes to higher priced gas markets in Africa and beyond, whilst retaining a share in the profits of such onward marketing.
“With the identification of a preferred LNG Buyer now achieved, the last significant milestone prior to the FID of the Fortuna FLNG project is the completion of the project funding, with FID remaining on track for 2017”, Ophir says.
Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, commented: “The selection of Gunvor sets a landmark moment in the development of the Fortuna Project. The partnership with Gunvor also paves the way for the government’s objective to deliver important projects that monetize our gas, promotes local content and brings world-class petroleum technology to Equatorial Guinea.

The Fortuna Project will target becoming the first choice supplier of LNG for the LNG to Africa initiative , furthering Equatorial Guinea’s leadership position in Africa as an LNG exporter.”

Akufo-Addo Sacks The Last Man Standing

Theophilus Ahwireng, former geophysics manager at GNPC, was the first CEO of Ghana Petroleum Commission

The last political appointee in Ghana’s oil industry from the last dispensation has been fired.

Theo Ahwireng, appointed by former President John Mahama as the founding Chief Executive of the Ghana Petroleum Commission, the E&P regulatory agency, was removed early in the week of August 7, 2017, as President Akufo-Addo announced Egbert Faibille as the successor.

Ahwireng went to the job four years ago as a veteran oil man. He had been manager geophysics at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and was credited as one of those in the GNPC who had proposed the drilling of the prospect that turned out to be Jubilee, Ghana’s first significant sized oil and gas field.

The location had been “on the drawing board”, long before Kosmos and its partners acquired the licence area and drilled the prospect in 2007.

Ahwireng established and fleshed out the local content philosophy in the hydrocarbon market, guided by the Petroleum (Local Content And Local Participation) Regulations, 2013. It was both his signature contribution to the fledgling industry and his major headache. Critics accuse him of using Local Content tools to feather the nest of cronies and disallowing competitive tenders.

But that was not the major reason why he was fired. President Akufo-Addo would not have an opposition party sympathiser at the head of such a crucial agency.

The man who takes over from Ahwireng has a lot to learn, even though some media platforms say he is incorruptible. Egbert Faibille, 47, is a keen supporter of President Akufo-Addo, and he has worked very briefly with the GNPC during which period he was seconded to the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGP) as the Ghana Country Communication Representative of the project.

He was on the job for less than a year and has not worked anywhere near the oil industry since. He is the publisher of the Ghanaian Observer Newspaper. He had previously worked for the Independent Newspaper.

After graduating from law school, he worked in the law firm of Yoni Kulendi, after which he moved on to establish his own law firm Faibille & Faibille.

The Oil Market Has Become Unruly-ENI

Italian major says the world’s top energy commodity is hostage of hedge funders
Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive of ENI, Italy’s largest company, is not optimistic about the direction of the oil market, at least in the short term.

“The oil commodity has entered a difficult crisis. There is less confidence also among institutional investors, who normally have long positions and today they have become shorters”, Descalzi said in an interview published in, the company website. “In this way space has been given to hedge funds and speculators. Probably they do not believe that OPEC is capable of taking radical initiatives. And today several sub-Saharan African countries are in serious difficulties”

ENI’s CEO told the interviewer, Roberto Bongiorni, that the geopolitical situation around the oil commodity “is explosive”. The situation, he said,“involves several OPEC countries, there is the shadow of U.S. shale gas which still today is facing over-production, and markets increasingly at the mercy of speculation are preventing low oil prices from emerging from a three-year crisis”.

The result, for one of Europe’s top oilmen, is dramatic.“ The moment is difficult, and speculation is strong. There are speculators that are making maybe billions of dollars. It is a market without rules, which is destroying the primary industry and in the energy sector it has burned 470,000 jobs in three years.

Millions of people are affected. Africa is exploding: the lack of diversification of the economies and the absence of wealth distribution is contributing to poverty and to migration flows”.

Sonangol Inaugurates A Gas Fired Plant In Soyo

Angola’s state hydrocarbon company Sonangol has commissioned a gas fired thermal plant in Soyo, located in the province of Zaire, at the mouth of the Congo river.
The city is host to the Angola LNG Plant.

The Soyo Combined Cycle Thermal Power Plant is operated by Luxerviza, a Sonangol subsidiary that manages natural gas plants.

The Soyo plant is producing 22 megawatts of energy for the time being, with two turbines in operation, utilising natural gas from mainly the Angola LNG plant.

As more turbines are added in subsequent phases, the plant is expected to be integrated into the National Energy Network (RNE) to supply power to Luanda, the country’s capital city and commercial hub, as well as other regions of the country.

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