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Austin Avuru’s Books Back on Sale After Vacation of Court Orders


Austin Avuru’s books are now available for purchase following the vacation of court orders issued by Nigeria’s Federal High courts in Abuja and Lagos.

The Abuja court issued the injunction in July 2022 following a motion exparte filed by Tochukwu Peter Tochukwu, Esq but moved by Nsikan Samuel Ekpeyong Esq with motion No. M/9442/2022 dated 26th Day of July 2002 at an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice SB Belgore.

The injunction was issued days to the scheduled public presentation of the books – My Entrepreneurship Journey and Politics, Economics and the Nigerian Petroleum Industry all by written by Austin Avuru – Founding CEO, Seplat Energy. The third book, Austin Avuru: A Safe Pair of Hands is a biography of the mercurial and methodical oil man written by the duo of Peju Akande and Toni Kan.

Avuru had informed his invited guests of the suspension of the event and sale of the books via an e-message personally signed by him: “this event has been suspended by an Abuja High Court Injunction. Our lawyers are at work and, when we are permitted, we shall re-assemble at a later date.”

The retirement party and book presentation event had been scheduled for the 4th of August, 2022 at the Eko Hotels and Suites Victoria Island.

The court order had, among other prayers, restrained “the defendants, their privies, assigns, agents and howsoever described from proceeding to temper with the res – by taking any step geared at releasing or public presentation of  the book titled  or any other book(s) or any other venue pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

With the vacation of both injunctions, the reading public and friends of the author can now purchase copies of the books – My Entrepreneurship Journey, A Safe Pair of Hands and Politics, Economics and the Nigerian Petroleum Industry – from leading bookshops like Jazzhole, Terra Kulture, Quintessence, Glendora, Roving Heights, Spine and Label, Patabah etc as well as via

The books provide incisive and unique insights into the Nigerian oil and gas industry with special emphasis on the emergence of indigenous oil and gas players as well as Avuru’s place in the mix as founding partner and pioneer CEO of Seplat Energy Plc, a Nigerian and African success story that is listed both on the Nigeria and London Stock Exchange.

Geologist and publisher, Toyin Akinosho described My Entrepreneurship Journey as “a narrative on how to build, grow and sustain an upstream oil company” and “a masterpiece of economic and business analysis,” while A Safe Pair of Hands has been described as telling “a compelling story of excellence, resilience, doggedness and that unique can-do Nigerian Spirit,” and a “must-read for anyone who believes in potential.”

The third book, Politics, Economics and the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, is made up of 74 essays written and published between 1991 and 2022, in which Austin Avuru, “oil man, corporate mandarin and public intellectual shows by the example of thriving companies he has founded, nurtured and built into successful enterprises that his theories for creating value and building generational and sustainable wealth are more than just talk but well thought-out processes anchored in cleared-eyed analysis.  In the book, Avuru provides clear insights that should guide policy and decision making at the highest levels.”


‘World’s Largest Electric Crane Now Being Built’


Mammoet, the lifting equipment supplier, says it is investing in an additional 6,000Tonne capacity ring crane to serve growing energy markets

“The first parts of the new 6,000 Tonne ring crane will soon be delivered to Mammoet’s engineering nerve center in The Netherlands”, the company says in a release.

“In the months ahead, fabrication and production will continue as it is being readied for its very first project, with delivery scheduled in 2024. It becomes the world’s highest capacity land-based crane, and can be fully operated using electric power, allowing clients to execute projects in a sustainable way.

“The introduction of this 6,000 Tonne ring crane sets a new standard in worldwide heavy lifting capacity and allows customers to construct heavier and larger components than ever before. With its unrivaled outreach, hook height and lifting capacity, it offers a carbon-free lifting solution that others simply cannot match.

“The new ring crane, named SK6000, shares the same engineering DNA as its predecessor, the SK350. By employing similar design principles and lifting techniques, it provides customers with continuity and peace of mind. Much of the crane’s technology has been working successfully – and safely – on project sites around the globe for many years.

“Like earlier models, the SK6000 is containerized, enabling swift mobilization and on-site assembly, providing ultra-heavy lift capacity wherever it is needed. It has been designed with next generation offshore wind farms in mind and will serve all global energy markets where additional lifting capacity is needed – both onshore and at se

“As offshore wind components grow in scale and in weight, more lift capacity is needed. The SK6000 delivers this capacity and unlocks a major design constraint. Our latest innovation will enable customers to integrate higher and bigger turbines, and launch heavier foundations, be they fixed or floating.


“In the conventional energy sector, the SK6000 allows offshore and floating production projects to reduce integration time by building even larger topside modules. On land, it helps refineries to reduce downtime by removing and installing larger components with minimum disruption”.

Welltec A/S Acquires Autentik, a Specialist in Wireline Fishing


Welltec A/S, the Denmark headquartered Completion and Intervention service provider, has acquired Autentik AS, a niche technology provider specializing in electric wireline fishing and intervention solutions. The acquisition is a strategic move by Welltec to expand its downhole well access capabilities and enhance its overall service offerings.

“Autentik has a proven track record of delivering innovative solutions to its clients across North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and its expertise – particularly in the downhole fishing domain – will greatly complement Welltec’s existing portfolio”, Welltec says in a release.

“With this acquisition, Welltec will be better positioned to serve its clients with the latest surface-controlled technology advancements and solutions”, the company explains.

The current portfolio of services under Autentik already integrates seamlessly with Welltec’s unique solutions – together with Welltec’s manufacturing capabilities, the acquisition will bring an accelerated technology shift in how to conduct well access operations, safely and efficiently.

“We are excited to welcome Autentik into the Welltec family,” says Tommy Eikeland, CCO Welltec. “There is a mutual admiration for innovation and understanding of risk-taking which, to a certain level, is required when developing new technology.  We have only respect for the work done to build the company from the ground up.  Together with their interventions expertise, this will add tremendous value and momentum to our organization and enhance our ability to provide our clients with cutting-edge solutions.  We have already performed several jobs together and the advantages we can bring are evident.  We look forward to working together to drive further growth and innovation in our industry.”

The Petroleum Club of Lagos Engages the Industry Regulator


By Stephen Kolawole Balogun

Leading stakeholders in Nigeria’s  oil and gas sector met at the First Quarter 2023 Business Dinner of the Petroleum Club held at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday 16th February, 2023.

The business dinner, sponsored by ND Western, deliberated upon major issues of concern in the oil patch. The evening was hosted by Sola Adepetun, a prominent oil and gas lawyer and Partner in ACAS Denton Law, who is also a member of the Club’s Board of Governors.

Komolafe engages in a banter with the Chairman of the Petroleum Club Austin Avuru far left, Abdurazaq Isa, Chair of the Independent Producers Group, second right and Tony Attah, fomer CEO Nigeria LNG Ltd

Austin Avuru, Chairman of the Petroleum Club, highlighted some of the industry’s major challenges in his welcome address. First, he argued that the blame on oil theft as a causative factor in Nigeria’s dwindling daily oil production was extremely exaggerated. Second, he called for a greater degree of transparency and better accounting techniques to assess the true extent of oil theft, “because the figures don’t quite add up”. He touched upon the need for better management, and administrative framework covering the industry as a whole. He also expressed concern at the ongoing exchange of batons and transition between oil majors exiting the upstream oil sector here in Nigeria and the indigenous companies taking over their assets, stressing that the whole process needed to be streamlined and made less complicated. Avuru expressed the hope that Nigeria would, by 2024, become engaged in crude oil refining at a significant daily level of capacity.

Immediately following the Chairman’s welcoming address, the Guest Speaker for the evening, Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission Chief Executive of Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) was introduced by the host to all members and guests present. After a brief citation of his credentials, Mr. Komolafe presented a paper titled: “Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Sector: Value Optimization Energy Transition and Regulatory Perspectives”. He subdivided his paper into the following areas of interest

Irewole John, of SAPETRO, makes a point during the Q&A

(1) Key regulatory areas

• Increasing Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Reserves and Production.
• Developing a transparent approach to hydrocarbon accounting.
• Attaining operational efficiency and effectiveness in our operations.
• Achieving peace and harmony in the host community environment.
• Reducing unit operating cost.
• Creating sanity and predictability.

• Reducing in carbon footprint and the attainment of net zero global emissions target.

(2) Oil and Gas Production Growth Potential

• Data collection and validation for shut-in wells

A very hearty exchange…Gbenga Komolafe, incumbent regulator, right, with Osten Olorunsola, former Director Department of Petroleum Resources

• Evaluating surface and sub-surface considerations for all shut-in strings
• Developing empirical criteria to identify shut-in wells that can come on stream in the short, mid and long term.
• Identifying and prioritising assets with the potential to increase recovery in the short, mid and long term.
• Engaging industry stakeholders to get their buy-in on this regulatory initiative
• Developing robust action/implementation steps
(3) Development Regulations

• Stakeholder engagement
Natural gas flare elimination regulations, upstream petroleum environment remediation fund regulations, upstream fee and rent regulations, upstream petroleum measurement regulations, significant discovery regulations

• Gazetting in process
Acreage management drilling & production regulations, Nigeria frontier exploration fund regulations, unitization regulations, upstream decommissioning and abandonment regulations, upstream petroleum environmental regulations, upstream petroleum safety regulations.

• Gazette
Host communities development regulations, domestic gas delivery obligation regulations, petroleum licensing round regulations, petroleum royalty regulations, conversion and renewal (License and Leases) regulations.

The regulator poses with the elders of the Petroleum club- Godswill Ihetu, far left, Funso Lawal second from left and Duimo Itsueli, far right

(4) Key initiatives

• Reactivation of shut-in wells.
• Creation of the Energy Transition/Carbon Monetisation Unit.
• System automation to minimize time for permits and processes approvals.
• Development of regulatory tools.
• Inland basins prospectivity studies.
• Need to set up a committee to conduct forensic audit of crude theft to enhance transparency of petroleum measurement and accounting.
• Cost monitoring and benchmarking.

(5) Investment opportunities in upstream sector in Nigeria with emphasis on

• Open acreages deep water ultra deep water open blocks

An attentive moment at the dinner-on the foreground, in blue suit, Osa Igiehon, Chief Executive Officer, , Heirs Oil & Gas

• Onshore and shallow water open blocks
• Third parties brown field development
• Gas development, infrastructure and transportation.

(6) Looking ahead to the future.

• The need to harmonize regulatory oversight with best practices.
• Continually ensuring government policies are industry and investment friendly.
• Sustaining strict adherence to transparency in hydrocarbon measurement and accounting.
• Prioritising energy security and increase participation of indigenous players.

• Institutionalization of decarbonisation/monetisation framework.
• Sustaining automation of work processes and technology adaptation in view of energy transition.

The NUPRC ‘Dream Team’ at the Petroleum Club Dinner-From left, Habib Nuhu, Executive Commissioner, Development and Production; Gbenga Komolafe, Commission CE; Kelechi Ofoegbu, Executive Commissioner, Economic Regulation & Strategic Planning and Paul Osu, Head of NUPRC’s Lagos Regional Office

After he finished delivering his paper, the NUPRC chief was engaged in a question and answer session. Wole Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer of Geoplex Drillteq, asked for the guest speaker to shed more light on the shifting wells procedure and how this could impact increased oil production. Effiong Okon, Executive Director of Operations at SeplatEnergy, called for the industry to become bolder and not shy away from engaging in large scale projects, while Yetunde Taiwo (Mrs) of First E&P based her question on the need for more emphasis on gas development and the overall benefits this could yield for the economy. There was a break for the attendees to have dinner after the Q&A. Upon resumption, the Petroleum Club went on to honour both Komolafe, the guest speaker, and Eberechukwu Orji,  Chief Executive Officer of ND Western who were generous sponsors of the evening. Thereafter, the events were drawn to a close.

The Petroleum Club is a non-political and non-profit making advocacy group comprising leaders in the Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria. The club’s principal mandate is to work with stakeholders in the Oil and Gas industry formulating policies and actions necessary for the growth and sustenance of the industry in Nigeria.

Stephen Kola-Balogun is the Principal Partner of Kola Balogun & Partners, Legal Practitioners and a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Law and Business.

Gbenga Komolafe, NUPRC’s CEO, to Speak at the Petroleum Club


The Nigerian engineer Gbenga Komolafe, will be delivering the first of the four quarterly dinner lectures of the Petroleum Club of Lagos for 2023.

The chief executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) will be speaking to the theme Nigerian Upstream Sector: Dialetic of Value Optimisation, Energy Transition and Regulatory Perspectives.

The Petroleum Club, a 16-year-old private club where industry leaders and the technical elite interact, unwind and share ideas on issues concerning the sector, reached out to Mr. Komolafe to deliver the opening dinner lecture.

The event, scheduled for February 16, 2023 at the Civic Centre in Lagos, is “a special oil industry dinner”, declares Austin Avuru, Chairman of the Petroleum club. “We are inviting the entire industry to engage the regulator. We are looking towards a very interactive event”.

The enthusiasm for the meeting is mutual.

NUPRC, on its part, says that its Chief Executive, looks forward to “the opportunity to unveil the Commission’s comprehensive plans to reset and invigorate the industry”.

The NUPRC is a creation of the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) which was passed in August 2021. The PIA vests enormous powers on the two regulatory agencies, of which NUPRC is one. It also creates a field in which the NNPC is no longer  the be all and end all of the industry, but a commercial player that is regulated by both NUPRC and the NMDPRA (Nigerian Midstream, Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority).   Mr Komolafe’s position, by the spirit of the act, is a very influential one.

Komolafe has a lot on his plate; he is running two bid rounds (one for deepwater asset, the other for natural gas flare sites); he is overseeing drafts of regulations that will govern sectors of the industry that NUPRC regulates, based in the Petroleum Industry Act. His NUPRC has just awarded licences to conclude the 2020-2022 marginal field round. He has taken over at a time when national crude oil output has agressively been heading south.


TUNISIA: Calls for Tenders for Solar and Wind Projects Totaling 1,700MW


Three calls for tenders for the development of solar and wind projects over 2023-2025 with a total capacity of up to 1.7 GW TUNISIA

  • Organization Name: The Tunisian Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mines
  • Organization Type: National Government
  • Tunisia issued the following three calls for tenders: 1 – Call for Tenders # 01-2022 for Photovoltaic Power Projects as follwos:

The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (the Ministry) intends to select eight (8) power generation projects from photovoltaic solar energy of 100 Mega Watts (MW) each in four (4) rounds over 2023-2025 as the following:

  1. Round #1: 2 Photovoltaic Power Plants of 100 MW each with a submission deadline on Thursday, June 15, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. Tunis time.
  2. Round #2: 2 Photovoltaic Power Plants of 100 MW each with a submission deadline in March 2024.
  3. Round #3: 2 Photovoltaic Power Plants of 100 MW each with a submission deadline in November 2024.
  4. Round #4: 2 Photovoltaic Power Plants of 100 MW each with a submission deadline in September 2025.

The Ministry is inviting interested bidders to submit offers for the implementation of solar photovoltaic concession pro jects on sites suggested by bidders. In order to receive tender documents and additional information by email, interested bidders must register on inscription AO 01-2022.

2- Call for Tenders # 02-2022 for Wind Power Projects

The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (the Ministry) intends to select eight (8) power generation projects from wind energy of 75 Mega Watts (MW) each in four (4) rounds over 2023-2025 as the following: Round #1: 2 Wind Power Plants of 75 MW each with a submission deadline on Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. Tunis time.

Full details here.

Petrofac Partners Mozambique to Develop an Elite Hydrocarbon Workforce


Petrofac, the UK based engineering service provider for the oil industry, has formed a Joint Venture (JV) with Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), the Mozambican state hydrocarbon firm, for the provision of training services.

Designed to support nationalisation goals across the country’s expanding energy industry, ENH’s stake in the JV has been determined at 51% and Petrofac’s at 49%. The partnership will provide training and competence management solutions for Mozambique’s domestic onshore and offshore developments, as the country continues its transformation from a natural resource producer to an energy and industrial giant, and the largest LNG producer in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mozambique has bought into the localization story in oil and gas industries around the continent, but as it has very few indigenous firms with any real capacity, the authorities are focusing more on workforce training, than contracts-for-localfirms.

On the website of the INP (Institute of Petroleum), Mozambique’s E&P regulatory agency, there are several stories tracking numbers of Mozambicans slated to work on both planned and ongoing gas monetization projects.

Petrofac, in a statement announcing the partnership, declares that it has “a 20-year track record of developing national workforces through the delivery of technical, regulatory, and academic training”.

Niger Delta E&P, Pillar Oil, Win Lead Sustainer Trophies at Lagos Book & Art Festival

By Fred Akanni

Nigerian independents, Niger Delta Exploration & Production (NDEP) and Pillar Oil Limited have each been awarded the title of ‘Lead Sustainers’ of the Lagos Book and Art Festival.

The annual event is Nigeria’s leading advocacy festival for literacy and the two companies have been the leading and most consistent sponsors for the past 11 years.

NDEP has also contributed severally to the discursive sessions, which populate the weeklong feast of the written word.

“It’s an incredible gesture to have such iconic private sector enterprises support our campaign to rid the nation of ignorance”, says Jahman Anikulapo, programme chairman of the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), organisers of LABAF. He was responding to NDEP’s promise to increase its sponsorship for the 2022 edition of the Festival.

The 24th LABAF will run from November 14-20, 2022 at the Freedom Park in Lagos, with the theme Pathways to the Future.

LABAF is a comprehensive, week-long culture picnic that has run annually since September 1999. It features reading sessions, conversations around ‘content and context of books’, art and craft displays, kiddies’ art workshops, Publishers’ Forum, Writers’ Workshops and Book Trek, Book exhibitions, Drama skits, Live music and dance. It is an art festival with high book content.

Among the 15 books up for the curated segment of the festival this year are:

  • Abdourahman Waberi: The United States of Africa
  • Paul Morland: The Tomorrow’s People: The Future of Humanity in Ten Numbers
  • Mo Gawdat: Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence & How You Can Save Our World
  • Ayodele Arigbabu: Lagos 2060
  • Kim Stanley Robinson: New York 2140
  • Ian McEwan: Machines Like Me and People Like You
  • Jonathan E. Hillman: The Digital Silk Road: China’s Quest to Wire the World and Win the Future
  • Ashlee Vance: Elon Musk- Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Paperback
  • James Dale Davidson & Lord William Rees-Mogg: The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age
  • Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty Paperback
  • Itse Sagay: All Will Be Well
  • Yemi Ogunbiyi: The Road Never Forgets
  • Lawson Omokhodion: Powered by Poverty
  • Muyiwa Kayode: Brand Nation




Growth Surge in Nigeria’s Decentralized Renewable Energy Sector


Research shows Nigeria has the fastest sector job growth; jobs expected to exceed 76,000 in 2023, up from 32,000 in 2019, overtaking the oil and gas sector.

Power for All, the global campaign to end energy poverty, in collaboration with Clean Technology Hub Nigeria, today launched the Powering Jobs Census 2022: The Energy Access Workforce Nigeria report. The study shows Nigeria has built a strong market position in decentralized renewable energy (DRE) and is poised to reap the benefits as it addresses energy poverty and rural unemployment.

The DRE sector in Nigeria has been growing rapidly and delivering clean and affordable energy, particularly to remote rural communities and is now also a major source of good and stable jobs, nearly matching those in the county’s oil and gas sector, the report makes clear.

The DRE sector, which includes pico-solar appliances, solar home systems (SHS), and commercial and industrial (C&I) standalone systems, currently employs 50,000 people compared with 65,000 in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. The demand for DRE products in the country is expected to create more than 76,000 new jobs by 2023. This is over twice the number of DRE jobs created in 2019 as reported in the Powering Jobs Census 2019: The Energy Access Workforce report.

The sector is further expected to grow following the recently launched Nigeria Energy Transition Plan which outlines the country’s ambitions and plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060, while also ending energy poverty.

“The report demonstrates the health and viability of the DRE sector to help not only accelerate the country’s energy access agenda  but also to help alleviate unemployment, especially in rural areas,” says Suranjana Ghosh, Power for All’s Director for Campaigns and Partnership.

The report—made possible through the generous support of The Rockefeller Foundation, Good Energies Foundation, and the European Programme GET.invest—is based on a survey of more than 350 companies across five countries: Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. It provides a comprehensive picture of employment in the DRE sector, including recruitment, the skill levels of the DRE workforce, availability of and investment in training, compensation levels, women’s participation, and workforce retention.

Of the countries analyzed Nigeria enjoyed the fastest post-pandemic recovery and growth in DRE jobs. The country lost almost 2,000 DRE jobs in 2020 from short-term pandemic impacts. However, the sector bounced back strongly in 2021, registering approximately 50,000 jobs, nearly twice the number of jobs observed in 2020. The demand for Solar Home Systems products, which was already on a fast upward trajectory before the pandemic, was key to the rapid recovery and growth.

The report indicates the sector is maturing with  the percentage of formal and skilled workers comprising over half of the DRE workforce in the country, at more than 56 percent. Mature DRE markets tend to have a relatively high share of skilled laborers as the technologies become advanced and demand for advanced technical positions, such as installation technicians and maintenance professionals.

However, the renewable energy sector in Nigeria, similar to the other study countries, is still failing to adequately integrate women into the workforce, and this was only exacerbated by the pandemic. The share of women working in the DRE sector in Nigeria was 37 percent behind Kenya’s 41 percent which was also the highest. Notably, in the countries studied, female participation was higher in DRE than in the traditional energy sector at only 22 percent, and in the broader renewable energy sector at 32 percent. This shows the role that DRE can play in bringing more women into more meaningful workforce positions.

Despite the growth in the number of jobs,  DRE companies surveyed as part of this study have indicated that they struggle to fill critical roles due to a lack of qualified applicants. This shortage of skilled workers is expected to get worse as the sector grows and the world transitions away from fossil fuels.

“This report is coming at a very auspicious time because with the very recent release of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, the report provides a great opportunity for decisions makers in government as well as industry actors to apply a job and economic growth lens in implementing the plan. This #PoweringJobs report makes this easier because it provides the data, and the numbers for what is possible when decentralized renewables is a core part of the transition,” notes Ifeoma Malo, CEO of Clean Technology Hub.

The report calls for immediate action to help address this growing skills gap. Collaboration of various stakeholders—education institutions, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), government and DRE companies—is required to support reskilling and upskilling the DRE workforce. A successful focused approach will support the growth and scaling of the sector to realize its potential to deliver modern energy (SDG 7), as well as good work and decent jobs (SDG 8) in the country.


Bouncing back: High-impact well activity set to rebound this year after 2021 slump, Rystad Says

Drilling of high-impact oil and gas prospects is set to rebound this year after a disappointing 2021, when success rates plunged towards record lows, Rystad Energy research shows. These critical wells have found hydrocarbons 47% of the time so far this year, up from a measly 28% for 2021. With more than four months still to go in 2022, discovered volumes from high-impact wells have nearly quadrupled to over 1.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) – a positive sign for global hydrocarbon supply.

A total of 33 high-impact wells are set to be drilled this year, the largest annual number since Rystad Energy started tracking the sector in 2015. This is only slightly more than last year’s 29 high-impact probes, which only yielded 450 million boe because of the low success rate.

Rystad Energy classifies high-impact wells through a combination of factors, including the size of the prospect, whether they would unlock new hydrocarbon resources in frontier areas or emerging basins, and their significance to the operator.

Bucking recent trends, discovered liquids have accounted for 1.2 billion boe or almost 70% of the volumes this year, while gas discoveries total about 550 million boe. In previous years, gas discoveries have vastly outnumbered liquids volumes. This year’s reversal is mainly due to two significant oil offshore discoveries in Namibia – TotalEnergies’ Venus and Shell’s Graff.

“Last year was disappointing for discovering gas and liquid volumes from high-impact wells, but 2022 is on track to make up for that slump. If the success rate seen in the first half of 2022 holds for the full year, we could be in for one of the most productive annual volumes total on record,” says Rystad Energy senior analyst Taiyab Zain Shariff.

Of the 33 expected high-impact wells this year, 19 have already been completed, four are in progress, and 10 are scheduled to be completed before next year. More than half of the wells drilled so far in 2022 are considered a “focus for the company,” indicating that more operators are narrowing their geographical range of exploration and focusing on core regions instead of frontier areas.

The global oil majors and other exploration and production companies account for more than 60% of the high-impact wells completed this year. Majors have drilled eight high-impact wells, of which four resulted in commercial discoveries: TotalEnergies’ Venus and Shell’s Graff oil discoveries in Namibia, ExxonMobil’s Fangtooth oil find in Guyana, and Eni’s XG-002 gas discovery in the UAE.

More than 45% of wells completed so far in 2022 are in South America and Africa, followed by Australia and Europe with 16% each of completed wells. By individual country, Australia accounted for the most completed high-impact wells with three, followed by Guyana and Namibia with two wells each.

Of the 19 high-impact wells completed this year, 47% resulted in a commercial discovery, with the rest either dry or uncommercial and one still awaiting results. Only one find was a pure oil discovery, while the rest were either gas or liquids with associated gas. This year’s success rate is almost equivalent to 2020, which was one of the most successful years in volumes from high-impact wells.

We expect 14 high-impact wells to be completed or spudded for the rest of this year, six of them by majors. Eni operates two of the four high-impact wells currently being drilled. The first is the Cronos-1 well in Block 6 off Cyprus, which is drilled at a water depth of around 2,350 meters targeting a Cretaceous play. The other is the Dan Tranh-1X well in Block 115/09 off Indonesia, targeting a newly identified Miocene play in the emerging Song Hong Basin. The other two in-progress wells are the much-awaited, play-opening Rencong well operated by Repsol in the Andaman-III block off Indonesia, and Shell’s Jaca-1 well in Block 6 in the frontier Rio Muni basin of Sao Tome & Principe. That well reached its total depth last week and is undergoing completion and evaluation.

The rest of the wells planned for this year are distributed throughout Africa and the Americas, with some exciting wildcats to watch in Southeast Asia as well. Most of these are classified “focus for the company,” followed by wells in frontier basins. The frontier wildcats will be interesting to watch as they may open entirely new petroleum regions. These include Kuwait’s first offshore probe in 32 years, where Halliburton has a contract to drill six high-pressure, high-temperature (HP/HT) exploration wells for state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. If successful, this campaign could help restart Kuwait’s offshore legacy fields after a long hiatus.

For more analysis, insights and reports, clients and non-clients can apply for access to Rystad Energy’s Free Solutions and get a taste of our data and analytics universe.


Taiyab Zain Shariff
Senior Analyst
Phone: +91 97 42 06 16 16

Elliot Busby
Media Relations Manager
Phone: +1 708 513 4214

About Rystad Energy
Rystad Energy is an independent energy research and business intelligence company providing data, tools, analytics and consultancy services to the global energy industry. Our products and services cover energy fundamentals and the global and regional upstream, oilfield services and renewable energy industries, tailored to analysts, managers and executives alike. Rystad Energy’s headquarters are located in Oslo, Norway with offices in London, New York, Houston, Aberdeen, Stavanger, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Bangalore, Tokyo, Sydney and Dubai.

Elliot Busby

Media Relations Manager



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