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NIGERIA; Afren Claims Substantial Reserves Increase in Ebok

‘Volumes Jump From 25 Million (predrill) To 116 Million Barrels After The Wells

Afren has reported a total gross hydrocarbon column of 107 ft in the appraisal well Ebok- 6 in the prolific south east shallow offshore Niger Delta. The company didn’t exactly report the net pay, but says that “greater than expected hydrocarbon column has led to an upgrade in D2SL volumetrics post Ebok-6”.

The new finds in three appraisal wells have shot up estimated recoverable volumes to ll6Million Barrels according to Afren. The wells were not tested.  The updated value, however,” is based on reservoir modelling work currently underway”, the report contended.

“Completion of Ebok-6 appraisal well represents the successful conclusion of the pre-development Ebok appraisal phase (Ebok-4, Ebok-5 and Ebok-6 wells)”, an Afren release noted.

The latest well has significant input in the claimed upsurge in reserves. The company’s prognosis of estimated recoverable reserves in Ebok 6 was eight (8) million barrels (MMBbls) . By the time the well was completed and the results came in, the recoverable reserves in  Ebok-6 recoverable reserves had increased to 23MMBBO.

The First phase of Ebok field Development underway with five horizontal oil production wells in the D2 reservoir.

GABON: M&P Flows 3,000BOPD In Omoueyi Wildcat

Maurel et Prom flowed 3,000 BOPD on 140/64” choke tests in OMGW-1, a newfield wildcat in Gabon. The well head pressure during the test was 550 psi, With a slightly lower choke size of 32/64”, the well flowed l,500BOPD. OMGW-1, located in the Omoueyi exploration permit, was drilled to a depth of 1,765 meters where it encountered the “Grès de base” play and saturated hydrocarbon reservoirs wire perforated.

Maurel et Prom said that the encountered reservoirs showed excellent permeability and porosity characteristics. The company is conducting an additional seismic survey which will be used to build a development scenario. A request for Exclusive Development Authorization will he submitted to the authorities in H1 2010. Prior to the request the company  will ask for a three-month production test.

EGYPT: Sea Dragon Takes Part of Kom Ombo

Sea Dragon Energy has signed a Farm- out Agreement with Dana Gas Egypt Ltd, to acquire a fifty (50%) percent participating interest in the Kom Ombo (Block-2) Concession, located approximately 1,000 km south of Cairo on the West Bank of the Nile River. The Kom Ombo (Block-2) Concession, covering approximately 11,446 sqkm, is held by Dana Gas, which is the successor company to Centurion Energy International Inc. who was originally awarded the Kom Ombo (Block-2) Concession.

The total consideration paid by Sea Dragon to DGE is $45million subject to working capital adjustments. This consideration is to be paid in full by April 30, 2010.

The acreage contains the Al-Baraka Development Lease, comprising the Al-Baraka oil field, which has a discovered, undeveloped oil accumulation of approximately 100 million barrels of Original Oil in Place as Discovered Resources in two productive zones, according to Sea Dragon’s internal estimates.

Sea Dragon’s acquisition of a participating interest in the Kom Ombo (Block-2) Concession is subject to the consent and approval of the responsible authority. Four wells were drilled in the field of which three wells are currently on production at approximately 850 barrels of oil per day (BOPD).

Approximately $20million shall be cost recoverable by Sea Dragon out of future production revenue. As owner of a 50% participating interest in the Kom Ombo (Block-2) Concession, Sea Dragon will be required to pay its 50% share of future expenditures and is entitled to receive a 50% share of all future production revenues and 50% of all cost recoveries as specified in the Concession Agreement. Under the terms of the Farmout Agreement, Sea Dragon and DGE will jointly operate the Kom Ombo (Block-2) Concession.

Counterfeiting Is Hampering Trade In The Mahgreb

The Agadir Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) has overcome some initial obstacles to increase trade among Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan, but further success hinges on intellectual property rights (IPR), according to the proceedings of a workshop held in Tunis.

“Industrial intellectual property and patents are … central to ensuring trade,” the head of Tunisia’s National Institute for Standardisation and Industrial Property, Aymen Mekki told workshop experts from AFTA member states and the European Union.

AFTA, which Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan signed in Agadir in 2004 with EU support, aims to boost the integration of southern Mediterranean countries into the European policy sphere. The agreement took effect in January 2007, but by 2008, member countries were still mulling arbitration to end long-standing trade disputes. Nevertheless, workshop presenters said AFTA had enabled the signatories to increase trade among themselves by 45%.

Still Intellectual Property Rights remain a pan-Maghreb concern. A 2008 report by Tunisia’s Trade Ministry, for example, notes 54 complaints in a single year by Tunisian industrialists claiming damage due to counterfeiting of goods, mainly food, cleaning supplies and cosmetics. And IPR violations remain a regional plague affecting Algeria and other countries.

“Protection of intellectual property is typically of the utmost importance,” Mekki said at the workshop, which was organised by Tunisia’s Trade Ministry and a body set up to boost AFTA’s implementation, the Agadir Technical Unit (ATU), in collaboration with European and Maghreb experts.

“[AFTA] can’t be developed unless all parties involved are assured that their respective rights are protected, especially given that the agreement includes the Agadir member states on the one hand and the EU states on the other,” added Mekki.

CONGO: Murphy To Appraise The Turquoise

Murphy Oil plans to drill two appraisal wells on the Turquoise discovery in 2010. It will form the base for decision about field development. The Turquoise Marine-1 prospect located in the Mer Profonde Sud (MPS) block, offshore Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), encountered in excess of 4lmetres (136 feet) of net oil pay in a total measured depth of 3675m(12,060 feet). The water depth is 1,6llmetres (5285ft) of water. The Turquoise Marine-1 discovery is approximately 27 kilometres from the Murphy operated Azurite Field. For appraisal and development of Turquoise, Murphy will seek to optimize the existing Azurite field infrastructure. Murphy serves as operator and has a 50% working interest in the MPS block. Partners are PA Resources (35%) and Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (15%).

TOTAL Expands Portfolio In Algeria

ALGERIA: TOTAL and partner Partex have been awarded a 49% interest in the Ahnet license, as part of the second bid round held by the Algerian National Oil and Gas Development Agency (ALNAFT).

Located near In Salah in southwestern Algeria, the Ahnet exploration and development acreage covers an area of 17,358 square kilometers in which twelve natural gas formations have already been discovered.

TOTAL holds a 47% interest and will appraise and develop the Ahnet finds with partners Partex (2%) and Sonatrach (51%).

A development plan will be submitted for approval before mid 2011, with first gas scheduled for 2015. The Ahnet license contains significant reserves (approximately 500 billion cubic meters of gas) which should produce at least 4 billion cubic meters a year, as per the contract with Sonatrach.

This latest project is a developmental milestone in the new southwestern Algeria gas province, which is also home to the Timimoun project operated by the consortium Sonatrach, TOTAL and Cepsa.

It further cements TOTAL’s commitment to investing in Algeria in both the natural gas upstream and petrochemicals.

TOTAL’s production in Algeria comes from direct interests in the Tin Fouyé Tabenkort gas field, and from the Group’s 48.83% stake in CEPSA, which is partnered with Sonatrach on the Ourhoud and Rhourde El Krouf  fields.

Algeria Exports FaIl 45%

ECONOMY: Algerian exports totalled $39.5 billion during the first eleven months of 2009, marking a 45.4% decline over the same period in 2008, the National Centre for Informatics and Statistics (CNIS) reported on December 21, 2009. Algeria’s trade balance surplus shrank from $36.35 billion in 2008 to $4.2 billion in 2009. Imports, however, showed a decline of just 2.2% compared to 2008.

…Apache’s Latest Is A Gusher

Apache’s WKAL-A-2X discovery tested 5,085 barrels of oil and 130 thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of gas per day – the fourth successful exploration test in West Kalabsha Concession and the company’s sixth discovery in the Faghur Basin play in Egypt’s far Western Desert.

WKAL-A-2X is located about 2.4km north of the Apache WKAL-A-1X discovery and 8km west of Apache’s Phiops Field. WKAL-A-1X was designed to test Cretaceous age Alam El Buieb (AEB) formations in a new fault block in a structurally higher position than the WKAL-A-1X well. The WKAL-A-2X well logged a total of 198 feet of pay in four AEB intervals including the 3G interval which was highly productive in a test of the WKAL-A-1X well. The latest well was perforated over the top 10 feet of a 29-foot section of the AEB-3C10 sand.

“With this latest discovery and other recent wells, we anticipate production from the Phiops-West Kalabsha area will double to 20,000 barrels per day as additional infrastructure is brought on line in the third quarter,” said Rod Eichler, Apache’s co-chief operating officer and president International. “We estimate the discovered resource potential in the Phiops and Kalabsha areas exceeds 50 million barrels of oil equivalent.

“Several additional prospects have been identified, and we are acquiring more three- dimensional seismic in the Faghur Basin in order to extend this string of successes both to the northeast and southwest of this most recent discovery,” he said. “The thickness of the sands and the stacked pay zones make this a very attractive area for further exploration.”

Apache plans to drill seven additional exploration wells in the Faghur Basin play during 2010. Apache has applied for a development lease with the Egyptian General Petroleum Company for both discoveries. Apache operates the West Kalabsha Concession and has a 100-percent contractor interest.

Investors Watch As Zambia Decides On Refinery Sale

South Africa’s synfuels giant Sasol and India’s Essar Group are two of several companies known to be waiting in the wings, as the Zambian government takes a decision on selling stakes in the Indeni Refinery sometime in March 2010.

The government would also, on that date, decide whether to divest the refinery along with the 1,300km Tazama pipeline that brings crude from Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania.

Indeni Refinery has a capacity to refine around 1 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of crude, but the current configuration allows separation of only diesel and LPG. The firm that gets the refinery will have to invest money, no less than $l50Million for refurbishing and augmenting refining capacity as its current configuration.

Sasol, which already converts imported gas from Mozambique to petrochemical products in South Africa, will use the refinery to further its petro-product footprint on the continent. Meanwhile, Essar, which has acquired the Mombasa refinery in nearby Kenya,  plans to use the refinery, one of the few inland refineries in Africa, to supply petroleum products to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia and even East Angola.

Currently, the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) produced at the refinery goes to Kenya by road. Essar plans to take petroleum products instead of LPG to Mpulungu harbour in north Zambia, which is located on lake Tanganyika, and then supply it to countries such as Libya, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and some East African countries by ship as the lake connects all these countries.

LIBYA: Geotrace Completes Huge Onboard Data Processing

Geotrace has completed one of the world’s largest onboard data processing projects for BP, as operator in its EPSA 4 NOC/LIC/BP exploration contract in BP’s Sirte Basin concession off the coast of Libya.

BP’s first 3D marine survey in Libya’s Gulf of Sirte was one of the world’s largest, covering 17,500 square kilometers. The contract split the area into four tracts of approximately equal area and stipulated onboard processing, including 2D SRM1 and full pre-stack time migration with velocity model picking, within six weeks of last shot for each tract. The aim was to produce a high-quality image for prospect identification and to enable the complete well planning process to begin in 2009 leading to early exploration drilling.

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