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ENI Will Define Angola’s Near Term Future

Fourth discovery in 18 months

By Sully Manope

ENI’s new light oil discovery in Block 15/06, is the fourth in Angola’s deep offshore in the last 18 months.

Ndungu-1, located a few kilometers from the company’s West Hub facilities, is estimated to contain up to 250Million barrels of light oil in place, with further upside, ENI said in a statement on May 14, 2019.

ENI’s string of discoveries in Angola’s Block 15/06 runs contrary to the trend among the majors in Africa’s second largest oil producer.
TOTAL, the country’s leading producing company and ExxonMobil, the continent’s top oil producer, are not doing so well in the wildcat exploration game in Angola.

TOTAL continues to mine large volumes of crude in the prolific Block 17.

ExxonMobil continues successfully operating the Block 15.

Neither company, however, is topping up their reserves at the pace that ENI is doing. And unlike what appears to be the standard narrative, the activities of these two companies will not significantly define Angola in the next five years, unless they both come up with significant volumes of new finds.
ENI’s Ndungu-1 follows the Agogo-1 discovery, announced in March 2019, with estimates of between 450 and 650 Million barrels of light oil in place, also “with further upside”.

Agogo-1 followed both Afoxe discovery, which was made in December 2018, after the Kalimba-1 discovery, encountered in January 2018, all in Block 15/06.

ENI reports Ndungu-1 to have proved a single oil column of about 65 meters with 45 meters of net pay of high quality oil (35° API) contained in Oligocene sandstones with excellent petrophysical properties. The result of the intensive data collection indicates a production capacity in excess of 10,000 barrels of oil per day. This means that this latest discovery is not as big as Agogo-1.

Agogo-1 proved a single oil column of about 203 meters with 120 meters of net pay of high quality oil (31° API) contained in a sub salt diapirs setting in Lower Miocene sandstones with excellent petrophysical properties, ENI had reported. The data acquired in Agogo-1 NFW indicate a production capacity of more than 20,000 barrels of oil per day.

All these discoveries are the results of the decision by the Block 15/06 Consortium to launch a new exploration campaign in 2018.

ENI acquired the operatorship of Block 15/06 during the bid round of 2006 and Production Sharing Agreement was effective from 1st December 2006. In 2008 the fir st discovery well, Sangos-1, was drilled in about 1,350 m of w ater depth, followed by Cinguvu-1 in 2009 and Mpungi-1 in 2010. In December 2013, the Final Investment Decision was taken for the West Hub project (Sangos, Cinguvu and N’goma and Mpugi fields)
ENI had indicated that Afoxe 1 could add 5,000BOPD, Agogo-1 indicates a putative addition of 20,000BOPD and now Ndungu can add 10,000BOPD, to Block 15/06 output. These estimates are based on data that do not include well tests. ENI has said that this string of discoveries “represent a new cluster that can be exploited jointly in a new development concept”. The continuous improvement in the finds (from Kalimba through Afoxe to Agogo) point to a near term cluster development that could deliver as much as 75,000BOPD.

This is an update of the report of the same title, published in the March/April 2019 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report..

Ghana’s Pecan South Sidetrack Was A Duster, But…

Aker Energy says the sidetrack well to its Pecan South appraisal, offshore Ghana was disappointing

The well “encountered oil shows, but no recoverable resources due to a tight reservoir”, the company says in an update. Even then, “based on preliminary data analysis, it is estimated that between 5-15Million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE) could be added to the Pecan field development from Pecan South”.

Pecan South is one of the three appraisal wells drilled between November 2018 and April 2019 in the Pecan field and its satellites in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points DWT/CTP area. The company is working on fast paced development of the asset, purchased from Hess in February 2018.

Aker says its current estimates of producible volumes the field “exclude any additional volumes from Pecan South and Pecan South East, currently being assessed”.

Fuller details in the May 2019 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report.

Aker Energy is the operator under the DWT/CTP Petroleum Agreement with a 50% participating interest. Its partners are Lukoil Overseas Ghana Tano Limited (38%), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10%) and Fueltrade Limited (2%).



Oilserv Chief Says He’ll Break the Jinx in the Benin Basin

Emeka Okwuosa, Chief Executive Officer of Oilserv, says he is undeterred by the news that the Benin Basin, of recent, has been a graveyard of E&P dreams.

“I understand the reservoirs. In 1988/1989, I was the resident Schlumberger manager of West Africa based in Benin Republic and I helped to develop the Seme field. So I understand the reservoir structure there”, he told Africa Oil+Gas Report

Oilserv is mostly a midstream service, EPCI company, with interests in engineering studies, E&P and power distribution. The company’s E&P subsidiary, Frazoil, holds an acreage, Block 3,  in the basin, in Benin Republic, so Okwuosa’s perspective here is that of a licence holder.  “I know why other investors have made mistakes and I know what I am looking for”.

But while Mr.Okwuosa is not a geoscientist, he argues that he understands the risk. “Don’t forget that historically, less than 30% of exploration turns out production so it is never an exact science. In fact, in most places it is less than 17%”.

The facts that Okwuosa is dealing with are stubborn. Conoil drilled an exploration well on the boundary between Benin and Niger Delta Basins in 2018, which failed spectacularly. For a full year, Yinka Folawiyo &Co have been unable to increase production on the Aje field (the only Nigerian producing field located in the Benin Basin) from 3,000BOPD, let alone get anywhere close to the prognosed 10,000BOPD peak. SAPETRO exited its two assets in Benin Republic about two years ago after four unsuccessful wells in the basin.

Optimum/ Lekoil/Afren discovered the Ogo field in OPL 310 in the Benin Basin in 2013, but the jury is out on what the technical/geoscientific experience would be, when the work programme moves into the next phase of appraisal.

“I have an advantage. I also have a strong belief that it will work out well even though it is still a risk”, says Okwuosa.

As to how he would fund the drilling, the oilfield entrepreneur says it is a process. “You know that E&P is different from EPC. We have the whole thing worked out and we are directly funding part of the exploration and today, we funding seismic acquisition, processing and then the interpretation. When we get to a stage where we have to drill or invest more, we can have to farm-out but like I said, it is a process. When we get there, we will cross it”.



First E&P Spuds First Well on Anyala & Madu

First E&P has spud its first well in development of the Anyala and Madu field,s in Oil Mining Leases(OMLs) 83&85, offshore central Niger Delta.

The driller is UAE based Borr Drilling, who will be utilising the Natt, one of its premium jack ups, for the two year contract running from April 2019 to April 2021.

The fields will be drained by 20 wells in total. The agreement to develop Madu and Anyala (discovered by Texaco, which was bought over by Chevron) was signed between Schlumberger, NNPC and First E&P, as far back as June 2017, with Schlumberger committing to provide technical services, as well as funding the $724Million for the project.

First E&P acquired approximately 900km² of 3D seismic data over both licenses between October 2017 and January 2018. Aquaterra Energy was contracted to design, develop and install two offshore platforms for the project, Africa Oil+Gas Report reported in December 2018.

The scope of work includes design, topsides engineering, procurement, fabrication and logistics. The Norwhich, UK headquartered contractor is expected to deploy the Seaswift offshore platform on the two sites. It will work on the project in conjunction with a local partner, Maerlin Nigeria Limited, a relatively unknown, Nigerian owned oil and gas service firm. (On its website, Maerlin does not disclose what projects it had been involved in, in the manner of most Nigerian service companies).

The partners will manage the end-to-end project scope with engineering and onsite fabrication support being performed in Nigeria, Africa Oil+Gas Report reported last December. The platforms were supposed to be installed in water depths of 35metres to 55metres with first oil expected in late 2019, but with the first well just being drilled, the likelihood of first oil in 2019 is far fetched. Yinson Production, a subsidiary of Yinson Holdings, signed a heads of terms agreement with First E&P to supply and charter an FPSO for the project. The Anyala and Madu fields are estimated to contain combined reserves of 193 million barrels of oil (MMBBls) and 0.637 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas.

ENI, Chevron Push Up The Angolan Rig Count

By Toyin Akinosho

Chevron has contracted the rig  Sapura Jaya from Sapura Energy. It is expected to be on location offshore Angola in April.

With this, the American oil major joins the Italian explorer ENI, in pushing up the Angolan Rig Count.

ENI deployed Seadrill’s West Gemini in February 2019, shooting the rig count in the country by…

It’s a small indication that recovery is on the way, even though a rig count of 7 is still a long distance  from the 22 back in 2014/15.

Eroton Finalises Akaso-15, Moves onto Next Well

Nigerian minnow Eroton, is currently finalising the first well it would drill as an operator and has moved the rig to the second well in the campaign.

The operator of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 18 licence, in Nigeria’s eastern onshore Nigeria, has completed Akaso 15 and has progressed significantly in connecting the well to the pipeline system. Akaso-15 is expected to be brought onto production during the first half of March 2019, and a well test will be performed once the well has achieved stable production.

Akaso-15 was prognosed to reach Total Depth around 11,900 ftMDBRT (measured depth below rotary table), targeting the E4500 and E3000 formations. The well was drilled with the Sheng Li 4 rig, which was in action for Newcross on Awoba NW 2 (OML 24) in the neighbourhood.

Eroton purchased 45% of OML 18 from Shell, TOTAL and ENI in 2015, and acquired the operatorship along with the purchase, in joint venture with the NNPC, which owns 55%. It has kept the output at around 40,000BOPD with work overs and field optimisation, but it had not drilled any new wells until now.

The next well is called Akaso PMMO-1.


Nigeria’s Oil Finders Look for Pay Dirt outside The Niger Delta

Nigeria’s Petroleum Explorationists have decided to formalise the search for oil and gas accumulations outside the Niger Delta.

They have come together to organise a workshop, to collate the most current thinking on geological basins outside the Delta basin.

The Niger Delta basin hosts all of the oil accumulations being produced in Nigeria, with the exception of one; the Aje field, offshore Lagos, which produces a minuscule volume: 3,000Barrels a day, or 0.15% of the country’s entire output.

Aje field lies in the Benin Basin, which was laid down in the Cretaceous period, a geological age preceding the Cenozoic period, during which the Niger Delta was laid.

It so happens that the other sedimentary basins in Nigeria: Benue Trough, Chad Basin, Sokoto Basin etc, were, like the Benin Basin, all laid down during the Cretaceous.

The crude oil finds around West Africa in the last 15 years, including Ghana’s Jubilee, Senegal’s SNE, and discoveries in Niger Republic and Gabon, are all in basins of cretaceous age.

This is why the organisers of the workshop have christened their proposed parley the Cretaceous In Nigeria Workshop. It is two day affair, organised under the auspices of the Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), and is to be held in Abuja from May 6 to May 7, 2019. It is to “be a forum for harnessing and sharing the knowledge of Cretaceous geoscience, in order to develop sound technical understanding of the different Petroleum systems supported by proven global analogs, says Muyiwa Olawoki, Ph.D, a retired ranking geoscientist with careers in Shell and ExxonMobil under his belt, who is currently running his own  consulting firm, Geospectra Limited.

Some of the usual suspects, without who this workshop would not happen, are Ebi Omatsola, Joe Ejedawe and Kehinde Ladipo. They are all PhDs and they have been pushing the idea of an industry/government collaboration in interrogating the Cretaceous data set in Nigeria for a while. Omatsola is former Chief Geologist at Shell and founding Managing Director of Conoil Producing. He is Africa’s leading exploration thinker and former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE). Ejedawe and Ladipo are both industry icons; who started out in academia and later spent more than 15 years in Shell each. Ejedawe received NAPE’s highest award, the Aret Adams’ Award, in 2017. Ladipo set up a Post Graduate Geocience School in the University of Benin after he retired from Shell.

“Representatives from government agencies, local and international oil companies, and the academia are expected to attend”, says Olawoki, who is the convener.

Although exploration in the country started in basins of cretaceous age, Oil majors operating in Nigeria have progressively stopped being interested in basins outside the Niger Delta, since Shell discovered Oloibiri in Bayelsa State 63 years ago. The narrative, since discovery, with the exception of TOTAL’s foray into the Benue Trough, has been almost entirely about the Cenozoic Niger Delta. It is the NNPC, the state hydrocarbon company, which has been most enthusiastic about the Cretaceous play.

The word “Cretaceous” probably needs to be explained for our readers not familiar with geological terms. Cretaceous refers to that era, in the geologic definition which started 145Million years ago and ended 66Million years ago, lasting 79 Million years. What is important for oil finders is that it with a relatively warm climate, resulting in high eustatic sea levels that created numerous shallow inland seas. These oceans and seas were populated with marine reptiles (now extinct) ammonites and rudiststs. The end of the Cretaceous era is marked by the extinction of the Dinosaurs.

The May 7-9 workshop will discuss, among others:  Global Rift Setting Overview and Analogs; Pre-Cambrian Basement Impact on the Evolution of the Cretaceous Basins; Geophysics and Basin Architecture; Stratigraphy and Depositional Systems; Geochemistry and Basin Modelling and Exploration Activities.



TOTAL Makes “Significant” Condensate Discovery offshore South Africa

French major TOTAL has described, as significant, its gas condensate discovery on the Brulpadda prospects, located on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin, 175 kilometres off the southern coast of South Africa.

The Brulpadda well encountered 57 metres of net gas condensate pay in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. Following the success of the main objective, the well was deepened to a final depth of 3,633 meters and has also been successful in the Brulpadda-deep prospect, the company said.

Kevin McLachlan, TOTAL’s Senior Vice President Exploration, said the French major had “opened a new world-class gas and oil play” with this well, “and is well positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block.

Mr. McLachlan’s talk of several follow up prospects, is echoed by an enthusiastic statement by Africa Energy, one of TOTAL’s smaller partners on the lease. “The success at both the Brulpadda primary and secondary targets significantly de-risks four other similar prospects already identified on the existing 2D seismic. The Block 11B/12B partners plan to acquire 3D seismic this year, followed by up to four exploration wells”.

The Brulpadda well was drilled in approximately 1,400 metres of water by the Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig. The two primary objectives were in in a deep marine fan sandstone system within combined stratigraphic/structural closure and was deepened after successfully testing those objectives. Core samples were taken in the upper reservoir, and a comprehensive logging and sampling program was performed over both reservoirs.

Seadrill Starts A new joint venture with Sonangol

Seadrill Limited has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Empresa de Serviços e Sondagens de Angola Ltda, an affiliate of Sonangol E.P), the Angolan state hydrocarbon firm. The new joint venture, Sonadrill, will operate four drillships, focusing on opportunities in Angolan waters.

Each of the joint venture parties will bareboat two drillships into Sonadrill. The Seadrill drillships will be from our existing owned or managed fleet. The Sonangol drillships, Libongos and Quenguela, both 7th generation high spec ultra deepwater drillships, are currently under construction at DSME shipyard in Korea and expected to be delivered in the first half of 2019. Seadrill will manage the delivery and mobilization to Angolan waters under a separate Commissioning and Mobilization Agreement with Sonangol.

Seadrill will manage and operate the four drillships on behalf of Sonadrill which will have an initial term of 5 years.

Anton Dibowitz, CEO, commented: “We are excited to have been selected by Sonangol to manage their newbuild drillships and to partner with them in pursuing opportunities in this important deepwater basin. Sonadrill will give us the opportunity to gain incremental access to a market that is expected to show significant growth over the next years, further strengthen our relationship with key customers and provides an attractive opportunity to continue expanding our fleet of premium ultra-deepwater rigs.”

Newcross Is Excited About Awoba NW-2 Discovery

By John Ashuks, in Port Harcourt

The Newcross Group, a Nigerian firm of E&P independents, is excited about the results of Awoba NW-2, reporting over 400 feet of pay more than encountered in Awoba NW-1, the discovery well drilled by Shell in 2001.

This is the first well the company would drill as operator of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 24, which it purchased from Shell, TOTAL and ENI in 2015.

Awoba NW-2, drilled with the Chinese rig Sheng Li-4, successfully appraised multiple reservoir complexes, “through a focused, highly deviated well trajectory that targeted spatially diverse pools because of complex geology”, the company reports.

The well discovered four new hydrocarbon accumulations.  Total footage was 450feet Net Oil Sands and 520 feet Net Gas Sands (True Vertical Depth).

The NNPC/Newcross Joint Venture currently averages about 30,000BOPD in OML 24.


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