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Petrofac Wins $350Million Service Contract for Equatorial Guinea’s Zafiro Field

London based engineering firm, Petrofac, has been awarded a Technical Services Contract by Compañía Nacional de Petróleos de Guinea Ecuatorial (GEPetrol), Equatorial Guinea’s state hydrocarbon company, to support the operation of the country’s Block B.

Under the contract, valued at around $350Million over five years, Petrofac will deliver technical services across onshore support bases, a Floating Production, Storage Offloading (FPSO) facility and a platform on behalf of GEPetrol, the Operator. The contract draws on the core services of Petrofac’s Asset Solutions division, including operations, maintenance, asset integrity, integrity management, marine services, well engineering, project delivery and supply chain services.

The 2,000 square kilometre Block B hosts the Zafiro oil field, located 68 kilometres WNW of Bioko island, adjacent to the international border with Nigeria. ExxonMobil brought the Zafiro field online in 1996 via subsea wells tied back to the Zafiro Producer floating production unit (FPU). The Zafiro complex is a group of seven mature fields located in the offshore eastern Niger Delta.

The contract signing “marks a key milestone in our journey to becoming operator of Block B on 1 June 2024”, notes Teresa Isabel Nnang Avomo, Director General of GEPetrol. “We are excited to grow our partnership with Petrofac. By unlocking the huge potential of our indigenous national workforce, we will build with Petrofac’s assistance, an organisation for the long-term management and development of our country’s oil and gas assets.”

A fixed platform called Jade was added to the Zafiro complex in 2000 while the Southern Area Expansion project was brought on stream in 2003 using the FPSO Serpentina. ExxonMobil was forced to stop production at the Zefiro field in September 2022 due to severe water infiltration into the FPU Zafiro Producer.

The contract follows Petrofac’s initial scope supporting the transition of the asset from Mobil Equatorial Guinea Inc (MEGI).

 

 


The Gasfired Plant is Not Africa’s Default Electricity Generator/Our Latest Issue:  Gas to Wire Annual

Contrary to perception, the default choice for power generation among Africa’s hydrocarbon resource rich countries, is not the gas fired thermal generating plant.

True, there are invitations for partnerships and investments in Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, even Mozambique.

But growth in natural gas intake for power has been relatively flat on the continent in the last five years, with the exception of Ghana.

Mozambique’s abundant gas reserves have mostly been spoken for; the hydrocarbon molecules will be exported. The country adds more hydropower capacity than install the thermal engine.

Out of Nigeria’s Grid Connected capacity of 12,199MW, in February 2024, which included 21 gas fired plants, only 3,957MW was actually generated. Five hydropower plants accounted for 1,649MW, or 42% of that generation.

We invite you to become a paying subscriber of our monthly harvest and go through a number of operational events: rig activity in detail; production update; market intelligence…

Read your copy here

The Africa Oil+Gas Report is the primer of the hydrocarbon industry on the continent. It is the market leader in local contextualizing of global developments and policy issues and is the go-to medium for decision makers, whether they be international corporations or local entrepreneurs, technical enterprises or financing institutions. Published by the Festac News Press Limited since 2001, AOGR is a paid subscription, monthly e-copy publication delivered around the world. It is also routinely distributed in major conferences focused on the African hydrocarbon investment. This allows wide advertising to the stake holding public. Our website remains www.africaoilgasreport.com, and the contact email address is info@africaoilgasreport.com. Contact telephone numbers in the West African regional headquarters in Lagos are +2348124374087, +2348130733523, +2347062420127, +2348036525979, +2348023902519.

Editor

 

 

 

 


Deepwater Performance Most Responsible for Nigeria’s March 2024 Output Decline

By the Editorial Desk of Africa Oil+Gas Report

Nigeria’s seven deepwater fields output an average of 415,392Barrels of Oil Per Day, in March 2024, one of the lowest performances in the last three years.

The 56,575BOPD decrease in deepwater output from the February to March 2024, represents 62% of the country’s total output drop (91,690BOPD) from 1,322,208BOPD to 1,230,518BOPD.

Data released by the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) indicates that Shell’s Bonga field, which is also the country’s flagship deepwater asset, led the decline by dropping from 124,115BOPD to 95,363BOPD, a 28,752BOPD plunge, representing 31% of the total output drop. TOTAL’s (deepwater) Akpo field shed 17,000BOPD, or 18% of the output gap between February and March 2024.

NUPRC data doesn’t highlight field specific activities, but it is clear that eastern onshore fields, whose crudes are evacuated by the Shell operated Bonny Terminal, are still struggling. Crude receipts at the Bonny Terminal declined by 21,324BOPD, in March 2024, compared with February 2024. In the western Niger Delta, the Chevron operated Escravos Terminal witnessed a small increase in receipts of crude of around 2,000BOPD, from 127,046BOPD in February to 129,442BOPD in March, while the Shell operated Forcados terminal saw an 18,000BOPD decline in receipts month on month.

Basic operational challenges and routine field decline and maintenance, it would seem, played a higher role than the “usual suspects” of vandalism and crude oil theft and pipeline infrastructure, which should have been factored in by now when considering overall crude oil output.

There is no remarkable increase in shallow water production, as indicated by the figures at the ExxonMobil’s Qua Iboe and Yoho Terminals as well as TOTAL’s Odudu, which mostly receive crudes from shallow water fields. Nigerian independent shallow water operators have not yet picked up the slack here, though work is going on in both the Anyala- Madu cluster (First E&P) and Okwok field (Oriental Energy) for the one to increase output and the other to bring new field into production.

The country’s authorities have reached out to the oil majors to invest more in new deepwater developments and a key part of the executive orders on oil and gas reforms signed by President Bola Tinubu in March 2024 addresses this issue with fiscal incentives. But the existing deepwater fields will continue their inexorable decline while any new deepwater field development (like Shell’s Bonga North, being considered for Final Investment Decision by July 2024), is unlikely to each the market before 2027.

The quickest wins remain onshore and in shallow water.

-A public service commentary of Africa Oil+Gas Report.


Work Starts on a New FPSO For Angola’s Newfield Deepwater Development

By Toyin Akinosho

Partners on Block 15/06 in deepwater Angola have carried out the survey and installation of the first modules of the Floating Oil Production, Storage and Transfer Unit (FPSO) for the Agogo field, the country’s regulator has reported.

“These are the first two modules of the twelve (12) that will make up the FPSO Agogo”, the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANPG) says in a statement.

“The others are being built in Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam”.

The vessel is expected to be delivered to Angolan waters in December 2025.

Azule Energy, the Incorporated Joint Venture between ENI and bp is the operator of Agogo field, with partners including state hydrocarbon company Sonangol and the Chinese behemoth, Sinopec.

“The construction of riser protectors, suction anchors, submarine distribution units (SDU), among other tasks, is reserved for Sonamet’s shipyards in Benguela”, ANPG explains on its website. “The unit will feature technologies that will significantly reduce carbon emissions and improve its operational efficiency”.

Diamantino Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Petroleum, appealed to the partners to use the operations of the FPSO to reinforce Local Content in the country’s oil sector. “We want them to increase the Angolan workforce and pay special attention to their training, preparing them for major challenges. Likewise, I would like them to make more use of existing facilities and equipment in our country, in order to strengthen our Local Content”, he appealed.

Adriano Mongini, CEO of Azule, said that the Agogo Project will maximize the reserves of Block 15/06 and optimize the Agogo and Ndungu Fields, increasing production to 170 thousand barrels per day.


Petroci in the Market for Jack Up Rig

Cote d’Ivoire’s state hydrocarbon company, Petroci, is asking interested companies to participate in the Request for Information for Provision of Jack-Up Rigs for the purpose of gas development on the Kudu, Eland, and Gnou (KEG) project.

Project Overview:

Location: Approximately 20kilometres offshore from Assouinde, Southeast Ivory Coast.

Project Focus: Extracting, transporting multiphase fluids, and processing onshore gas at an Onshore Processing Plant (OPP).

Anticipated Production: Predominantly gas, condensate, and a limited amount of oil.

The choice of the type of drilling unit to be used will largely depend on the operating characteristic, limitations and availability of rigs, environmental conditions and ultimately economics. You are requested to confirm availability to provide services as per the attached schedule.

RFI Details:

Reference: RFI KEG-0001

Submission Deadline: 04th April at 03:00PM GMT

Submission Method: Email to: akoutouan@petroci.ci.

RFI Components:

  1. Technical Questionnaire

Supplier Financial Health Questionnaire

Due Diligence (CDD) Questionnaire

RFI Confidentiality Requirements

Contact for Queries:

For any queries or clarification, please contact Ange Didier KOUTOUAN, PETROCI CI-523/CI-525 Project Manager, at akoutouan@petroci.ci.

Immeuble Les Hevéas – 14 Bd Carde, BP V 194 Abidjan Côte d’ivoire

Mob  :+225 07 77 28 96 00  / 05


Procurement: Core or Support Function?

By Blessing Adagbasa

Most organizations operate with a Procurement department tasked with acquiring goods and services essential for their production and service delivery. From basic necessities like stationery to crucial inputs such as raw materials and key service providers, the Procurement department’s responsibilities span a wide spectrum. Its role is pivotal in ensuring organizational success.

Within any organization, various functions collaborate to achieve business objectives. The primary functions typically revolve around generating revenue or facilitating the organization’s income generation process. These functions often include manufacturing/production, sales, and marketing. Conversely, support functions are not directly involved in revenue generation but exist to provide necessary services to the core functions.

Given this framework, the question arises: should the Procurement function be classified as a core or support function? To answer this, it is essential to analyze the roles of core functions and compare them with the traditional and evolving roles of procurement.

Production Input Sourcing: The production function is fundamental to organizations as it takes raw materials and converts them into finished products, a process that remains consistent across different types of businesses. Subsequently, the sales and marketing functions focus on distributing these final products to customers and securing payments. Given this, the production function is widely acknowledged as a core function in most organizations.

If production is considered a core function, it is crucial to recognize the inception of the production process. Typically, the production process begins with the procurement of raw materials and necessary services. The sourcing of inputs marks a critical initial stage in production, and the Procurement function assumes responsibility for procuring and delivering these production inputs. Therefore, Procurement emerges as an indispensable function within the production process and is inherently core to the business.

Cost Reduction and Margins Optimization: Let us examine another crucial aspect of the Procurement function: cost optimization. For organizations to maintain competitiveness and enhance profit margins, the Procurement function must secure goods and services at prices that confer a competitive advantage in the market. Managing input costs stands out as a primary value proposition of procurement, directly influencing the bottom line.

Efficient input cost management, facilitated by procurement, holds the potential to reduce the overall cost of production. Consequently, such cost reductions often translate into improved business profits. It is undeniable that maximizing profitability ranks as a central objective for many businesses, underscoring the significance of effective procurement practices in achieving this goal.

Business Continuity and Security of Supply: The threat of supply shortages presents a substantial risk to business continuity. Procurement professionals play a critical role in mitigating this risk by actively seeking alternative sources to minimize operational disruptions caused by supply chain interruptions or the unavailability of essential materials and services needed for production.

To ensure the security of supply, procurement professionals employ various commercial strategies. These strategies may include establishing alternative sources of materials or services, securing advance commitments from suppliers, and implementing other proactive measures to maintain a steady flow of resources into the production process. By adopting such strategies, businesses can better safeguard against the adverse effects of supply shortages and enhance their resilience in the face of unforeseen disruptions.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance: In most countries, regulatory frameworks are in place to set guidelines for the production and distribution of goods and services within their jurisdictions. Many of these regulations also extend to the sourcing of materials and services necessary for the production process. The Procurement function plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with these regulations and implementing processes to mitigate identified risks within the supply chain.

Procurement professionals are responsible for understanding and adhering to the applicable regulatory requirements governing the sourcing of materials and services. They establish and enforce procedures to ensure that suppliers meet these regulatory standards and that all procurement activities align with legal and compliance obligations.

By proactively addressing regulatory compliance and risk management within the supply chain, Procurement helps safeguard the organization against potential legal liabilities, reputational damage, and operational disruptions. This ensures that the production and distribution of goods and services proceed smoothly within the boundaries of the established regulatory framework.

In summary, Procurement is indispensable to the core operations of a business, and organizations aiming for sustainable success must recognize it as such. Viewing procurement as an integral part of the business, rather than merely a support function, is essential for achieving business objectives effectively.

Procurement should be given a seat at the table during strategic decision-making processes, as it directly influences the bottom line by managing input costs that impact overall profitability. By acknowledging the pivotal role of Procurement and prioritizing its involvement in key business discussions, organizations can optimize their operations from the outset, ensuring a solid foundation for success. In essence, the journey of a business begins with Procurement, highlighting its significance in driving long-term prosperity and growth.

Adagbasa is a Procurement Manager in the Nigeria Energy Sector

 


Ghana’s Top Crude Oil Producer in Hefty Loss After Tax

Tullow Oil has reported a loss after tax of $110Million in 2023, after write-offs and impairments totaling $435Million.

The loss compares with a profit after tax of $49Million in 2022. Impairments and write offs in 2022 totaled $391Million.

Tullow’s gross profit of $735Million in 2023 trailed that of 2022 ($1,086Million) by a whopping $351Million.

The company’s 2023 adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization EBITDAX1 crashed by …% to $1,151Million compared with 2022 ($1,469illion).

Worse: Tullow’s free cash flow in 2023 was $170Million, almost a hundred million dollars lower than the previous year (2022: $267Million)

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in the year under review. The UK junior reports completed major infrastructure project with Jubilee South East brought onstream, marking a material step up in production at Jubilee which surpassed 100,000Barrels of Oil Per day (BOPD) gross.

Tullow talks up its  ”strong operating, drilling and completion performance, with seven Jubilee wells brought onstream and facilities uptime of around 96% in Ghana”.

Tullow also announces that “net debt at year-end reduced to $1,608Million, from $1,864Million in 2022; with cash gearing of net debt to adjusted EBITDAX1 of 1.4 times (2022: 1.3 times); liquidity headroom of $1,000Million (2022: $1,055Million).

Tullow claims material step in refinancing strategy with new $400Million five-year Glencore debt facility, with proceeds available for liability management of the senior notes maturing in March 2025.

 


“Two Decades Of Organic Growth: The Remarkable Journey Of The “Problem Solving” Century Group”

By Osamede Okhomina

OPINION

Who would have imagined we would end up here today? That we would end up in an investment regime where oil and gas capital would be so hard to come by. In this era of chasing “renewables” and with the anti-fossil fuel campaigners lobby investment funds to pull out of our sector, oil and gas capital has become a very scarce commodity. So oil companies are scrambling around looking for innovative ways to recapitalize themselves and re-tell their development strategy.  Into this mix, we can now appreciate the foresight of Century Energy who had for nearly two decades had been drumming the story that we all needed to re-invent the way we approached our “use of capital”.  That is, as it’s Group CEO, Ken Etete, would always say, that by “farming out” key elements of our oil and gas infrastructure to companies like his, we could better focus our attention on the sub-surface and leave the heavy engineering to strategic partners like Century. This was Ken’s key Innovation and one that took the industry a relative long while to come to fully appreciate.

Ken’s long journey to establishing Century in this space is not so well known. So let me say a few words on it.

In this dynamic landscape of the oil and gas industry, where volatility is constant and innovation rare, few companies have demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of Century Group. Over the past two decades, Century Group has not only weathered the storms of doubt, non-paying clients, difficult funding regimes and geopolitical tensions, but has also managed, against the odds, to carve out a path of sustainable growth through organic means.

Twenty-two years ago, Century Group began its journey as a modest servicing firm through the flagship – Century Energy Services Limited (CESL) firm – with a hand in only one asset. However, the company’s founder – Mr. Ken Etete, driven by a vision of value redistribution anchored on productivity and a commitment to excellence, laid the foundation for what would become a powerhouse in the industry.

One of the key pillars of Century Group’s organic growth strategy has been its relentless focus on unconventional solutions, innovation, and operational efficiency. From the outset, the company invested heavily in obtaining stakeholder insight (the values and challenges peculiar to diverse energy installations) to unlock the potential of an integrated business which has now given birth to a full-fledged energy infrastructure company supported by sister companies in gas commercialization, offshore logistics support, exploration and productions as well as information technology. By leveraging on its nimble operation principle and philosophy of sharing in the risk of its partners and clients, Century’s flag has been successfully hoisted in several international energy fields both directly and indirectly where it has continually added value to stakeholders. Century Group’s penchant for tapping into previously moribund assets and turning them around has significantly expanded its portfolio and contribution to the sector.

Moreover, Century Group embraced a culture of continuous improvement, fostering collaboration between its operations and commercial teams to optimize asset management, and efficiency and enhance safety standards. In addition to the safe and prudent execution of projects, the company pursued strategic acquisitions and partnerships to complement its organic growth initiatives. By selectively acquiring assets with high potential and forming joint ventures with industry-leading players, Century Group diversified its portfolio strengthened its competitive position within the African market and proudly stands among the top ten FPSO Companies in the world.

Furthermore, the Group prioritized sustainability and people development in its operations, investing in initiatives to enable people and create value to reduce poverty and the associated cost of socio-economic deprivations. By embracing best practices in environmental management and corporate social responsibility, the company not only safeguards the communities and ecosystems where it operates but also enhances its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.

Two decades on, the fruits of the company’s organic growth strategy are evident. The company has evolved into a diversified energy powerhouse, with a balanced portfolio of assets spanning conventional and unconventional resources across multiple continents. Its robust production profile and operational excellence have consistently delivered value to shareholders, even in challenging market conditions. As Group CEO, Ken has unequivocally expressed his belief that although the business climate is principally volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) the philosophy of “development partners” rather than cutthroat competition is what will mine the best value for all players within the sector. Sabotage, corporate espionage, and unethical practices could only give a head start but not sustain any entity to finish the race which is to optimally promote energy security through the mitigation of associated infrastructural, production, and distribution risks.

Looking ahead, the company still remains committed to its principles of innovation, efficiency, and sustainability as it navigates the opportunities and challenges of an evolving energy landscape. With a legacy built on two decades of organic growth, Century Group is well-positioned to continue shaping the future of the global oil and gas industry for years to come beyond Africa. Over and above all, Ken’s near obsession with cost cutting has made him a darling to Oil and gas CEOs and shareholders. In Ken’s mantra, “why travel along with a Rolls Royce on a journey a where a well airconditioned VW can do just as well!”

About the Author: Osamede Okhomina is a graduate from Cambridge University and former CEO of private and public oil and gas companies. He is now a Principal Adviser to company CEOs and assists them in capital raising and formulating strategy.


FEED will Start on VAALCO’s Eq Guinea Project, but No Clear Sight to FID

Houston based minnow VAALCO says it will now proceed with its Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study on the devilment and production of the Venus field, after the Government of Equatorial Guinea approved the Joint Operating agreement (JOA) related to the previously approved the Plan of Development (POD).

Venus has estimated 23.1Million barrels of oil (MMBO) of 2P CPR (Competent Person’s Report) gross reserves, stored in 253 metres of water in the southern Atlantic.

“We anticipate the completion of the FEED study will lead to an economic Final Investment Decision or FID which will enable the development of the Venus POD”, the company says in a release.

The FEED is expected to result in, among others, a new proposed cost for the project, perhaps much different from the $310Million estimates for the development plan, approved in September 2022, based on three subsea wells tied back to a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, with first oil targeted by 2026 and initial production of about 15,000 barrels per day.

The Venus discovery was made in 2005 by US independent Devon Energy.

State hydrocarbon firm, GEPetrol purchased all of Devon’s Equatoguinean assets in 2008 and became operator of Block P. In November 2012, the Malaysian state-owned Petronas Carigali sold its 31% share in Block P to VAALCO Energy, who then became joint operator with GEPetrol.

Block P consists of the Venus Production and Development Area and the Block P Exploration area.

The entire acreage covers an area of 1, 480 square kilometres in the Rio Muni basin, in close proximity to Equatorial Guinea’s mainland.

The Venus Production & Development Area (VPDA) is limited to 227 square kilometres. Its stakeholders include GEPetrol (joint operator 58.4%, paying interest 38.4% plus 20% carried interest), VAALCO Energy (joint operator, 31%), Atlas Petroleum International (5.6%) and Crown Energy AB (5%).

The 1,253 square kilometre Block P Exploration area is held by GEPetrol (operator, 90%) and Atlas Petroleum International (10%). It contains a number of exploration prospects, chiefly the SW Grande Prospect and the Marte Prospect, “each of which has the potential to substantially add to the area’s reserves”, says Atlas Petroleum

 


Egypt’s Local Currency Float Attracts Billions of Dollars Inflow, But Inflation Jumps

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

The Egyptian government expects close to $30Billion from external investors to flow into the country before end of 2024, as a result of the central bank floating the Egyptian Pound () on March 6, 2024, among other measures.

The country’s Ministry of Finance reportedly declares that over $3Billion has come into the country since the float, and there is the expanded $8Billion deal secured with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), hours after the CBE floated the currency and delivered a 600 basis points rate hike.

Additionally, Egypt wILL obtain a $1.2Billion loan for environmental sustainability, bringing its total from the IMF to more than $9Billion, the government said.

The currency weakened to beyond 50 to the dollar, a historic plunge, from about 30.85, a level Egypt has for months tried to defend. It closed at 49.4 to the dollar on the day of float.

This means a further rise in inflation, even higher than the skyrocketing numbers currently being experienced by Egyptian consumers. The annual urban consumer price inflation, measured for February 2024, leapt to 35.7%, “the biggest sequential pace on record; jumping by 11.4% month-on-month from 1.6% in January, far outstripping economists’ projections”, Reuters reported. That measurement, from CAPMAS, the statistics agency, does not yet account for what is expected in the weeks after the currency devaluation.

But support is coming. The World Bank has now approved a $6Billion financing package over the next three years, according to separate statements by the bank as well as Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation. Approval for the package, by the board of the World Bank group, is expected before the end of the second quarter 2024.

The World Bank’s $6Billion funding is meant for the following:

$3Billion will go to the government to support its economic and structural reforms, social protection programmes, and its green economy transition.

$3Billion will be distributed through the group’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and will go to the private sector. The funding will be delivered in the form of equity and loans made up partly by investor funds.

A flexible exchange rate by Egypt had long been demanded by the IMF as crucial for restoring investor confidence in North Africa’s largest economy and the Arab world’s most populated country.

Egypt’s Central Bank governor Hassan Abdalla told the press on March 15, 2024, that demand for the US Dollar was is on the decline on account of a better supply of the hard currency in banks and a faster release of goods stuck at ports.

Al Borsa, the country’s financial daily, reported March 16, over 2.3Billion worth of foreign currency have been sold since the March 6, 2024 float at the National Bank of Egypt’s foreign currency exchange bureau’s Al Ahly Exchange, Banque Misr’s Misr Exchange, and Banque du Caire’s Cairo Exchange

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