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Angola Says Data Checks for Bid Round Is Free

Angola’s National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels says it has made available for free consultation the data packages related to the concessions that will be put out to tender starting in April.

“However, the geophysical data (seismic and magnetometric) do not integrate any of these packages, being obligatory to pay a fee for their acquisition”.

According to ANPG, the available packages contain the compilation of existing data, duly selected, related to the concessions to tender. The aim is to assist potential interested parties in the evaluation they are going to carry out and support them in decision making.

The agency, however stresses that companies will still have to buy the data if they want to interprete.

“The geophysical data (seismic and magnetometric) do not include any of these packages, being obligatory to pay a fee for their acquisition”.

For this tender, which started in late 2020, two data packages were prepared, taking into account the two terrestrial basins to be tendered – the Lower Congo and the Kwanza.

The Lower Congo Terrestrial Basin Data Package , relating to three blocks (CON 1, 5 and 6) consists of geological information on the 24 wells of the three blocks to bid and the remaining 33 wells of the adjacent blocks, as well as 14 reports studies that detail the stratigraphy, structural component and prospective; accessibility study (Atlas); georeferenced information (maps); and legal / legal information.

The Kwanza Land Basin Data Package , relating to six blocks (KON5, 6, 8, 9, 17 and 20) is also composed of geological information (reports and diagrams) from 47 wells, 36 of which belong to the blocks to be bid and 11 wells belonging to the neighboring blocks; 13 reports of abandonment of the main producing fields in the basin; seismic data (vintage seismic); accessibility study (atlas); georeferenced information (maps); and legal / legal information.

For both packages, ANPG stresses that geophysical data (seismic and magnetometric) are not part of these packages, so interested parties should purchase them from their partners Delta Development Management (Lower Congo) and GEOTEC and ION / GXT (Kwanza ).

“The disclosure of these packages, in a free session – which can be done in person or online – contributes to making the bidding process more transparent, allowing interested parties to know the data available before they acquire them for more accurate and accurate study and analysis “

– ANPG

Interested companies should contact the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency through its website ( www.anpg.co.ao ), e-mail or even by letter, requesting an appointment for a data consultation session. These sessions will be free and can be virtual or in person, depending on the possibilities of the interested parties, but always carried out according to the rules in force in the context of the pandemic still in force.

 


Sapura’s Not Going Down with Seadrill

Malaysian driller Sapura Energy Berhad has declared that its joint venture with Seadrill, namely Sapura Navegacao Maritima SA (SNM), is not impacted by the recent Chapter 11 cases filed by several Seadrill subsidiaries operating in Asia.

In a clarification to Bursa Malaysia, the country’s Stock Exchange, Sapura  states the Chapter 11 filing by Seadrill, which is an internationally renown Scandinavian drilling company, does not involve Sapura or entities related to the corporate structure of the joint venture, stressing  that the filing has no financial impact on Sapura Energy’s business plans and financial strength.

Sapura Navegacao Maritima SA (SNM) is the only joint venture between Sapura Energy and Seadrill.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, SNM is one of the leading subsea services operators in the Brazilian market, with a fleet of submarine service vessels providing support, installation and flexible pipe laying expertise to clients in the region.

The company has a workforce of more than a thousand professionals, from 21 different nationalities. SEB’s clarification was in response to a media report linking Seadrill’s Chapter 11 filing of its Asian units, to the Brazil-based SNM. In the clarification, SEB also explained that the filing has no effect on its contracts with Petrobras, which forms the main revenue for SNM; and does not trigger any cross default for the joint venture’s business financing.


Egypt Will Launch Another Bid Round Before March 2021

By Toyin Akinosho

State-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) will launch a new oil and gas exploration tender before the end of February 2021.

The tender will include offshore blocks in the Mediterranean and Nile Delta, as well as onshore areas in the Western Desert and Eastern Desert, according to Tarek El Molla, the country’s flambouyant Minister of Petroleum.

The lease sale announcement is coming barely six weeks after Mr. El Molla signed nine new agreements worth more than $1Billion with six international and Egyptian companies to explore and produce oil and natural gas in parts of the Mediterranean and Red Sea. The agreements are for the drilling of 17 new exploration wells.

El Molla said in January that three additional agreements were pending approval in the near future. The total of 12 deals targets the drilling of 23 wells in nine regions in the Mediterranean and three regions in the Red Sea, with a minimum total investment of $1.4Billion.

Egypt is a perennial organizer of lease sales. It is the largest producer and the biggest domestic consumer of natural gas in Africa. But its record in crude oil production is shabby, despite its persistent bid rounds. Last year, it produced an average of 600,000Barrels of Oil Per Day, the lowest in 40 years.


Conoil Pays Deposit for Chevron’s Stake in OMLs 86 and 88

By Jo-Jackson Mthembu, in Yenagoa

Conoil Producing, the Nigerian E&P independent owned by the billionaire Mike Adenuga, has paid a deposit for its purchase of the 40% equity held by Chevron Corp. in Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 86 and 88.

Conoil won the drawn out bid for the two shallow water assets and had been in discussion with the California headquartered major, since Africa Oil+Gas Report broke the story in August 2020.

Conoil bid over $250Million for the blocks, which lie in contiguity with some of its own producing properties.

Chevron had been trying to dispose the shallow water acreages, located off the mouth of the current Niger Delta basin, for over six years. They are part of the five Nigerian tracts acquired in the course of the merger between Chevron and Texaco 22 years ago.

But things only revved up in the last 12 months. Africa Oil+Gas Report initially disclosed, in May 2020, that bidders were expected to have made full disclosure of their financial and operating capacities by the end of April 2020.

OML 86 contains the Apoi fields; the largest being North Apoi.

It also holds Funiwa, Sengana and Okubie fields. One recent discovery: Buko, straddles Shell Nigeria operated Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 286 and is either on trend with, or on the same structure as the HB field in OPL 286. OML 88 holds the Pennington and the Middleton fields, as well as the undeveloped condensate discovery, Chioma field.

The conclusion of this sale means that Chevron has disposed of all the legacy shallow water assets it acquired when it purchased Texaco in 1999.

 


Shell Sells OML 17 To Elumelu… Less than Half of What He Wanted

By Toyin Akinosho

Tony Elumelu wanted badly to purchase Shell &Co’s stakes in Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 11 and 17.

Last Friday, January 15, 2021, Shell announced it had completed the sale of Shell &Co (meaning Shell, TOTAL and ENI)’s 45% interest in OML 17 to TNOG Oil and Gas Limited, a company controlled by the tycoon.

But the UK-Dutch major didn’t mention OML 11, whose operation it is no longer in control of.

TNOG, “a related company of Heirs Holdings Limited and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp)”, had paid $453Million at completion, with the balance to be paid over an agreed period”, Shell said in the release. The balance is $80Milion.

$533Million appears to be a lot of money to be paid for OML 17 at this point in time, considering how the deal has travelled. The acreage, located north of Port Harcourt, the commercial hub of the Niger Delta region, contains such iconic Shell operated fields as Agbada, Obigbo, Obigbo North, as well as Otamini and Umuchem. It currently produces up to 20,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (20,000BOPD) and hosts facilities that can output 150,000BOPD. Gas production is less than 50Million standard cubic feet per day (50MMscf/d).

As far back as late 2016, Shell had demanded $1.2Billion for 45% interest in OMLs 11 and 17, a process constrained by the fact that the two licences were close to their expiry dates. In 2017, they were included on the list of 17 acreages that Shell had submitted to the government for renewal. But the Nigerian regulatory agency, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), citing the extra-large size of the acreage per its extant regulations, withheld the renewal of OML 11 as it was and proposed to President Muhammadu Buhari, who doubles as the petroleum minister, to carve the tract into three and approve only one for Shell. The President’s office, however, went farther than the request. It withdrew the operatorship of the entire OML 11 from Shell. Renewal of the remaining 16 assets was approved. That singular act dimmed the investment prospects of the deal that Shell and TNOG were negotiating, as OML 17 is considered the less prospective of the two blocks.

Still, Mr. Elumelu, it would seem, badly wanted to annex an apparently sizeable producing asset to his energy portfolio, which already includes two thermal generating plants and two non-producing hydrocarbon acreages. More crucially, for the businessman, producing assets like OML 17 start their lives with new holders as ongoing cash generating engines, no matter how depleted the fields are or how challenging the operations turn out to be.

Shell, in its release, reported that the completion of the transaction “follows the receipt of all approvals from the relevant authorities of the Federal Government of Nigeria”. Shell also said that it will retain its interest in the Port Harcourt and Residential areas, which fall within the lease area.


Michael Ajukwu Takes the Chairmanship of LEKOIL 

Michael Onochie Ajukwu, a Nigerian businessman, has been named Chairman of LEKOIL Limited, after Metallon Corporation succeeded in getting the three directors it nominated into the company’s board of directors, at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the company on January 8 2021.

He takes over from Mark Simmonds, the British diplomat and politician, who had been in the position for just about a year.

Mr. Simmonds is as high profile as they come. He was Britain’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister with responsibilities for Africa, the Caribbean, UK Overseas Territories, International Energy and Conflict Prevention. He served as a Member of the UK Parliament for fourteen (14) years and was also a senior advisor to the then Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Simmonds took over the Chairmanship at a time of huge reputational challenges for LEKOIL: the company’s shares were in a headlong crash in January 2020, after the AIM listed firm discovered that a $184 Million loan it had announced was fraudulent.

But LEKOIL had not been able to live down the smear. And it was one of the issues that Metallon Corporation raised, two months after it bought 15% share of the company and moved in for board changes.

“I am honoured to assume the position of Chairman of LEKOIL and would like to thank my predecessor, Mark Simmonds, for his contributions to the Company”, Ajukwu, known in Lagos  business circles for his closeness to South African brands and Nigerian banking interests, said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and the management of LEKOIL to deliver a high performing company anchored on strong governance structures that produces value for all shareholders.”

The path to Mr. Ajukwu’s chairmanship was cleared when Mr. Simmonds chose to step down as Chairman at the EGM and all resolutions that Metallon put to the meeting were duly passed, with Metallon’s nominated directors, including Michael Ajukwu, Thomas Richardson and George Maxwell invited to join the Board with immediate effect.

Mr. Simmonds noted his intention to stand down from board Chairmanship role with immediate effect with a new Chairman to be appointed by the enlarged board of directors.

 


FAR May Not Yet Ride into the Sunset, Afterall

Australian junior FAR Limited has cautioned that the proposed acquisition of all of its shares by Remus Horizons PCC has a dim chance of happening.

“The Remus Proposal terms are uncertain at this stage”, the company declares in a statement early on Friday, January 8, 2021.

The most significant lie in the release goes thus: “The Remus Proposal is conditional on the Woodside Sale not occurring”. Meaning: If FAR’s shareholders agree to sell the company’s 15% stake in Senegal’s Sangomar oilfield development to Woodside, then Remus will not move ahead.

“FAR cautions that the Remus Proposal is not a legally binding offer, there is no certainty that the Remus Proposal will necessarily eventuate, and the Remus Proposal terms are uncertain at this stage”, FAR explains.

“Accordingly, care needs to be used in assessing the Remus Proposal at this time. The Remus Proposal is conditional on the Woodside Sale not occurring”.

FAR says it has obtained further information from Remus in relation to the Remus Proposal as follows:

  • Remus is presently finalising the funding arrangements in advance of making the proposed offer.
  • The only internal and regulatory approval required to proceed with the offer is the final approval of the Remus Board and final review and confirmation of documentation.
  • Remus is presently satisfied that it will not need to undertake any further due diligence on FAR.
  • FIRB approval is not required and any offer made will not be conditional on FIRB approval.
  • Any proposed offer is expected to be subject to a requirement that Remus achieves a controlling interest in FAR together with other customary conditions.

“In these circumstances, FAR has determined to further postpone the shareholder meeting to consider approving the Woodside Sale currently scheduled for 21 January 2021 to 10.00 am on 18 February 2021. This will enable further time for FAR shareholders to see if the Remus Proposal eventuates, if so assess its merits, and consider the Woodside Sale on the basis of more detailed information. FAR will in due course distribute updated meeting information in this regard. FAR is not presently inclined to further postpone the shareholder meeting to consider updates in relation to the Remus Proposal. In the meantime, FAR is continuing to advance negotiations with Woodside in relation to the form of the Woodside Sale proposed contractual documentation following Woodside’s pre-emptive rights exercise. FAR advises that it is in the process of paying the RSSD project November 2020 cash call ($8.96Million plus interest) and the December 2020 cash call

 


TOTAL Annexes a New Acreage in East Mediterranean

French supermajor TOTAL says that an international consortium it is leading has signed an exploration and production agreement with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding company (EGAS) for the North Ras Kanayis Offshore block located in the Herodotus Basin, offshore Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea.

TOTAL will operate the block with 35% equity. AngloDutch giant Shell holds 30%, with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) having 25%. Tharwa Petroleum, an Egyptian state hydrocarbon firm, holds the remaining 10%.

North Ras Kanayis is an exploration acreage covering 4,550 square kilometres, extending from 5 to 150 kilometres from the shore, with water depths ranging from 50 to 3,200 metres. The Herodotus Basin is an underexplored area and the agreement includes a three dimensional (3D) seismic campaign during the first three years.

‘‘TOTAL is pleased to further strengthen its Eastern Mediterranean position as an operator of this exploration and production agreement’’, commented Kevin McLachlan, the French major’s Senior Vice President Exploration. “We are excited by the exploration potential of the North Ras Kanayis Offshore block. It reinforces our presence in Egypt, following a gas discovery made in July 2020 with the Bashrush well on the North El Hammad license, to be developed through a tie-in to nearby existing infrastructure.”

TOTAL holds a working interest of 25% in the North El Hammad license, alongside operator ENI (37.5%) and BP (37.5%)


Nigeria’s Opaque Marginal Field Bid Round Process Escalates the Risk of ‘Investment Scare’

By the Editorial Board of Africa Oil+Gas Report

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria’s hydrocarbon regulatory agency, started emailing letters to potential awardees of the country’s Marginal Fields Bid Round over the last week of 2020.

But the fact that the agency does not publish a list of these potential awardees, and does not send the letters all at once, but chooses to distribute the letters in batches, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, has raised concerns about the transparency of the process. It also heightens the risk of assurance of investment inflows.

The three and half month-long bid round exercise was launched on June 1, 2020 and concluded on September 15, 2020. The bid analysis, carried out by the DPR, was concluded a month after and the result dispatched to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.

Since the President’s nod, the follow up process has been so opaque that speculations have replaced public conversations that open bid rounds supposedly engender. Nobody said that this was a discretionary award, so why should the standard discussion of the bid process begin with: “Have you received your letter?”. If the list was published no one would be making such a stress induced query. And no one would be suggesting that there are “checkpoints” at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, where agents are demanding bribes to deliver letters, or add companies to the approved list. Openness is important.

The DPR’s tepid public statement, released on December 31, 2020, sheds only very little light. “161 successful companies have been shortlisted to advance to the next and final stage of the bid round process for 57 marginal oilfields in the country”, it says. What the statement does for us at Africa Oil+Gas Report, is that it confirms the numbers-of those shortlisted- in our story of December 16, 2020. But it gives us no comfort to note that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources appears uncomfortable to publish the approved list of shortlisted companies for a bid round that has received the President’s nod for close to a month.

For all the strident conversations around probity in public office, for all the talk about Nigeria’s poor reputation as an investment destination; for all the challenges that the country has with revenue generation, for all the problem about a soaring debt burden, this highly patronized marginal field bid round was an opportunity to show that the country was open for business.  600 applications for a bid round is a high figure by any standard anywhere in the world. But it is not one to be taken for granted. People flock to Nigerian marginal fields- where at least a well has proven hydrocarbon resources in place, and most fields are sited in the producing parts of the basin- than they do to acreage licencing rounds, in which the tracts are located largely on the margins of the Niger Delta and many of the available assets are exploratory.

Even as the competition is open only to locals, the investment dollars are largely coming from abroad-as development of 57 fields in a two-to-four-year span cannot be funded by Nigerian lenders alone. This means that, with this process, Nigeria has attracted the gaze of the global investment community. It is about hydrocarbon resources, aftercall.

It is so unfortunate, then, that the current leadership at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has chosen to throw away the chance to show that competitive bids for Nigerian hydrocarbon resources can again be open and transparent, after years of struggling with reputational damage.

Whatever happens after now, with this process, the waters have already been muddied.

This editorial is a public service-oriented opinion of the Africa Oil+Gas Report


Angola Charges $1Million Entry Fee for Next Bid Round, to Launch in April 2021

Angola’s National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANPG), as a national concessionaire, has announced its intention to hold an international tender for the award of new oil concessions in the country.

Nine blocks are on offer: three in the Terrestrial Basin of the Lower Congo and six in the Terrestrial Basin of the Kwanza. The contest opens 120 days from December 31, 2020, ANPG says. That is April 30, 2021.

This licence sale, which focuses on Blocks CON1, CON5 and CON6, of the Terrestrial Basin of the Lower Congo, and Blocks KON5, KON6, KON8, KON9, KON17 and KON20, of the Terrestrial Basin of Kwanza, “has a mandatory condition of participation the payment of an Entry Fee (Entry Free) in the amount of $1,000,000.00 (One Million United States Dollars), which will allow access to the Data Packages related to the basins to bid.

The deadline for the submission of proposals runs until June 9, 2021, in compliance with the 40 days provided for by law, and the opening ceremony for proposals will take place on June 10, 2021.

“This 2020 bid aims to relaunch the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the terrestrial areas of the referred basins, to decrease the decline in production, by increasing the exploration and discovery of new resources, to stimulate the local creation of small and medium oil companies, to promote the incorporation of qualified Angolan labor, as well as fostering technological innovation and good governance practices. 

Paulino Jerónimo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ANPG

The bid round is taking place under Law no. 10/04, of 12 November (Law of Petroleum Activities, amended by Law no. 5/19, of 18 April) and the aforementioned Presidential Decree No. 86/18, “to acquire the status of associate of the national concessionaire and to contract goods and services in the oil sector ”, Mr. Jerónimo explains.

“The National Concessionaire will communicate in due time the date and location of the technical presentations (roadshows), through an advertisement on the ANPG portal ( www.anpg.co.ao ), and in the national and international media”.

 

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