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Ororo-1 Well Fire Rages On

Fire is still raging on the Ororo-1 well, in shallow water Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95, eight full months after a blowout occurred on the Hydraulic Work over rig Grace-1 HWU.

The rig was involved in re-entry operations on the well, located in shallow water Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95.

Although the company that engaged the services of the owners of Grace-1 HWU was Guarantee Petroleum, a Nigerian E&P independent, the Nigerian government, having revoked the rights of the company to the field, took ownership of controlling the well fire.

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), last May, told Africa Oil+Gas Report it would do all it could to extinguish the fire, including possibly drilling a relief well and engaging Boots & Coots Services, a Halliburton owned firm of well control specialists, to put out the fire.

Grace-1 HWU, a Hydraulic workover rig reportedly owned by Joeny Holdings, was contracted by Guarantee Petroleum, for the job of re-entry and completion.

Ororo Fire, in May 2020

The operations experienced a sudden rush of hydrocarbon fluids speeding up from over pressured reservoirs at depths deeper than 8,500 feet to the surface and forcing a blowout. The Blow Out Preventer (BOP) for the main well bore and the BOP for the annulus (the space between the pipe and the skin of the well), both failed. The reservoir pressure was 8,000 pounds per square inch (psi) and above, surface pressure was about 4,600psi as of the time of incident, according to field data.

It’s a widely held view, by a range of technical specialists in the industry, that such a highly pressured well should not have been re-entered with a workover rig which has less than adequate BOP. Competency. Some argue that there should have been a sidetrack and not a re-entry, but if there had to be a re-entry, it should have been done with a rig with at least 2,000 horsepower BOP. Indeed, Chevron had plugged the well with a steel plug during abandonment in 1982, because of the pressure challenges.

What is uncertain is why the fire has been left for so long, with clear environmental consequences.

Wentworth Reports Security Challenges Around Moza Discovery

The Norwegian explorer Wentworth Resources, has reported “above ground security situation in and around the Macimboa da Praia and Palma regions”, onshore Mozambique. The area is adjacent to the Tembo block on which Wentworth made a gas discovery well, Tembo-1, in December 2014.

The company says that the situation “remains challenging” and has “prevented safe access to the area for Wentworth staff and contractors”.  Wentworth says it “continues to monitor the challenge closely”.

The report was primarily about a one year extension granted on the Tembo licence by the Instituto Nacional de Petroleo (“INP”), the country’s petroleum industry regulator. That extension takes effect from 16 June 2018 “and enables Wentworth, along with its partner Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), to continue to progress pre-drilling activities in the Tembo block”.

But part of the reason for requesting for extension was because security issues had made it difficult for an optimum work programme to be delivered in a timeous fashion. Last April three women and three children escaped from a hideout of the armed groups that have attacked villages in the area, located in the northern part of Cabo Delgado province. They were taken in by the police. There have been infrequent attacks in the Macimboa da Praia district since October 2017, when two gangs of men attacked three police stations. At least two police officers and four other elements of the security forces were killed, as well as an unknown number of attackers.

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