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Partners Secure Rig For Puntland Campaign


A PARTNERSHIP CONSISTING OF AFRICA Oil and Range Resources have secured a drilling rig for their proposed 2008 drilling programme in Puntland. The first well is planned to spud in July. The rig contract became effective February 19 and covers the drilling of two wells with a two well option.

The ETP rig No 3, newbuild rig currently being constructed in the Shengli, and scheduled for completion in May, will mobilize to Jebel Ali in Dubai before moving onto Somalia. ETP rig No 3 Is owned by Singaporean firm Energi Tata Persada Pte Ltd. The rig is a 1,500 High Pressure(HP) unit, equipped with the latest drilling technology, including a top drive and three 1,600 HP pumps.  The camp facility will house up to 150 persons.  ETP will also provide the trucking and hoisting equipment as part of its contractual obligations.

ORANTO Highgrades S/Leonean Asset

Sierra Leone

NIGERIAN INDEPENDENT ORANTO IS continuing a 1,500-sq km Marine 3D seismic survey started offshore Sierra Leone on the West African coast. The essential block is SL-5 and is being executed for Oranto by the Chinese owned Bureau of Geophysics BGP vessel Pioneer SV.  Oranto says that the shoot will likely extend over nearby SL-4, and the job may be coupled to a planned 1,500 – sq 3D shoot in Oranto’s LB-12 in neighbouring Liberia.

Nassef Sawiris Has Even Grown Richer, Selling Orascom Cement To Lafarge

THE FIRST SEEDS OF THE ORASCOM DEAL were sown at a conference in London, where Bruno Lafont, chief executive of Lafarge, the world’s largest cement company, spoke alongside NassefSawiris, a member of Egypt’s richest family and chief executive of Orascom Cement. “There were two speakers in the cement sector and we were sitting close together,” Lafont explains with a Gallic laugh. “We had never met before. I was interested to know how [Orascorn] was doing business. What was he doing differently from us? I spent five years in Turkey and I learned there that entrepreneurs can have different approaches that can be extremely smart.”

Lafont and Sawiris met again last summer. Lafont was impressed that Orascom had begun as a local, general construction business and was therefore able to anticipate demand for materials much earlier than Lafarge. Orascom had a presence in Egypt, Algeria, northern Iraq, the UAE and Pakistan and has plants under construction in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Nigeria, South Africa, North Korea and Turkey. Lafarge, by contrast, was only in Egypt and Turkey, though it had announced plans to build 45m tones of new cement capacity — about 25 new plants — in 20 countries, mostly emerging market by 2010. But Orascom would give Lafarge another 45m tones of cement capacity by the same date. Little surprise then that a takeover was decided upon. The deal includes $40MM equity, and leaves Sawiris with an 11.4% stake in Lafarge. Shares in Lafarge, a leading member of the CAC 40, rose 13% on the announcement as investors and analysts backed the deal.

-From Business, a UK Weekly, January 3-8, 2008

Murphy Secures Rights To Azurite


Murphy has secured 15-year development rights to the Azurite area within the deepwater Mer Profonde Sud (MPS) block, off Congo. A $2MM fee is due upon Decree publication and $3MM upon field production start. An additional $3MM will be due upon reaching output reaching 50 MMBO. Azurite will be developed through subsea wells and is expected to deliver first oil by first quarter 2009, producing 40,000 BOPD at peak. Murphy operates the MPS Block with 50%. Partners include PA Resources 35% and state hydrocarbon company SNPC 15%.

Medex On The Search In Illizi


FRANCE BASED INDEPENDENT MEDEX, has suspended the appraisal well lssaouane Nord B-2 at a depth of  972metres. The target was F2 sandstones. The well is located in onshore Erg Issaouane Block 226, in Illizi Basin in South Eastern Algeria. Issaouane Nord B-2 was logged before suspension.

Malaysians Bank On Mauritana


PETRONAS, THE STATE HYDROCARBONcompany of Malaysia, has spudded a new field wildcat Khop 1 off Mauritania. The well, being drilled by the semi submersible rig Atwood Hunter, is located in Block 6 of the PSC Area C, 70km off the coastline in water depth of 925m. The well is targeting a four-way dip Albian  structure of 220 sq km, with a vertical closure of l,200m. The proposed Total Depth (PTD) is 4320metres. Partners are expecting recoverable reserves ranging from a 100MMBO (P90) to 1,000MMBO(P90).  Petronas operates Block 6  with 72.578% and its partners include Tullow 22 .422%, Roe 5%.

Lundin Expects Rewards In The Muglad


LUND1N PETROLEUM HAS REPORTED the spud of a new field wildcat, Wan Machar-1, in Sudan’s Block SB. The well, the second to be drilled in the company’s ongoing exploration programme, is located in the swamp area of the block, on the eastern flank of the basin. Lundin says the planned total depth of the well is 1,700 meters and the

partners on the block are targeting the Upper to Lower Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs that have proved highly productive in other producing fields in the Muglad Basin. Lundin said the gross unrisked recoverable reserves for the Wan Macbar prospect is estimated at 1,542 million barrels. The partners in Block 5B are Petronas as the operator with 39%, Lundin Petroleum holds 24.5%, ONGC Videsh Ltd. has a 23.5% stake, and Sudapet Ltd. holds 13%. Lundin said that the partners have accepted the recommendation of the National Petroleum Commission to assign a 10% share to the National Oil Company of Southern Sudan to be allocated on a “pro rata” basis from each of the partners’ shares.

Ashley Heppenstall, President and CEO of Lundin Petroleum, said that Wan Macbar is a world class exploration prospect which if successful “will transform Lundin Petroleum”. He said: “We remain optimistic on the overall prospectivity of the Muglad Basin and its extension into block 5B, an area of over 20,000 km2 which is virtually unexplored to date.”

Kilwani North Extends The Songo Gas Pool


THE KILAWANI NORTH-1 (KN-l) WELL has encountered what operator Aminex describes as substantial natural gas column, in offshore Tanzania’s Nyuni/East Songo- Songo license area. The fluid is in Lower Cretaceous sandstones, the same formation that produces gas commercially in the neighbouring SongoSongo gas field. Preliminary evaluation indicates a gas-water contact approximately 30 metres deeper than at the adjacent Songo-Songo Gas field. This indicates that the KN-1 discovery is in a separate structure to the Songo-Songo field, thus enhancing the prospectivity of the remaining leads and prospects within the Nyuni licence. Formation pressures confirm the presence of gas over a gross interval of approximately sixty metres. KN- 1 was drilled as a vertical hole to a depth of 2030 metres (6,687 ft), ahead of schedule. Electric logging has been completed. KN- 1 will now be completed as a gas production well pending hook-up for production and a test will be conducted to determine flow capacity and reservoir properties. Further appraisal drilling will be required to define the extent of this discovery. This is a positive outcome for the potential of other exploration prospects and leads in the Nyuni licence area. KN- 1 also encountered minor oil shows in the Neocomian reservoir section, as well as confirming the presence of potential reservoirs in the Tertiary section at an earlier stage in the well.

The Nyuni/East Songo-Songo licence is a component of Aminex’s acreage portfolio in East Africa, which includes the highly prospective Ruvuma Basin area of Tanzania as well as large acreage positions in Madagascar and Kenya, on all of which new seismic has now been acquired. Aminex is also currently participating in the Malak- 1 exploration well in the West Esh ElMeilahah concession in Egypt, which spudded on 25 February and is drilling ahead on schedule. “We are now seeing the first real fruits of our work on the East African margin over several years, says Aminex chairman Brian Hall. “Our exploration team has long believed in the potential of this area, both for oil and gas. KN-1 is a totally new, deep structure which opens up several avenues for further exploration on the licence and strengthens the case for oil on the East African margin. This frontier area, where we were an early pioneer, is now the subject of strong industry interest. Credit is due to our explorationists and operations personnel, as well as to our JV partners who have made a strong technical input to this project and to TPDC (Tanzanian national oil company) and the Tanzanian Ministry who have provided invaluable cooperation from the outset. ”Partners in the license are Ndovu Resources Ltd. (Aminex subsidiary and operator) 40%, RAK Gas Commission with 25%, Key Petroleum Ltd. holds 20%, East African Exploration Ltd. 10%, and the remaining 5% is held by Bounty Oil & Gas Ltd.

Khalda Gets Gas In Matruh

KALDA HAS COMPLETEDA GAS ZONE IN new field wildcat Flanders 1, located in the Matruh development lease in the North Egypt Basin, Western Desert. The reservoir is in the Lower Safa member of the Alam El Bueib formation. The total depth of the well was 4,487metres and the rig was EDC rig 51.

Kenya Plans Bid Round

Kenya’s plans to offer E&P rights seem to be evolving with 20 blocks now reportedly earmarked for a 2008 effort. It appears that the Anza Basin is out of bounds as already mostly licenced to Camec (Block 11), Lundin (Block 10A), and Vangold (Block 3A). The available acreage would be in the Lamu, Mandera, and/or Tertiary Rift basins.  Last year seven available offshore blocks were identified as L- 13 (2,906 sq km, partly offshore), L-15 (2,331 sq km, shallow water), L10A (4,962 sq km), L-10B (5,585 sq km), L-1 lA (5,009 sq km), L-1lB (4,963 sq km), L-12 (4,982 sq km), all in the deepwater Lamu Basin.

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