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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.


Aker Finalises Pecan Field Appraisal, Offshore Ghana

Aker Energy is finalising a successful drilling operation of the Pecan-4A appraisal well offshore Ghana.

The well was drilled at the Pecan field in the DWT/CTP block, to a vertical depth of 4,870 meters in 2,667 meters of water. The DWT/CTP block offshore Ghana contains seven discoveries, of which Pecan is the main discovery to date.

The main purpose of Pecan-4A appraisal well was to confirm Aker Energy’s understanding of the geology in the area and to identify deep oil water contact in the Pecan reservoir. This was successfully proven.

“We are pleased to announce the well results, confirming our understanding of the area, as well as the resource base and upside potential in the DWT/CTP block. Based on these results, we will optimise the Plan of Development for the Pecan field. There is still a lot of work to be done, including to conclude the phasing of the development, the size of first phase and detailing of the concept. Our most important priority going forward is to deliver a robust field development plan to the Ghanaian authorities,” says Jan Arve  Haugan, Chief Executive Officer at Aker Energy.

Based on existing subsurface data from seismic, wells drilled and an analysis of the Pecan-4A well result, the existing discoveries are estimated to contain gross contingent resources (2C) of 450 – 550 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE). Aker Energy estimates that with the next two appraisal wells to be drilled, the total volumes to be included in a Plan of Development (POD) have the potential to increase to between 600 – 1,000MMBOE. In addition, there are identified multiple well targets to be drilled as part of a greater area development after submission of the POD.

“Aker Energy sees great potential in this promising area offshore Ghana. We see the foundation for a phased development producing through several production units. Since we became the operator less than a year ago, we have established an open, inclusive and transparent collaboration with Ghanaian authorities. This partnership will enable us to unlock the vast potential in the area to the benefit of both the Ghanaian society and our license partners. We are looking forward to continuing and further strengthening this partnership to develop the Ghanaian oil and gas industries,” concludes Haugan.

Aker Energy is the operator of the DWT/CTP block with a 50% participating interest. Aker Energy’s partners are LUKOIL (38%), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10%) and Fueltrade (2%).


Will Brulpadda, Now Spud, Open Up South Africa?

The potentially game changing well is being drilled in the Outeniqua Basin

Four years after it was forced to quit, TOTAL has re-entered the Brulpadda-1AX on Block 11B/12B offshore South Africa.

The French major looks forward to drilling results, in what it considers a “basin-opening opportunity”, in the first quarter of 2019.

TOTAL halted drilling of the well in November 2014 because of mechanical problems on the rig, caused by the challenging environment in the Agulhas, with its chaotic combination of currents, waves and winds, which contrasts sharply with the mild metocean conditions of the West African deepwater.

Block 11B/12B is located in the Outeniqua Basin, approximately 175 kilometers off the southern coast of South Africa. The area has a proven petroleum system from the nearby Sable and Oryx oil fields, according to geoscientists working on the prospect. Brulpadda is one of five similar submarine fan prospects with direct hydrocarbon indicators defined utilizing two dimensional (2D) seismic surveys acquired across the Paddavissie Fairway in 2001 and 2005. The Brulpadda Prospect has gross prospective resources of more than 500Million barrels with significant follow-on potential in the success case.

TOTAL is drilling in South Africa at a time of significant uncertainty around oil and gas exploration in the country, with an Upstream Petroleum law stuck in parliament over 10 years with no clear line of sight to resolution. But if the well turns out to be a discovery in an otherwise barren landscape, it has the tendency to kickstart a drilling queue.

Brulpadda-1AX is being drilled in 1,432 metres of water by the Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig to a total depth of 3,420 meters subsea. The well will test the oil potential in a mid-Cretaceous aged deep marine fan sandstone system within combined stratigraphic/structural closure. Drilling and evaluation of the well is expected to take approximately 85 days with a gross budget of approximately US$154 million, including contingency for downtime due to weather.

TOTAL operates Block 11B/12B with a 45% interest in Block 11B/12B, while Qatar Petroleum and Canadian Natural Resources Limited have 25% and 20% interests, respectively.


Spud Date For Kolmani River-2 Is Likely Mid January 2019

By Shaddum Lawal

The advance team for the drilling of NNPC’s gas well in Bauchi State, in Nigeria’s northeast, has started moving to site.

Kolmani River-2 will be appraising the 1999 gas discovery made by Shell in Kolmani River-1. The Anglo Dutch major drilled the well to a depth of 3,000metres. Although there were no tests, the company booked 33Billion standard cubic feet of gas as possible estimated recoverable reserves.

The new well will be drilled by the Drillog operated Rig 101, which will move from Moni Pulo’s Ituk-3ST1 in Akwa Ibom state, in the country’s southeast onshore, to the site of Kolmani River 2, in the  Gongola Basin.

As we reported in the November 2018 edition of Africa Oil+Gas Report, the well is unlikely to spud  before the end of the year. The spud date is likely second week of January 2019. NNPC’s Frontier Exploration Services, which is in charge of the project. had earlier announced Q3 2018 spud for the much awaited spud 2, citing Rig contract awards, road construction, site preparation and Mobilisation to location, as likely to have been done as far back as July 2018. However, Drilliog Rig 101 had only just commenced Ituk-3ST 1 in October 2018 and the likelihood of finalising that well of mid-November 2018 were slim.


ENI Hits New Pay dirt, off Angola

Italian explorer ENI reports it has made a new oil discovery in the Afoxé exploration prospect located in Block 15/06, offshore Angola. “The discovery is estimated to contain between 170 and 200Million barrels of light oil in place”, the company asserts in a release, even though it admits the well had not been tested.

The Afoxé-1 NFW well is located in the south-east area of Block 15/06, approximately 120 km off the coast, 50 km south-west from the Olombendo FPSO and 20 km west of the recent Kalimba-1 discovery. The well was drilled in a water depth of 780 meters and reached a total depth of 1,723 meters.

“Afoxé-1 NFW proved a 20 meters net oil pay of high quality oil (37° API) contained in Upper Miocene sandstones with excellent petrophysical properties”, ENI explains in a very upbeat announcement. “The well has not been tested but an intensive data collection has been carried out that indicates a production capacity in excess of 5,000 barrels of oil per day. The new nearby discoveries of Kalimba and Afoxé are now accounting together a potential of 400 – 500MMBOE of high quality oil in place and represent a new cluster that can be exploited jointly in a new development concept.

Afoxé discovery is a further confirmation of the oil exploration potential still held in southern part of Block 15/06, previously considered mainly gas prone. ENI is planning to drill up to 4 new exploration wells back to back in Block 15/06 during 2019”.


Angolan Rig Count Inches Up

The number of rigs actively drilling in Angola has increased in the last one month.

Italian explorer ENI, brought into the country’s waters, the drillship Poseidon, owned and operated by Ocean Rig. The vessel had just finalised a well in deepwater offshore Namibia in October.

It will bring, to 5, the number of rigs active on one well or the other in the country. That is a whopping 25% increase in rig numbers, from four rigs in October.

The Angolan government is desperate for a return to a vibrant E&P sector, after five straight years of declining activity.

A November 16, 2018 report by  Reuters, noted that Carlos Saturnino, head of the state hydrocarbon firm Sonangol, indicated that ExxonMobil had shown interest in some blocks in the Namib basin, in the country’s deep South, “while advanced discussions are being held with BP, Equinor and ENI for the rights to the ultra-deep offshore blocks 46 and 47”. .

The news agency also reported that French major TOTAL, the largest producer in the country by operated volume, plans to drill its first exploration well in four years. “Beneath 3,630 metres of water on block 48, it will be one of the world’s deepest.”


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