All posts by

SOMALIA: Africa Oil Completes Somalian Shoot

Africa Oil has successfully completed a 2D seismic survey in the Dharoor Valley of Puntland Somalia. A total of 782 km of vibroseis data, comprising a grid of 15 lines, were recorded by IMC Geophysical of the UK.

The Company will now process the new survey and combine the 555 km of earlier data into its seismic database. Mapping of this combined survey should commence in early 2009 and drilling locations will be selected before the end of Q1, 2009. This will permit mobilization of a drilling rig to fulfill the company’s drilling obligations under the Production Sharing Agreements before the end of 2009.

Uganda: Buffalo Is The Biggest In Butiaba

Heritage Oil ‘s rank wildcat Buffalo-1, a new discovery in the Butiaba region of Block 1 in Uganda, is potentially the largest in the Butiaba Area to date. The well encountered 15 metres of net gas pay and over 28 metres of net oil pay within a 123 metre gross interval. The well was in an early stage of evaluation as of December 2008.

Buffalo-1 was drilled some 500 metres from the crest of the structure to a total depth of 637 metres. Downhole pressure testing and sampling confirmed the presence of dry gas and moveable oil that has been recovered to surface. The company says that reservoir quality in all pay zones is excellent, with the gas and oil columns encountered being 48 metres and 75 metres respectively with the potential to be even larger.

Executives at Tullow Oil, which is partner to Heritage Oil on the lease, enthuse that “Buffalo-1 is the fifth successful test of the Victoria Nile delta play fairway within the Lake Albert Rift Basin”. It was drilled 16 km north-east of the Warthog-1 and Kasamene-1 discoveries. This latest result extends the play further north and de-risks several adjacent prospects, located in Blocks 1 and 2, which are scheduled for drilling in 2009.

The well has now been suspended as a future producer and the rig moved five km south to the location of the Giraffe prospect where drilling commenced in late December 2008. This well will also appraise some of the upside potential of the Buffalo discovery.

Tullow has interests in three licences in the Lake Albert Rift Basin in Uganda. Tullow operates Block 2 with a 100% interest and has a 50% interest in Blocks 1 and 3A which are operated by Heritage Oil (50%).

What Are They Doing Now?

Osten  Olorunsola was the reserves and technology manager for Shell Regional directorate, E P Africa until May 2008. He was high enough in the management of the Anglo Dutch major, to represent the Managing Director of the major subsidiary Nigeria at key functions. Now, he is the strategic Business Adviser to the country’s Minister of State for Petroleum.

In what’s seen as quite a routine with Shell and the Nigerian government, he was seconded to the ministry. It doesn’t happen like this with other majors. In their book, The Next Gulf; London, Washington and Oil Conflict in Nigeria, the authors Andrew Rowell, James Marriott and Lorne Stockman, argue that Shell management is inextricably tied to the Nigerian government that its difficult sometimes to determine which is which. It is the sort of appointments like Olorunsola’s that they refer to. But is this not a flawed conspiracy theory?

NIGERIA: Boi Area Poses Pressure Challenges For BG

BG, the British gas company, lost the original Ogide-1 hole after it took a kick at an undisclosed depth. The rig moved 80 metres updip but continued to chase the same targets. Ogide -1 is located in the vicinity of Boi-1, drilled by Statoil (in 1996), in what is now known as OPL 286-DO, in deepwater Niger Delta. Statoil’s reports indicate that it encountered some gas in the hole but couldn’t reach the target depth because of pressure problems. The campaign ran out of casing strings, and stopped at a total depth of about 2,300metres subsea. The conventional thinking is that a mud diapir is transmitting much of the pressure throughout the system. Statoil walked out of OPL 213 in 2000, handing over the operatorship to Chevron, who carved out Oil Mining Lease (OML 132) and relinquished that part of the lease in 2005. It’s not clear whether BG will still attempt to drill what it calls Boi-1 deep, after Ogide, or whether it has already combined the objectives of Ogide-1 with the objectives of Boi deep. The Boi deep was to test the levels that Statoil couldn’t reach in 1996. BG’s geoscientists are deeply divided over the choice of the Boi area for their first outing in deepwater Nigeria. The company is also technical partner in OPL 284, located north of Agip’s OML 134.

TOTAL Makes Significant Discovery at Etisong

French supermajor TOTAL has flowed 6,000 barrels per day 40° API oil, in turbiditic reservoirs, in the wildcat Etisong 1, located in the southeastern corner of Oil Mining License (OML) 102, offshore southeastern Nigeria.

“The well constitutes the first step of an exploration and appraisal programme from 2009 to 2010 designed to demonstrate the feasibility of a new development pole on OML102”, according to a company release. That new development pole will combine the Etisong main discovery and the surrounding structures.

OML 102 is run by the joint venture between Nigeria’s state hydrocarbon company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which holds 60% and TOTAL, which operates the JV with 40%. “The Etisong main discovery when confirmed by further appraisal results should contribute toward helping to meet the Government’s objective of renewing national reserves”. Etisongi\ is located in a water depth of 70 metres, in the area within about 15 kilometers from the Ofon Field.

The Etisong-1 well was drilled by the Trident VIII jackup to a total depth of 2,207 metres.

Brazillian Discoveries Dominate Cape Town Meet

 By Tako Koning, Luanda, Angola

Some of the best attended presentations at the most recent international convention of geoscientists were those on the recent pre-salt oil and gas discoveries in Brazil.

With newly discovered fields such as the Tupis field having estimated reserves of eight billion barrels oil, many explorationists could not help but speculate on the importance of this play on the presalt basins which are on the conjugate margins along the coast of West Africa from Gabon down to Namibia.

This pre-salt play may be especially relevant to Angola where the pre-salt sag basin is both extensive and has barely been penetrated by the drill bit.

Approximately 1,700 registrants from all over the globe were present at the 2008 International Convention and Exhibition of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), held October 26-29 2008, in the beautiful South African city of Cape Town.

For anyone focused on Africa oil and gas exploration and production, Cape Town was the place to be.

The theme of this conference was “African Energy: Global Impact”. An extensive programme of oral and poster paper presentations were held based on the following themes:

Deepwater Reservoir Systems – A Global Perspective, “Global Advances in Geosciences Next Generation Tools and Techniques, The New Business of Energy; Global Coal, CBM, Gas Hydrates, C02, Remediation Gondwana and Pangean Petroleum Systems: Africa, Middle East, South Atlantic, Caspian, Mediterranean, Arctic and Asia-Pacific. A wide variety of pre-conference and post- conference geological field trips were held in the general Cape Town area as well as further away to the Karoo Basin of South Africa and the Zerrissene Turbidite System in southern Namibia. One of the outstanding opportunities at this particular conference was for geoscientists to be able to view approximately 450 meters of turbidite drill cores from South Africa and Angola. PetroSA provided representative cores of all sedimentary facies from the Bredasdorp Basin, offshore South Africa. TOTAL and Chevron were able to obtain Angola government approval as well as their partners’ approvals to show many meters of turbidite channels cores from deepwater Blocks 17 and 14.

The 2009 AAPG International Convention and Exhibition will be held in November in Rio de Janeiro. All indications are that an equally interesting and extensive array of presentations and field trips will be available to the attendees in Rio, 2009.

Koning, a former Exploration Director at Texaco and later Chevron, is a member of the editorial advisory board of Africa Oil+Gas Report.

Chevron Appoints First Nigerian Deputy M.D

Ezekiel “Supo” Shadiya has been appointed to the position of Director NNPC/CNL Joint Venture in Chevron Nigeria Mid-Africa Strategic Business Unit.

The position is Chevron’s Number 2 job in Nigeria and it’s the first time a Nigerian

is stepping into it. Shadiya succeeds, and reports to Andrew Fawthrop, whose appointment as Managing Director was recently announced.

The Chevron Nigeria portfolio is the second largest in Africa after Angola, where Chevron’s production has exceeded the output of the Nigerian unit for upwards of three years.

Chevron’s decision to put an African in a deputy MD position follows examples by Shell, ExxonMobil and TOTAL.

But Shadiya’s position is powerful, as it oversees the entire JV portfolio.  In terms of capacity, it is in excess of 350,000BOPD gross.

Shadiya received his Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Nsukka in 1979, his Master’s degree in Geophysics from the University of London in 1981 and his Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California in 1996. He joined Chevron in 1983, as an Exploration Geophysicist and has held numerous technical and management positions of increasing responsibility.

Ali  Moshiri, the corporation’s President  in charge of Africa, said that the decision was based on “the broad leadership and technical skills, business acumen, and Chevron Way behaviors of this highly  respected individual”. The decision was taken by the corporation’s Global Upstream & PDC and the Human Resources Committee (HRC).

Before The Deepwater Harvest, Ghana’s Production History

Out of the seven (7) discoveries made in Ghana it is the Saltpond field that has undergone production between 1978 and 1985. A total of about 3.47 MMbo was produced and 14 Bcf of gas was flared during the period. A Production Platform “Mr. Louie” which was used for the production is still in place.

In an effort to revive the field, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation GNPC entered into an agreement with Lushann Eternit in the year 2000. This agreement resulted in the formation of a joint venture company – Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Ltd (SOPCL) – which is currently operating the field.

In the North and the South Tano fields, a number of appraisal wells have been drilled and GNPC has carried out an extended production test in the South Tano field, before the discovery of the large Jubilee field in the deepwater Tano Bain. GNPC is talking to a number of oil companies to utilize the gas from these fields for power generation. A 125MW power barge is already available in Ghana for such a venture.

The 3-AX block is envisaged to be an additional source of gas for the Tano power generation project.

Angola Takes Over OPEC

Angola will lead the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries OPEC from the front in January 2009, as the southwest African country is elected president of the cartel for the next one year.

Angola joined the influential group, which produces close to 40% of the world’s total output of crude oil, two years ago. It is the second consecutive African country to be president of the organisation and the third, in the last four years. Algeria presided over the cartel throughout 2008. Nigeria was the president in 2006.

The day to day implementation of the group’s policy is overseen by the Secretary General, who is essentially a technocrat. This time, he is also an African. Abdalla Sam El Badri is a 68 year old Libyan accountant who started his career spending 12 years with with ExxonMobil between 1965 and 1977.

In effect, Africa has run OPEC for the period of the highest crude oil prices in history.

The presidency of OPEC is not exactly an executive job and decision making is essentially consultative.

Still, the Angolans sound like they are making it personal. “The price of oil has reached levels that OPEC members want to see improve during our presidency,” Botelho de Vasconcelos said in comments broadcast on Radio Nacional de Angola in late December 2008.”We will try to maintain that stance,” he said,

OPEC oil ministers agreed their deepest output cut ever in mid- December 2008 cutting 2,2-million barrels per day from markets in a race to balance supply with rapidly dwindling demand for fuel.

The aim was to build a floor under prices that have dropped more than $100 from a July 2008 peak above $147 a barrel, to levels where the economies of several OPEC members are hurting.

As a new member that joined OPEC in 2007, Angola is expected to use the 12-month rotating presidency as a platform to spread its regional influence and shed an image of a country ruined by corruption and war.

The government of Angola is relying on an oil price above $55 per barrel to carry out a record $42billion spending plan in 2009.

The country emerged from nearly three decades of civil war as one of the world’s fastest growing economies due to surging oil output. Angola, dependent on oil for 90 percent of its income, produces around 1.8Million barrels of oil per day.

United Bank of Africa analyst Richard Segal said Angola was in a good position to set an example to OPEC members, some of which find difficulty in adhering to the group’s output cut decisions, as it has the flexibility to constrain production.

“Angola’s production costs are relatively low, its economy is stabilised at a lower oil price and it has a lot more oil production per capita than most other OPEC countries,” he said, adding it could also mediate between some of OPEC’s members.

“OPEC is a complicated organization …and even within the countries there are conflicting views — so the best Angola can do is provide leadership and play the role of a mediator.”

To the west Angola has the Gulf of Guinea, where it rivals Nigeria as Africa’s top oil producer. It is among the main oil exporters to China and the sixth biggest to the United States.

“We intend to dignify our country during the presidency,” said Botelho de Vasconcelos. “The presidency of OPEC is a mandate with big visibility and with a great deal of thought and some discretion, we will do our best”.

Algeria’s Oil and Gas Income likely $76bn in 2008

Algerian oil and gas revenue could reach a record high of $76billion in 2008, Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil has been was quoted as saying. This compares favourably with $59billion in 2007. ‘The expected revenues of between $75billion and $76-billion are a record,” the official APS news agency quoted him as saying. Algeria’s state energy conglomerate Sonatrach earned $57billion in 2007 from producing and selling oil and gas, while the state earned a further $2billion from a windfall tax on the earnings of foreign energy firms operating in Algeria.

Khelil said in May 2008 that Sonatrach expected to earn about $81billion in 2008 if oil prices stayed high. Prices at the time were about $111 a barrel and have since collapsed to around $45.

British Petroleum, Amerada Hess, Statoil, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Repsol and TOTALare the main foreign companies involved in exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Algeria.

© 2021 Festac News Press Ltd..