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Shell’s Latest Well on the Bonga Field is a Dud

Bonga -70, the latest well finalised in the ongoing multi-well drilling campaign on the Bonga field by UK major Shell, is a disappointing dry hole.

The probe was an exploration effort, drilled to test a turbidite lobe in the Bonga Main.

The Bonga field has various satellites, including Bonga North, Bonga North West and Bonga South West. The Bonga Main is, as the name implies, the main field. (The Bonga North West, Bonga North and Bonga South West are developed/to be developed, separately).

The Bonga structure has been one of the most durable of the eight deepwater fields that have come on stream in Nigeria since 2003. The field has delivered over 900Million barrels of oil from first production in 2005 to the end of 2021. In that time, the initial field development had been expanded with further drilling of wells in Bonga Main Phases 2 and 3 and through a subsea tie-back that unlocked the Bonga North West in August 2014. The final investment decision has not been taken for Bonga South West.

Bonga field, currently the third highest producing deepwater field in Nigeria is….

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Amni Postpones Obligatory Drilling in Ghana’s Central Tano, Again

Amni Petroleum is still unsure of when it will likely spud its obligatory and widely anticipated first well in   its Central Tano Block, offshore Ghana.

The company is now talking to both ENI and Tullow Oil, to see if it can get a slot in either operator’s drilling campaign.

The Nigerian owned independent was unable to spud its planned first well offshore Ghana in March 2020 because of COVID 19, and it also missed the target to commence drilling in June 2021, as it failed to clinch a slot in Tullow Oil drilling contract with the drillship Ensco-DS4. As of the first quarter 2022, it was looking to utilize a slot in ENI’s three well drilling campaign.

“There’s a clear sight to funding for the drilling”, officials at the Ghana National Petroleum tell Africa Oil+Gas Report, “that has not been the issue” .

But Amni’s inability to drill an obligatory well eight years after winning the asset has put the company on the list of operators who, in the opinion of Ghana’s influential civil society groups, have held on to assets without robust work programmes. “Only seven of the 18 petroleum agreements signed between Ghana and several oil companies, in the last 18 years have performed up to par”, according to the Ghana Petroleum Industry Report, published by C-BOD. “Most of the least performing contracts were signed between 2013 and 2016”, the report says.

The company was awarded the area as the distinct “Central Tano Block” in March 2014 for an initial seven-year term of three exploration phases. Five prospects and eleven leads across the three plays have so far been identified to date with a combined potential of more than 3.5BBO in place, according to Envoi, the London headquartered consultants, commissioned by to assist in its search for a partner

Amni holds 90% of the Central Tano Block in the Tano Basin, with the remaining 10% controlled by the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC), which the company carries.





Eco to Spud Gazania-1, off South Africa, in September

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas confirms that the Island Innovator rig, owned by Island Drilling Company AS, has been mobilised and will move on to the Gazania-1 well on Block 2B, 25km offshore the Northern Cape in Orange Basin South Africa.

The rig is expected to arrive and spud by the end of September 2022, subject to weather conditions.

The Gazania-1 prospect is targeting a 300Million barrels light oil resource.

The well will take approximately 25 days to drill, and the JV partners plan to seal and plug the well after the test, with no equipment being left on the sea floor. The partners have also approved the option to drill a sidetrack well contingent on a discovery in the main target.

The JV partnership in respect of Block 2B comprises Eco Atlantic (50% WI and Operator), Africa Energy Corp (27.5% WI), Panoro 2B Limited, a subsidiary of Panoro Energy ASA (12.5% WI), and Crown Energy AB (10% WI).


Green Energy: Drilling Campaign Pushes Otakikpo Field Output Close to 10,000BOPD

Completion of the first of a two well campaign has pushed production in Otakikpo field, onshore eastern Nigeria, to slightly above 7,000Barrels of Oil Per Day, Africa Oil+Gas Report has learned.

The field was delivering around 4,000BOPD prior to the campaign, according to the top management of Green Energy International Limited (GEIL), operator of the asset.

“We flowed much more than the 3,000BOPD when we tested the well (Otakikpo-4)”, says Anthony Adegbulugbe, a professor of Energy Management who is the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We decided to choke it back (to a lower output) to conserve the energy”, he explains. “Another well is coming that will take us to 10,000BOPD”, the CEO says, referring to Otakikpo 5, the second well in the campaign which is currently drilling.

A 3,000BOPD jump in output from one well in a marginal field is quite exceptional in the onshore Niger Delta in the year 2022, going by the downward trend in production in the region all round.

Two other drilling campaigns on similar fields, carried out elsewhere in the Niger Delta in the last six months, have not been this successful, although those fields have longer production histories than Otakikpo.

Nigeria’s crude oil production slumped from 1.4Million barrels per day in January 2022 to 1.08MMBOPD in July 2022, according to data provided by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission. The numbers are still looking for the floor.

Otakikpo field reached 6,000BOPD, at inauguration in the first quarter of 2017 and has slowly declined in the last five and half years. The ongoing campaign is part of a planned phased development which could take the field to 20,000BOPD. But the existing infrastructure can only accommodate 10,000BOPD

As part of Africa Oil+Gas Report’s C-SUITE Interview series, Professor Adegbulugbe fielded a range of questions on GEIL’s journey as an oil and gas producer, highlighting the phased development of Otakikpo field, the company’s host community engagement, and the plans to be an integrated energy provider with a gas processing plant, a crude oil refining facility, an expanded terminal, and other features of an industrial hub. AOGR will be running the full story on both this online newsletter platform and the monthly e-edition of the report.-Editor.




ENI Pushes its Ivory Coast ‘Oil in Place’ to 2.5Billion Barrels, with Baleine East Discovery

A new discovery offshore Cote d’Ivoire has sharply increased ENI’s oil and gas volumes in place to 2.5Billion Barrels of oil and 3.3Trillion cubic feet (TCF) of associated gas, the company has reported.

Baleine East 1X well, the second find on the Baleine structure, “confirmed the presence of a continuous oil column of about 48metres in reservoir rocks with good properties”, the Italian explorer says in a release. “From the vertical borehole a horizontal drain of 850 metres in length was subsequently drilled into the reservoir to perform a production test that confirmed a potential of potential of at least 12,000barrels of oil per day (12,000BOPD )and 14Million standard cubic feet per day (12 MMscf/d) of associated gas of production”.

The Baleine-1, located in block CI-101 in Côte d’Ivoire, was announced a discovery in September 2021. ENI took an early decision to develop the field and deliver first oil by 2023. Baleine East 1X is located in a water depth of about 1,150 metres, and five kilometres km east of the Baleine 1X, in an adjacent block CI-802. The result has simply extended the Baleine field eastwards.

ENI operates the two blocks with 90% operatorship. The state hydrocarbon company Petroci is a 10% partner.  ENI holds interests in five other blocks in the country’s deepwater, including CI-205, CI-501, CI-504, CI-401 and CI-801, all with the same partner Petroci Holding.

ENI says that its ongoing Baleine Field drilling campaign will continue with the spud of “a third well which will ensure, together with the other two already drilled, the accelerated start-up of production, confirming first oil in the first half of 2023”.

Baleine East 1X well was drilled with the Saipem 12000 drillship. The well reached its final depth of 3,165 metres measured depth.


Mozambique Inks Agreement for Multi-Client Seismic Data in Under-explored Basin

Mozambique’s National Petroleum Institute has signed an exclusive agreement with London-based Geopartners to perform a new multiclient, three dimensional (3D) seismic survey over the country’s offshore Angoche Basin.

“The project will comprise acquisition of a minimum 12,000 sq. km of 3D Multi-Client data over Blocks that will be awarded following the closure of the current 6th Licensing Round,” Geopartners says in a release.  “We are honoured to have concluded this new Agreement with INP to acquire this very large 3D seismic survey in the relatively underexplored but highly prospective Angoche Basin”.

The geophysical company says it will apply acquisition and imaging techniques to improve illumination of complex structures to help reduce exploration risk and support potential fast-track production and development. “Pre-acquisition permitting is underway, with the six-month survey due to start early next year”, the release explains. “Early processed results should be issued by year-end 2023”.

Sixteen new licence areas, distributed over four offshore basins are on offer for Mozambique’s ongoing 6th Licencing Round.  The INP has made available 2D and 3D seismic datasets for multi-client licensing, covering 22,700 sq. km of 3D seismic, 41,900 km of offshore 2D seismic and 18,700 km of onshore 2D seismic in the Rovuma, Angoche and Zambezi basins. Geopartners says it is the data release agent for these surveys.



PGS Wins “a Number of 4D Seismic Gigs” off West Africa

Norwegian geophysical company PGS says it has been awarded “a significant acquisition contract, consisting of several four-dimensional (4D) seismic surveys, by an international oil company offshore West Africa.

Acquisition is scheduled to start early November 2022 and expected to complete early May 2023.

The contract effectively secures work for the company’s flagship acquisition vessel, Ramform Vanguard until next summer season.

“Combining the Ramform acquisition platform and our GeoStreamer technology will provide the client with high quality 4D data,” says President & CEO in PGS, Rune Olav Pedersen.


Namibia: First Seismically Defined Well, About to Spud, in Kavango Basin

Canadian junior ReconAfrica is about to drill its first seismically defined hydrocarbon well in the Permian aged Kavango Basin onshore Namibia.

The 8-2 well is the first of an initial four well drilling programme, which will test two of the Basin’s three play types; oil prone Karoo Rift Fill and Intra Rift Fault Block plays, determined by interpretation of parts of the 1,211 kilometres of two dimensional (2D) seismic data acquired within the company’s over 34,000 square kilometre licensed area.

Jarvie-1, the company owned 1000 HP drilling rig “is now on the first drilling location (8-2) rigging up and scheduled to spud on or before June 25, 2022”, ReconAfrica says in a release.

ReconAfrica has just completed the second phase of its 2D seismic acquisition (761 km) with plans for the next phase of 2D seismic acquisition, which is anticipated to comprise in excess of 1,000 kilometres of 2-D seismic, making 2,211 kilometres of 2D seismic altogether. This (second phase) will be an extensive programme and subject to permitting, the Company anticipates on the ground acquisition to begin the fall of 2022.

8-2 will be drilled to a planned depth of approximately 2,800 metres (9,184 feet) and is designed to test potential conventional oil and associated natural gas reservoirs in clastic rocks (sandstones) in the Karoo Rift Fill, the Company’s primary play. The well will also be drilled deeper into the Pre-Karoo Mulden and Otavi formations. These intervals correspond to zones in the Company’s first well, the 6-2, (a non-seismically defined stratigraphic test) which is approximately 6.5 kilometres to the East, that had good oil and gas shows. It is anticipated the well will reach total depth within 60 days from the initial spud. Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc. (“NSAI”), the Company’s independent qualified reserves evaluator, has estimated an unrisked gross 799Million barrels of original oil in place (OOIP) for the well 8-2. The estimated unrisked gross prospective resource, (P50 case) with a projected 17% primary recovery, is 138Million barrels of oil for this well. Prospective resources are the arithmetic sum of multiple probability distributions.


“These estimates are based on un-risked prospective resources that have not been risked for chance of discovery and chance of development. If a discovery is made, there is no certainty that it will be developed or, if it is developed, there is no certainty as to the timing of such development”, ReconAfrica cautions. “There is no certainty that any portion of the resources will be discovered. If discovered, there is no certainty that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the resources. Prospective Resources are those quantities of petroleum estimated, as of a given date, to be potentially recoverable from undiscovered accumulations by applying future development projects”.


“We’re Not in a Hurry to Call Namibia a Big Discovery”-TOTALEnergies

Patrick Pouyanne, TOTALEnergies’ CEO, says he is pleased that the company’s exploration team is successful with the wildcat well drilled in the Orange basin off Namibia. But, he stresses, it’s a promising discovery.

“I say promising because it’s only one well. I’ve seen incredible numbers of newspapers”, he told a group of investment analysts and bankers after the announcement of the company’s First Quarter 2022 results.

“We need to do the appraisal. We’ve decided to accelerate the appraisal well August, September and to test. And then we will be able to communicate larger”, Pouyanne said in English. “But if we are able to generate by ourselves all these oil discoveries, let’s be clear, it’s part of the strategy, and we will develop them and it’s in line with what we have announced”.

When Mr. Pouyanne was asked another question on the same topic several minutes after the first one he responded: “The first question I already answered. And do you believe in — stop reading newspapers. Just listen to me….In the long history in the oil and gas industry, a 10Billion barrel discovery, I don’t think it exists. But no, let’s be serious about all that. It’s — all that are fantasy. I say it’s a promising discovery. Let’s drill the appraisal well, let’s test the two wells and then we will come. And when will — if really, we had such levels, which I don’t think, we’ll be happy, and you will be happy shareholders”.

“So — but again, I think, by the way, this figure refers more to the Namibia province rather than just our license. But again, I don’t want —. Let’s wait. It’s a promising discovery. It’s enough”.

The article was previously published in the April 2022 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report


Sonadrill Gets a Ten Well Gig in Angolan Deepwater

Sonadrill Holding Ltd), Seadrill’s 50:50 joint venture with Angola’s state oil firm Sonangol, has secured a ten-well contract with options for up to eight additional wells in Angola for the West Gemini drillship.

Total contract value for the firm portion of the contract is expected to be approximately $161Million (inclusive of mobilization revenue and additional services), with further meaningful revenue potential from a performance bonus.

Commencement is expected in Q4 2022 with a firm-term of approximately 18 months, in direct continuation of the West Gemini’s existing contract.

The West Gemini is the third drillship to be bareboat chartered into Sonadrill, along with two Sonangol-owned units, the Sonangol Quenguela and Sonangol Libongos.

Seadrill, the Norwegian drilling giant, will manage and operate the units on behalf of Sonadrill. The West Gemini is an ultra-deepwater drillship with an operational history offshore Africa.

“Together, the three units position the Seadrill joint venture as the premier rig operator in Angola, furthering the goal of building an ultra-deepwater franchise in the Golden Triangle and driving efficiencies from rig clustering in the region”, Seadrill says in a release.

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