All posts tagged feature


EI’s New CEO is BP’s Former Head of Alternative Energy

Nick Wayth, formerly Chief Development Officer of Alternative Energy at BP, will take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Institute (EI), beginning May 4, 2021EI is a British headquartered global chartered professional membership body, which says it “articulates the voice of energy experts, taking the know-how of around 20,000 members and 200 companies from 120 countries to the heart of the public debate”.Wayth takes over from Louise Kingham, who has headed the EI and its precursor bodies for more than twenty years.

Ms. Kingham is stepping down this month to become UK Head of Country and Senior Vice President for Europe at BP.Wayth, who holds a PhD in Mechanical / Electrical Engineering and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from the University of Southampton, has spent nearly 22 years at BP plc in a broad variety of executive and management roles. Most recently he held the post of Chief Development Officer of Alternative Energy, where he led BP’s strategy and business development in a broad range of renewable technologies, including solar, offshore wind and digital energy. Through this role he was also a member of the BP Ventures Investment Committee, sponsoring several of BP’s venture investments.


ENI’s New Angolan Find to Push Net Output Beyond 115,000BOEPD

By Sully Manope

ENI’s new discovery of oil in Cuica-1 in Angola’s CabaçaDevelopment Area in Block 15/06 takes the Italian player on course of topping up its 100,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD) net in the country.

The well-head location, intentionally placed close to the Armada Olombendo FPSO East Hub’s subsea network, will allow a fast-track tie-in of the exploration well and relevant production, thus immediately creating value while extending the FPSO production plateau. It is expected that production will start within six months after discovery.

Cuica-1 encountered 80 metres total column of reservoir of light oil (38°API) in Miocene sandstones located in in a water depth of 500 metres, ENI says that this discovery translates to a size estimated between 200 and 250Million barrels of oil in place.

The company net 100,000BOPD (crude oil alone) in total export volume from Blocks O, 3/05. 3/05A, 14, 15 and 15/06 in February 2021, according to the Angolan regulatory agency, ANPG

The New Field Well (NFW) has been drilled as a deviated well by the Libongos drillship and reached a total vertical depth of 4100 metres, good petrophysical properties. The discovery well is going to be sidetracked updip to be placed in an optimal position as a producer well. “The result of the intensive data collection indicates an expected production capacity of around 10,000 barrels of oil per day”, ENI says in a statement.

“Cuica is the second significant oil discovery inside the existing Cabaça Development Area and confirms the Block 15/06 Joint Venture’s commitment to leverage the favorable legal framework on additional exploration activities within existing Development Areas, as promoted through the Presidential Legislative Decree No. 5/18 of 18 May 2018”, the company said.

“Pursuant to the discoveries of Kalimba, Afoxé, Ndungu, Agidigbo, Agogo and appraisals achieved between 2018 and 2020, Cuica represents the first commercial discovery in Block 15/06 after the re-launch of the exploration campaign post-2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the drop of oil price”. A three-year extension of the exploration period of Block 15/06 has been recently granted until November 2023.


“Nigeria’s top Problem is Well Cost: We are Out to Solve it”

PARTNER CONTENT/Hd Drilling Services

Hope Okwa, Founder/Chief Executive Officer Hd Drilling Services, sees the high cost of well construction as major impediment to Nigeria’s meeting its goal of achieving 4Million Barrels of Oil Per Day of crude oil in the short term.

“If we reduce well cost from $25Million to just $5Million hypothetically speakingrequiring only 20% of the previous investment demands”, he tells Africa Oil+Gas Report’s Ahmed Gafareven local banks may be able to fund field development campaigns.

He also fields questions on a range of issues, from opportunities that newly awarded marginal fields throw up to demand for Nigerian hydrocarbon.

A bachelors and masters degree holder in engineering from theUniversity of Benin (Nigeria) and Heriot Watt University in the UK, Okwa has 29 years of post graduation industry experience, the first 14 of which he spent in AngloDutch Shell, mostly on well engineering and drilling supervision. He had a stint at BG (the defunct British Gas) as a senior well engineer in the company’s Nigerian deepwater operations. He had a five year stretch as senior drilling and workover well engineer on critical gas operations at Saudi Aramco, after which he had another 18 month stint at BP Angola as senior drilling engineer.

Excerpts from the conversation.

Hd Okwa Drilling advertises itself as a company with a laser focus on oilfield drilling services. How did you come to this realisation?• The Nigerian Government targets Four Million barrels of oil per day (4MMBOPD), but the country is barely achieving 1.5MMBOPD due to high well cost. A 10,000 ft well producing only 3,000 BOPD costs up to $25Million to construct. To move from current 1.5MM to 4MM BOPD requires massive well construction activities, in the order of over 800 wells per year. The associated investment is $21Billion per annum. Where will this investment come from, especially in an era where top global financiers are moving their investment to renewables? The only way is to rethink well construction efficiency, with a view to drastically reducing well costs from current levels.• The sources of inefficiencies in well construction, is very much within our expertise, as as demonstrated through the several SPE papers we have authored.  • It is very urgent to implement these solutions. In nine (9) years’ time, by 2030, the first world will pivot away from fossil fuel.  What will then happen to Nigeria’s reserves of 37 Billion BOE?• We believe we have the solutions to reduce well costs in Nigeria by as much as 70%. I have a track record of this achievement from my employment with Shell, BG-Group, BP, Saudi Aramco, as well as many local operators. Hd Okwa Drilling is collaborating with operators and service companies to deliver wells that are only 30% of the standard cost. We hope to have an opportunity to talk about these alliances and collaborations in the course of this discussion.

Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of NNOC, and Timpre Silva, Minister of State for Petroleum, at the launch of  the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Programme (NUCOP) in Abuja, last February

Your website indicates that there’s an entire business proposition around well services that require some single mindedness. and how is the journey so far?

The establishment of Hd Okwa Drilling Services is a milestone in its own right. We have had opportunities to offer advice on Well Design, NPT avoidance, cost improvement, personnel recruitment, etc for various operators. In the years ahead, we plan to expand these offerings to technical consulting, staff development on cost-reducing well delivery processes and dealing with the complexity of supply chains in Nigeria.

Rig activity has taken a dive in Nigeria in the past year. What has been Hd Okwa Drilling’s Business Strategy in this prolonged period of silence?

We may ascribe the direct cause of rig activity collapse to the COVID-19 outbreak.  However, I suspect the underlying cause of this sharp decrease in drilling activity may not be far from the high cost of wells, as I highlighted earlier, and the challenge of obtaining investment cash in an environment where everyone is going to renewables.

We believe that if we reduce well costs drastically, through our activities, we will be able to stimulate activities. For example, if we reduce well cost from $25Million to just $5Million hypothetically speaking, requiring only 20% of the previous investment demands, even local banks may be able to fund field development campaigns.

Over 200 companies are expected to form 57 Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to develop 57 Marginal Fields in the next 36 Months. How is Hd Okwa working on taking advantage?

Here is where we hope to make the most impact. In the past, many marginal field winners have struggled to bring oil to market due to several challenges, related to investment funds availability.  Many of the marginal operators are going to need to drill 3-5 wells to realise their field potentials. Without support from our activities, each operator will try to raise $75 – $125Million for field development. With our expertise, this could just be only $15 – $25Million, which is within the capability of local banks. We have assembled a repertoire of options available to marginal operators e.g. from our bespoke consulting services, to full project management through our sister company H-PTP Energy services, or our supply chain improvement alliances The Well Engineering Platform, etc.  Through these outlets Hd Okwa Drilling services hopes to transform the well delivery landscape in the country and catalyse a speedy development of the marginal resources.

What is your outlook on Nigeria’s Upstream sector for 2021?

The environment is very challenging. There is demand for Nigerian oil with the ongoing commissioning of Dangote’s 650,000 BOPD refinery, and several modular refineries. These refineries will help reduce dependence on imported fuel, and not only satisfy local consumption, but fulfil demand across Africa and many of the developing world, who would still be dependent of oil consumption for the foreseeable future. As our contribution to the preparation, we are developing local manpower by running courses like the• Well Design Masterclass, • Re-Entry and Workover Engineering Masterclass, • Abandonment and Decommissioning Planning Masterclass. 

We also extending our collaborations to experts overseas, who we are bringing to run specialist training in Nigeria for Nigerians, at very low price. We are also developing ourselves in readiness for the future challenges. For example, I am completing my Master of Science in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the No.1 Business School in Europe, HEC Paris. Thus, we are ready to make our contribution to energise the Nigerian oil sector.

Nigeria exports oilfield service expertise outside the country. Are you one of such providers? Does Hd Okwa Drilling have Pan African ambitions?

Not at the moment. The focus of Hd Okwa Drilling Services is Nigeria. In North America, drilling planning has really advanced, and the gap with Africa is very wide. So, we focus on Nigeria first, then we can expand to the other African countries later.  Let charity begin at home.

Hd Okwa Drilling takes training a so seriously that it’s a full component of its spectrum of business. This is quite unusual in the Nigerian industry. Is training a highly monetised component of your business portfolio?

A direct answer is ‘NO’. However, we need a pipeline of skilled professionals to master the techniques and processes that we deploy.  One way of doing this is through training and mentorship. We have established several specialists’ courses relating to efficient well delivery. These courses are available to both individuals and operators, at a fraction of the cost. Training cannot pay back if we are to consider the efforts we put in, as these courses are at the cutting edge of the future of well engineering.  They cover Well Design Masterclass, Re-Entry and Workover Engineering Masterclass, Abandonment and Decommissioning Planning Masterclass, Efficient Cementing Technology, etc. We also organise team alignment workshops, well challenge sessions, drill-the-well-on-paper (DWOP) exercises, in addition to our normal specialist courses. Our resource persons are the leaders on the well engineering disciplines within Nigeria and the global industry.

The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Nigerian Chapter is always talking about training about quality and capacity of rig personnel, about safety on rigsite. Is your company looking at Collaboration with IADC?

We have it as part of our strategy to collaborate with the IDC Nigerian Chapter, on manpower development for the Nigerian industry.  We are in the process of founding a Well Engineering professional organisation. When completed, the organisation will also be part of our springboard for driving down well costs in Nigeria by accelerating competence development of professionals through mentoring by Nigerian professionals with extensive international experience. 

I am curious about a company calling itself strictly a Drilling Service company; why can’t you simply describe yourself as a full subsurface solutions provider? 

Of course, we are a subsurface consultancy group. However, expertise in the other areas of petroleum engineering abound. As drilling requires long training and mentorship to attain professional maturity, it appears to be the area in serious need of attention. If well costs are allowed to continue to grow, the current lull in well construction activities will linger too long. There is need for urgency, as we cannot predict what would happen to Nigeria’s oil after 2030, which is only nine years time!

I see that you count Shell, Amni, and First E&P as part of your clientele. For indigenous companies who are mushrooming in Nigeria, the logistics of integrated project management can be so challenging they’d do better to outsource it. Is this the space you are after? 

Shell, Amni, First E&P, Monipulo, Elcrest, Addax, etc, are some of the beneficiaries of our expertise and we have worked in one form or the other with these organisations. However, we are a technical consulting organisation. We use our expertise to help operators, reduce well costs. We do this by facilitating well design improvement, helping them eliminating non-productive times, and training and mentorship of personnel. Our project management activities are carried out through another organisation that we contribute expertise to.

Out of the several specialisations in Hd Okwa Drilling services: Well Cost Improvement Catalysis, Strategic Expertise & Technical Consulting, Well Operations Risk Elimination, which of them does Hd Okwa Drilling find most forward looking? And which are you best at? 

Our expertise covers all areas, and we need all of them as arsenal to attack the monster of well costs escalation. We operate through several avenues:1) In Non-Productive-Time elimination for example, our research showed that all NPT’s in the Nigerian drilling operations are caused by four main events namely Well control, wellbore instability, equipment failures and human errors. These events constitute 30% of the total time spent at the well site on a well.  We have developed expertise that we use to support operators to eliminate these events.2) Invisible lost time constitutes the least beneficial activity to the drilling operation, but are being carried because they can’t be detected.  This time constitutes up to 50% of wellsite times.  We collaborate with international experts to develop well operations analytics software. We currently support two – SMARD and CI Drill.  Both software arecreating disruption in the well analytics space. These two-software combined can eliminate up to 30% of all invisible lost times.3) Drilling project management requires high level of expertise.  The country has relied on Shell to develop drilling expertise for the industry in Nigeria. However, as the company has shrunk over the years, so have the number of professionals they develop.  We contribute technically to H-PTP Energy Services which is full services well projects management organisation founded by like-mind professionals with strong international expertise.4) We have developing collaborations and alliances with service suppliers to the drilling business to help them improve their services to international standards.5) I act as Technical expert in well engineering such as expert witness, standards development, expert opinions, etc.6) We have supported a financial service organisation to advise them on energy project funding.7) We act as well examiner, in line with international standards, where we look at drilling project plans, and offer recommendations for improvement.8) We conduct workshops to drive the ideas through the clients’ teams.9) And, of course, training services. We are very good in this area.

The last annual report by Shell sounded so despondent about their experience out on the Nigerian oilfield environment. What is your message to international investors about the future of the Nigeria’s oil and gas market? 

We need investors to help us develop the 4MMBOPD we need to develop the economy and enjoy the benefits of oil and gas. I think investors can help to improve the technical space in the local industry by patronising local expertise. For example, our organisation consists of high-level professionals with experience of global oil and gas industry, as well as internal consultancies such as McKinsey & co, as well as PWC, among others.  These professionals understand international standards and procedures, and are able to offer advice to international level.

On the whole, the development of local refineries will help insulate the industry from the vagaries of international oil market cycles. With a population of 200Million citizens, Nigeria is the country to invest in. And the oil and gas leads the way.


Nigeria’s High Well Costs are at the Heart of its CAPEX and OPEX Challenges

By Ahmed Gafar, in Lagos

The astronomically high drilling costs of wells in Nigeria are key to the challenges faced by operators in reining in operating and capital expenses, an industry service provider has suggested.

If Africa’s highest crude oil producer is to reach its target of delivering Four Million Barrels of Oil Per day (4MMBOPD) in the near term, those costs need to be brought down, argues Hope Okwa, Founder/ Managing Director of Hd Okwa Drilling Services.

Hope Okwa

“A 10,000 feet well producing only 3,000 BOPD costs up to $25Million to construct in Nigeria”, Okwa allows. “To move from the current 1.5MMBOPD to 4MMBOPD requires massive well construction activities, in the order of over 800 wells per year. The associated investment is $21Billion per annum. Where will this investment come from, especially in an era where top global financiers are moving their investment to renewables?”. 

Okwa is persuasive that he is not just throwing numbers around: “$25Million per well cost is true for land, swamp and shallow offshore, as the rigs all use surface blowout preventers.

“The only way is to rethink well construction efficiency, with a view to drastically reducing well costs from current levels”, he contends. “The sources of inefficiencies in well construction, is very much within our expertise”, Okwa declares: “it is very urgent to implement these solutions”, as “in nine (9) years’ time in 2030, the advanced countries will pivot away from fossil fuel.  What will then happen to Nigeria’s reserves of 37Bllion BOE?”

Cost control in oilfield activities has been a front burner issue in Nigeria. Last February, the state hydrocarbon company NNPC had an elaborate event on cost optimization, at which Timipre Silva, Minister of State for petroleum, asked the country’s 34 oil and gas producing companies to join in working towards reducing operations cost to achieve the $10 or less per barrel production cost target.

Stakeholders have responded to Ministry of Petroleum’s call for cost control by naming causes including insecurity (You need gunboats full of naval officers on the way to rig-site) and taxation (government at all levels level multiple taxes: DPR hikes costs of obligatory services, State Governments demand various tariffs, Local Governments harass operators; communities hold up work; regulators sometimes delay). 

Okwa counters that “those issues relate to production mainly, and companies are having to trade off drilling wells due to the issues mentioned and high well cost”. 

 

Okwa has 29 years industry experience, the first 14 of which he spent in AngloDutch Shell, mostly on well engineering and drilling supervision. He had a stint at BG (the defunct British Gas) as a senior well engineer in the company’s Nigerian deepwater operations. He had a five year stretch as senior drilling and workover well engineer on critical gas operations at Saudi Aramco, after which he had another stint at BP Angola as senior drilling engineer.

“We believe that if we reduce well costs drastically.. we will be able to stimulate activities”, he says. “If we reduce well cost from $25Million to just $5Million hypothetically speaking, requiring only 20% of the previous investment demands, even local banks may be able to fund field development campaigns.

The full interview is in the link


Elohor Takes Over SNEPCO From Bayo Ojulari

By Sully Manope

Elohor Aiboni has taken over from Bayo Ojulari as Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).

She is the first woman to take the job, which has become increasingly important as AngloDutch Shell increases its focus on deep-water, hub-scale opportunities.  

Mrs. Aiboni’s chief immediate task is to find a way to achieve Final Investment Decision (FID) for the pending Bonga SouthWest Aparo (BSWA) project, a job that Ojulari laboured over in the last three years. If she is lucky, she might even witness, on her watch, the 150,000BOPD (peak production) project from construction to first oil.

A 1999 bachelor of science degree holder in Chemical Engineering from the University of Benin, and Masters’ degree in Integrated Environmental Management from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, Aiboni has moved through the ranks, serving as operations support engineer in Shell’s Eastern Nigeria Division and team leader on the relatively large Obigbo oil field (around 160Million barrels reserves as of 2008), straddling two Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 11 &17. 

Her first look-in into Upper Management philosophy was as Business Analyst to the Executive Vice President Shell E&P Africa. She then moved on cross posting to Kazakhstan, where she was part of the Kashagan project, returning to assist in overseeing the divestment of Shell’s onshore eastern assets(OMLs 18, 24 & 29) in 2014/2015.

Aiboni’s first work on a Nigerian offshore asset was as operations manager of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility on the shallow water EA field, which is a SNEPCO asset, in 2015. She moved into deeper waters three years ago, when she was appointed Asset Manager for the Bonga project, Nigeria’s flagship deepwater field.

That appointment can now be interpreted as the training opportunity for Elohor Aiboni to take the reins of SNEPCO.


Nigeria Unlikely to Meet Mid Term International Targets for Universal Electrification

By Bunmi Aduloju, NAPREP Fellow

Nigeria has fallen far behind the main internationally set target for energy access, to which it had itself been an active participant, a review has shown.

The country’s current quantum of electricity delivery and its near-term prospect of Universal Electrification, do not come anywhere close to the 2030 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set up by the United Nations, our review indicates.

17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were formulated bythe United Nations (UN) in 2015 to address the environmental, economic, political and social challenges facing the world. 

Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) is a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.”Specifically, Sustainable Development Goal 7.1 calls for “universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy service.”

In the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Action Agenda, Nigeria’s implementation tool for the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), the country has a goal to reduce share of the population living without electricity to about 10% and increase electricity generation to at least 32,000MW by 2030. 

Let us consider the current figures.

Electricity Access 

Eighty Five Million people lack access to grid connection electricity in Nigeria, leaving 43% of the population without electricity access. The country, in effect, has the largest energy access deficit in the world. Nigeria’s 206Million people share an installed capacity of 12,555MW, but only about 4,000MW is distributed to Nigerians on most days by the seven generation companies (GenCos). On the other hand, South Africa and Egypt, whose economies are second and third largest to Nigeria’s, in Africa’s GDP ranking and with population of 59Million and 85Million respectively, have installed capacity of 58,095 MW. This is way higher than Nigeria’s installed capacity despite Nigeria’s larger population.  

According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in its 2020 second quarter report, Nigeria recorded 5, 316MW as the peak daily generation on the 20th of April, 2020. If on the 20th of April 2020, 5,316 MW was distributed to energy consumers, and 85million people do not have access to electricity, the remaining 121 million Nigerians got an average 44watts of electricity supply. Consequently, the average daily electricity supply that a random Nigerian has ever gotten is 44Watts.  

This explains the constant power outages in the nation. Whole communities frequently bear the brunt of the nation’s power supply incapacities.  In 2015, 444 communities spanning 18 local government areas reportedly lacked electricity in Edo State. Similarly, it was reported that residents of a particular Local Government Area in Ekiti State experienced total blackout for three years. 

Because Nigerians are not always entitled to 24-hour power supply, many businesses, homes and offices have had to fall back on petrol and diesel back-up generators. 

Nigeria ranks as one of the six top countries generating energy with back-up generators fuelled by high quantities of fossil fuel, according to the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group in a report titled, The Dirty Footprint of the Broken Grid. Apart from the environmental degradation that ensues from the use of back-up generators, it poses outrageous health hazards to anyone who inhales its fumes, as its emission contains carbon monoxide. A handful of Nigerians have lost their lives to fossil-fuels powered generator fumes which could be averted if there is continual 24-hour power supply in the nation. 

Early in the year, two undergraduates reportedly lost their lives after inhaling generator fumes.

Renewable Energy, the Future of Improved Energy Access 

Renewable energy is top on the United Nation’s radar to provide widespread energy access to unreached communities, and it has proven to be a long-lasting solution to the electricity access problem in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa at large, as only 47.7% have access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

The Nigerian government insists that it is making efforts to provide electricity to provide direct support for rural electrification. As part of its Post-Covid National Economic Sustainability Plan, it proposed a Solar Home System (SHS) in 5Million homes which will serve about 25Million Nigerians in rural areas without access to the National Grid. This is a commendable approach to rural electrification. 

Segun Adaju, President, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) and CEO, Consistent Energy Limited, speaks glowingly of the government’s efforts to deploy renewable energy in the nation’s power delivery said, 

“Government has been part of the growth we have seen in renewable energy in the last three to five years through the rural electrification agency. There is now a 10 megawatts wind farm in the Kastina State. Also, Bayero University runs on solar now. Also, several hospitals are on solar, powered by the government.”

Renewable Energy to the Rescue

The generation capacity of renewable energy for power generation in Nigeria is relatively low, compared, again with South Africa and Egypt, the two economies with comparable GDP size to Nigeria.

These two countries each generates over 3,000MW of grid connected solar and wind power, whereas Nigeria generates less than 50MW from solar and wind technologies.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), “Nigeria’s generation capacity was 12,664 megawatts (MW) in 2017, of which 10,522 MW (83%) was from fossil fuels; 2,110 MW (17%) was from hydroelectricity; and 32 MW (1%) was from solar, wind, and biomass and waste.”

Since renewable energy will not dry up one day like fossil fuels, Nigeria should increase focus on developing the renewable energy sector for improved power generation. The increased contribution of renewable energy to the energy mix will allow for greater power generation. 

China is a perfect illustration of a country that has harnessed its renewable energy potentials for electricity generation. China has the world’s largest hydropower capacity with 356GW in 2019. With this advantage, it tops as the world renewable energy generation producer. 

Hydropower

Nigeria has water resources in the form of water falls and large rivers. With these natural potentials, hydropower serves as the most efficient renewable energy resource for power grid generation in the nation.

Nigeria’s 2015 National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy (NREEEP)aims to harness hydropower production to ensure sustainability. It aims to generate 12,801MV of power from hydropower in 2030 and generate 30% in the energy mix.  

Similarly, in the Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP), there is a plan to increase renewable electricity supply to 36% by 2030.

If these targets are met, Nigeria would speed up its energy access by 2030. If not, Nigerians will continue to suffer from electricity deficiencies. 

Solar

Another potential viable in the nation is solar. Solar energy has proven its ability to reach every nook and cranny of the country. It is safe to say that solar is the answer to the electricity access problem in the nation. Nigeria is blessed with abundant sunlight with about 2600hours of sunshine per year. Although Nigeria is increasing its prowess in this sector, the potentials are not fully harnessed. 

Mr Segun Adaju urged the government to utilise the solar resources in Nigeria to solve the electricity access problem for rural communities.

“Solar power can be harnessed because of the country’s location. Instead of building massive power plants or grids, Nigeria should redeploy straight to distributed renewable energy like we have in the movement from telephones to mobile phones,” he admonished.

This story was produced under the NAREP Media Oil and Gas 2021 Fellowship of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism.


Africa Under Siege?


By Gerard Kreeft


Africa has abundant natural resources and the associated revenues could be an important motor for development. However, changing global energy dynamics mean that resource-holders cannot assume that their oil resources will translate into reliable future revenues. “

Source: World Energy Outlook Special Report, Africa, IEA, 2019 

The COP26 (UN Climate Change Conference) will be hosted by the UK Government  in Glasgow in November 2021. TheSummit is to accelerate action towards the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

As part of its Green Energy Roadmap the UK Government and the oil and gas industry reached a historic accord: companies will be allowed to continue oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, but the industry must cut its carbon emissions by 50%. Companies must pass a  ‘climate compatibility’ test if they want to continue working in the North Sea. The government  and industry have pledged up to £16Billion to help support 40,000 North Sea jobs. 

The compromise falls short of the total oil and gas exploration ban that was rumoured some weeks ago. Yet it is a stark reminder that in the UK portion of the North Sea, the oil and gas industry has become a sunset industry. These measures arepart of the UK Government’s commitment to be CO2 neutral by 2050. How long will it be before North Sea exploration and development is banned totally? Will the industry’s fossil fuel assets help buttress the energy transition to ensure that renewables are a mainstream fuel?

How well is Africa prepared to be CO2 free by 2050? What contribution can be anticipated from Africa’s oil and gas sector?

Should Africa be given dispensation and consequently more time to rid itself of CO2 emissions  beyond 2050? After all,emission levels in Sub-Sahara’s two major petro-economies- Nigeria and Angola- are negligible when compared to Chinaand the USA. Nigeria emits only 0.73%, Angola 0.25% vs China’s 28% and the USA 15%.  

Set this argument aside. Instead make the case for  national oil and gas companies  using their fossil fuel assets to buttress up their energy transition. Again turn to Sub-Sahara Africa’s two major national oil companies: Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) and Sonangol in Angola.

The case of Nigeria

At the recent AOGS (Africa Oil and Gas Summit)Energy Webinar Series  Energy Transition and the implications for Nigeria,  the main theme was: “Is Nigeria’s 40Billion barrels proved reserves(or parts of), at risk of being written off someday to be replaced by green energy assets in the portfolio mix of the major oil companies?”.

A key response was that Nigeria should align itself with the Paris Climate Accord and adapt steps for a Green Roadmap: key would be leveraging the oil and gas assets to finance the green economy.

Certainly the discussion that has raged around the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB), which promises to be a framework for the hydrocarbon industry, is not encouraging. Toyin Akinosho, Publisher, Africa Oil + Gas Report, has delivered a resounding critique. The PIB  promises to be an award toNNPC for its  continuing incompetence. He cites the following examples:• NNPC is a joint venture that produces 45% of the country’s crude; and concessionaire in the Production Sharing Contract(PSC) arrangements, which delivers 39% of the crude.• NPDC the operating subsidiary of NNPC …”is a massive imcompetent wrecking ball, which has been gifted joint-venture participation in 10 mining leases(OMLs) all of them producing”. • NPDC is seen as a bright star within the NNPC’s portfolio. Why? Because the degree of its performance is in direct proportion with the help it gets from its partnership with private entities.• Tinkering with the legislative structure of NNPC will change little given that its shares  will continue to be monopoly control by the Government.

If NNPC is perceived of not having its own house in order how can it expected to be a leader in the Energy Transition? Does it make any sense to give the same driver, who drove the initial bus off the cliff, keys to drive the new bus?

The case of Angola

Since Joao Lourenco replaced Jose Eduardo Dos Santos as Angola’s head of state in 2017, Sonangol, the state oil company, has had a rocky ride. In the past Sonangol had two roles: that of concessionaire, a highly judicious key role which gave it the power and legitimacy it had achieved and being a state oil company with its responsibilities for exploration and development of the resources. The decision to strip Sonangolof its concessionaire role was then taken and given to the newly created ANPG (National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels).

In the Angola of today power has become diffused: Sonangolhas been stripped of its concessionaire role and is loaded with a mountain of debt; and the International Oil Companies (IOC’s) have the freedom to explore and market their natural gas. Developing green energy is certainly beyond the competence of Sonangol.

In November 2019 a new National Gas Consortium (NGC) was established, led by ENI as operator in partnership with BP, Chevron, TOTAL and Sonangol for the exploration and production of natural gas. This was previously the exclusivedomain of Sonangol.

Currently a gas processing plant is being constructed toprovide natural gas to Angola LNG, the country’s sole LNG facility. Any excess natural gas would be used by the SoyoPower Plant, which is being expanded and could supply gas to Three Million households in the future. 

Angola is not a gas rich country: having only 27 TCF of natural gas reserves which pales in comparison to that of Mozambique  which has a gas reserve base of 100 TCF, third largest reserve base in Africa, after Algeria and Nigeria.

Developing a national gas strategy for the country’s industrial development is seen as a top priority. What role does Angola LNG’s future gas supply play in any national gas strategy?  Does it make any economic sense to be exporting natural gas when so little is known about Angola’s own future requirements?  What is the long-term planning for gas development and monetization? And how does this fit into the national development strategy?  If natural gas is viewed as the fuel of choice to help develop an  industrial corridor a strategy must be developed.

Green Shoots on the Horizon

In its African Energy Outlook, 2019, the International Energy Agency (IEA) paints a vivid picture of Africa’s current situation and how it could possible develop in the future. The Agency predicts, in its Africa Scenario that one-in-two people added to the global population between now and 2040 will be African. 

Nearly half of Africa’s 600Million people did not have access to electricity in 2018, while around 80% of sub-Sahara African companies suffered frequent disruptions leading to economic losses. 

The Africa Scenario is a plea for full access to modern electricity by 2030, tripling the average number of people gaining access per year from around 200Million to over 600Million. Grid expansion and densification is the least cost option for nearly 45% of the currently deprived, mini-grids for 30%, and stand alone systems for 25%.

LPG is used by more than half of those gaining access to clean cooking in urban areas in sub-Sahara Africa; in rural areas, home to the majority without access, improved cookstoves are by far the preferred solution. 

Although the African economy will grow four-fold by 2040, energy efficiency can limit primary energy to just 50%.

Current  electricity demand in Africa is 700 terawatt-hours(TWh) with only North Africa and South Africa accounting for over 70% of the total. In the African Scenario growth could reach 2300TWh. Much of the additional demand coming from middle and higher income households.

Solar is only 5GW, less than 1% of global installed capacity. In African Scenario solar overtakes hydropower and natural gas to become the largest electrical source in Africa in terms of installed capacity.

Tripling of the electricity demand requires building a more reliable power system and a greater focus on transmission and distribution to reduce power outages. Significant scale-up of investment in grids and generation is required given that Africa has 17% of the world’s population and just 4% of the global power supply.

Natural gas meets half of North Africa’s fuel requirements, but in sub-Sahara Africa only 5%. Gas will rise to 24% by 2040, mainly to power industry.

Green Shoots in  Nigeria

According to the African Scenario the Nigerian economy will triple and would require less energy demand if the energy mix were more diversified. Natural gas must meet a growing share of energy demand, supported by implementation of the Government Gas Master Plan.

Today 80% of power generation comes from gas, most of the remainder comes from oil with Nigeria the largest user of oil-fired back-up generators on the continent. Natural gas remains the main source of power, although there is a shift to solar energy as the country starts to pivot towards its large solar potential.

Provided that reliability and supply improve, the grid could become the optimal solution to provide almost 60% of people with access to electricity. Nigeria achieves universal access by stepping up efforts to provide off-grid solutions to those that live off-grid.

Nigeria is a major industrial producer and a large chemical exporter and will triple chemical products by 2040 with new methanol and ammonia plants.

The country has the 2nd largest vehicle stock in sub-Sahara Africa: the number of vehicles could grow from 14 to 37 Million by 2040 with only two-times more oil consumption if more stringent fuel standards were adopted.

Universal access is achieved through greater household access to gas networks and LPG in the main cities, and improve cookstoves in rural areas.

Green Shoots in Angola

The Government is pledged to having 60% of Angolan households access to electricity by 2025. According to Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water the country will by then have an electrical capacity of 7.2 GW, four times the current capacity.

In December 2020 the Lauca Hydroelectric Power Station was completed and can now provide 2.7GW of electrical power to the national grid.  A second project, the Baynes Dam, is jointly being constructed by the Governments of Angola and Namibia and will provide 600 MW to both countries.

The Angolan government has partnered with Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led partnership coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to start a major transmission project, which aims to connect the central and southern power grids of Angola. 

The programme will create an interconnected national grid supplying north, central and south Angola to create a 60% electricity access rate by 2025. 

Power Africa will also be assisting the AfDB in connecting pre-paid meters. In December 2019, the government was granted a $500Million loan package from the AfDB to finance the program. The beneficiaries of the project include households, industries, businesses and small to medium sized enterprises in Angola, with the aim of increasing access to cheaper, more reliable and sustainable electricity.

Conclusions• The history of both NNPC and Sonangol is a checkered and toxic history. Can they provide the leadership in the energy transition in which oil and gas is promised to be a key element?• A national oil company-be that NNPC or Sonangol- have different agendas than the IOCs. Politics and national lobby groups is the mechanism that steers national oil companies, not shareholder value nor investment returnsthat are the main driving forces of the IOCs.• The IOCs are constantly juggling their portfolios in order to maintain profitability and low carbon emissions. They have no hesitation in abandoning assets which do not meet investor grade, leaving their national oil company partners scrambling. • Doesn’t it make more sense to start from a clean slate? In which renewable energy is marketed and produced without any attachments?• The IEA in its African Energy Outlook recommends that the developed countries should take the lead in providing financial assistance to countries less endowed and more vulnerable. For some time this has been an issue which many developed countries resisted, perhaps frightened of sounding paternalistic and seeming heavy-handed. • Yet given that Africa’s total emissions on a global basis are so negligible and its oil and gas assets will probably be discounted, the economics for accepting payment from the industrialized countries fits into this new market place of the energy transition.• Why not for for example let China write off a portion of Angola’s debt to China which totals some $25Billiongiven that China has more than one quarter of global emissions? This would allow Angola some breathing space and possibly set a precedent for other bilateral emission deals between China and  other African countries.

The author, Gerard Kreeft, holds a BA (Calvin University, Grand Rapids, USA) and MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), Energy Transition Adviser, was founder and owner of EnergyWise. He has managed and implemented energy conferences, seminars and university master classes in Alaska, Angola, Brazil, Canada, India, Libya, Kazakhstan, Russia and throughout Europe. Kreeft hasDutch and Canadian citizenship and resides in the Netherlands. He writes on a regular basis for Africa Oil + Gas Report.


Nigeria Puts the Brakes on Ambitious Biofuels Refinery Plan

By Bunmi Aduloju, NAREP Fellow

It’s been 14 years since Nigeria gazetted its Biofuel Policy and Incentives, but the country can boast of next to nothing in domestic biofuel production. 

Nigeria, being heavily dependent on fossil-based fuels, took this bold step in June 2007 to reduce the rate of environmental pollution in the country, as recognised by the United Nations (UN) as a universal problem causing climate change. 

In essence, the world wants to cut off fuels that are bad for the environment and biofuels are in tandem with the demand for clean energy, producing less emissions than petroleum-based fuels. 

The world’s top five biofuel producers include those countries with comparable populations with Nigeria’s200Million people:  the United States (pop:330Million), produced 13 Billion gallons of biofuels in 2019. Brazil(pop: 212Million), produced 8.1Billion gallons of biofuels; Indonesia (pop: 273Million) output 2.3Billion gallons of biofuels and some of Europe’s, largest economies: Germany and France produced 1.2Billion and 0.9Billion gallons of biofuels respectively in 2019. 

As the national debate rages in Nigeria about removal on subsidy on crude-derived gasoline, and cleaner and cheaper alternatives are considered, infrequent mention is made of biofuels, not for cost, but for cleaner air.

Nigeria could also be a top producer of biofuels and even an exporter, since the nation is blessed with vast resources in energy crops and biodegradable waste used in their production. Regardless of the many advantages of biofuels, the  narrative is entirely different in the nation today. 

In 2019, Ibe Kachikwu, Former Minister of State for Petroleum, while speaking at a biofuel sensitisation workshop emphasised the economic value of biofuels. 

“I believe biofuel will soon become our foreign exchange earner, if we can put our minds and might into it. We can produce crude and fire gas but, ultimately, the only way to sustainably reach every nook and cranny and every citizen of our country with some level of energy supply, is to look towards natural resources such as solar, wind, water resources and biofuel,” he said. 

Biofuel Policy

In the National Biofuel Policy and Incentives published in 2007, a direct reference was made to the government’s mandate to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to create an Automotive Biomass Programme in 2005 which would establish an environment for the take-off of a domestic fuel ethanol industry. 

With the Automotive Biomass Programme in place, the National Biofuel Policy and Incentives was gazetted in 2007 to further propel the domestic production of biofuels. It aimed to “achieve 100% domestic production of biofuels consumed in the country by 2020.” While the policy directed several bodies to contribute to this national outlook, the downstream petroleum sector and the agricultural sector have integral roles to play in the accomplishment of the programme. 

Unfortunately, there is a gap between the policy demand and actualisation as a result of several underlying issues. Nigeria still relies on importation of fuel ethanol, an additive for gasoline whilst still grappling with non-implementation of its biofuel policy.   

The World of Biofuels

Biofuels refer to “fuel ethanol and biodiesel and other fuels made from biomass and primarily used for automotive, thermal and power generation.” It’s main claim to preference over fossil-based fuels is its renewable and environment friendly chemistry. 

Fuel ethanol is blended with gasoline for more environmentally-friendly emissions and this blend has proven to improve the quality of fossil-based fuels by oxygenating the fuel thereby resulting in less carbon emissions and higher octane levels. 

For this reason, some countries are imposing a mixtureof transport fuels with biofuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emission. In the United States, more than 98% of their gasoline is mixed with ethanol forming a 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol mix. 

In Nigeria, the biofuel policy projects a 90% gasoline – 10% fuel ethanol mix while a 20% blending ratio is to be deployed for biodiesel with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) enforcing the blending requirements. With the daily national consumption of gasoline estimated by the department of Petroleum Resources, DPR to be 38.2Million litres of gasoline per day, Nigeria would require 3.82 million of fuel ethanol per day to meet the fuel ethanol-gasoline blend goal. This is a huge responsibility for biofuel production in the country considering its present state. 

Fuel Ethanol Import, Bad for Domestic Production

In 2018, Nigeria spent $33Million on the importation of ethanol from the U.S and it was the second most imported agricultural product from the U.S into Nigeria, constituting about 48% of total ethanol import into the country, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). 

This speaks volume about the country’s capacity for the achievement of the 100% domestic production goal. Apart from Nigeria’s failure to achieve its stated goal, importation puts undue pressure on the nation’s economy and weakens local production initiativesWith over-reliance on foreign imported fossil-based fuels and its economic impact on the nation, it is wise to avoid trailing the same path with biofuels.

Despite Local Abundance, Crop Feedstock Derivatives Imported

Since crop feedstock used for the production of biofuels have to be cultivated in large scale, there’s been growing concerns about its competition with food production in the country, as all the biofuel feedstock cited in the policy are food crops except jatropha. Apart from that, Nigeria is capable of cultivating thedesignated biofuel feedstock, including oil palm, jatropha, cassava and sugarcane. 

Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava, producing about one-fifth of the world’s total production, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). “It is incongruous that the world’s largest producer of cassava spends $600Million annually to import cassava derivatives”, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), lamented at a meeting in 2019.

In

FOURTEEN YEARS AFTER, UNFINISHED PROJECTS. 

In 2012, Global Biofuels Ltd signed a ₤2Billion deal with the Nigerian Government for a biofuel production complex at Ilemeso, Ekiti state, Nigeria. TV

Similarly, Kogi State Government, under the leadership of Yahaya Bello signed a MoU with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the establishment of biofuel projects in the state.

Foreign investments and private sector investment have also been made since the policy was published in 2007.

The NNPC signed MoUs with State Governments for the building of fuel ethanol plants and cultivation of biofuel feedstock, some of which include Kogi, Kebbi, Gombe, Benue, Anambra, Cross Rivers and Ondo

Despite these initiatives, the NNPC has still not kicked off large scale commercial production of biofuels as directed by the policy. 

In press release after press releases and statements after optimistic statements , Maikanti Baru, former Group Managing Director (GMD) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), -2016-2019- disclosed that the first large scale commercial biofuel venture asan alternative to fossil fuel was going to commence.

On the 28th of February 2018, he also revealed at the 39th Kaduna Trade Fair that NNPC was driving investment in renewable energy to develop biofuel production through the Renewable Energy Division in a press release.

Both reports were bound by the same promise to kick start large scale biofuel production with a bleak timeline for accomplishment.   

In 2021, the Gombe State Government reportedly expressed willingness to partner with the NNPC to actualise the sugarcane fuel ethanol project in the state in 2021.  In the same report, the Group General Manager, Renewable Energy Division (RED) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), David Bala Ture, revealed that despite efforts to actualise the biofuel project in Gombe State, it had not come to fruition for the past 15 years. 

This is the backstory of many biofuel projects in the country. Some projects are abandoned, others are suffering from lack of cooperation from the various parties involved in the deal and some others, lack of technological advancement.  

An effective policy, however, will solve a number of these problems.

Although Nigeria has a biofuel policy in place, it has not fully implemented its policies since 2007. In fact, in 2010, the policy was reviewed by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and a number of committee members, to address the loopholes in the official gazette.  However, there has been no concrete agreement between the key players and the governmental bodies involved to utilise the policy’s directive and this has caused setbacks in the implementation of the policy.

The private sector has been making efforts to produce fuel ethanol and biodiesel but lack of proper infrastructure is deterring large scale production by private companies. 

Part of the challenge, argues Ejikeme Nwosu, Director, Lumos Laboratories Nigerian Limited, who has worked on conversion of waste to energy sources in the last 14 years, is the lack of infrastructure and grants to private initiatives for the production of biofuels. “The private sector is filled with masterminds ready to work with the sector once the policy is fully implemented and when the government pays more attention to them,” Nwosu explains.


This story was produced under the NAREP Media Oil and Gas 2021 Fellowship of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism.


Decklar Moves A Rig for Oza-1 Re-entry

Canadian minnow Decklar Resources has contracted a 1300 HP trailer-mounted drilling rig that is currently located in Port Harcourt, approximately 60 km from the Oza Oil Field in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Basin.

The drilling rig will be used for the re-entry and testing of the Oza-1 well, then immediately followed by the drilling of a horizontal development well from the Oza-1 drilling pad. 

Oza field is a marginal field operated by Millennium Oil &Gas, currently producing no more than 400Barrels a day. 

Decklar Resources has consummated a risk service agreement with Millennium Oil &Gas and its partners on the field, to fund and technically operate a revamp which will lead to increase in output.

The company says that drilling of additional development wells is planned after completion and analysis of the re-entry and horizontal wells at the Oza-1 location. 

It is anticipated that the drilling rig will commence its mobilization to the Oza Field in the week of April 12, 2021, with the move expected to take approximately seven days. 

Further, the camp to house the personnel engaged to provide support for operations and related logistics facilities is currently being moved and set up at the Oza Oil Field. 

Additionally, equipment and supplies with longer lead times that are needed to test and complete the Oza-1 well as part of the re-entry activities have been ordered, secured, and are expected to arrive in Nigeria over the next two to five weeks. Service contractors have been sourced and contracted for the near-term operational activities.


Angola’s Onshore Kwanza Basin offers an underexplored basin with a world class petroleum system.

By Matt Tyrrell and Alessandro Colla, Trois Geoconsulting BV; Mike Oehlers, Tectosat Ltd

Seasoned explorers of Africa and the Atlantic margins will be familiar with the quandary of choosing between offshore and onshore acreage. Offshore acreage typically offers large, inexpensive seismic datasets with which to identify prospects, but the costs of drilling and developing these require significant inward investment. Conversely, onshore acreage allows numerous wells to be drilled at a low cost, but the ability to locate and de-risk prospects is limited by the expense and paucity of exploration datasets, particularly seismic.

This quandary is particularly apparent in the coastal basins of West Africa, where the Mesozoic sedimentary successions, including salt, extend into the onshore domain. In this basin, seasoned explorers will be tantalised by the opportunity to drill salt-induced prospects within a proven petroleum system and will be seeking the necessary datasets with which to de-risk them.

There are, however, onshore basins where this quandary is not so apparent; where extensive high quality datasets are available and early exploration has suitably de-risked proven pre- and post-salt petroleum plays. One such example is the Onshore Kwanza Basin of Angola – a Mesozoic salt basin with numerous undeveloped fields, a library rich in accessible yet low-cost exploration datasets and local refineries and markets for hydrocarbons once they are produced.

Furthermore, a licence round that opens towards the end of 2020, supported by new oil and gas laws and fiscal incentives, provides the opportunity for oil companies to secure rights to this acreage, appraise discovered fields and potentially fast-track commercially viable hydrocarbon production.

Underexplored Pre-Salt

To understand the future potential of the Onshore Kwanza Basin, we must first understand its exploration history.

A key milestone occurred in 1955 when the post-salt Benfica oil field was discovered just south of Luanda, after which exploration drilling peaked; by the late 1970s 133 wells had been drilled. This era of activity saw the discovery of 11 oil fields, as well as a few gas fields, with the largest containing more than 200 MMboe, made possible by the availability of 11,500 line-km of dynamite 2D seismic data. The last onshore field discovery was in 1972 and the last well was drilled in 1982, from when on interest in the onshore declined, in part due to socio-political stability risks but more likely due to the early successes of offshore exploration. Only nine oil fields have ever been reported as having been put onto production, which include the Cacuaco and Puaca fields, both with pre-salt reservoirs.

Although at first it appears that the Onshore Kwanza has been considerably drilled, analysis of well penetrations and results tells a story of high success rates in post-salt wildcats contrasted with a prospective yet significantly underexplored pre-salt succession. Of the 237 wells drilled, just 28 penetrated beneath the salt; four pre-salt fields were discovered prior to 1971 (Cacuaco, Uacongo, Puaca and Morro Liso) despite only three wells testing a meaningful section of pre -salt stratigraphy. When our seasoned explorers analyse the results of these pre-salt wells they must be left pondering what might have been found had the operator drilled a little deeper.

An initial observation is that the majority of pre-salt penetrations were drilled from wellheads located for post-salt prospects with only a handful of wells spudded with a pre-salt objective. Furthermore, assumptions about 1960s and 1970s technology and know-how suggest that modern field appraisal methodologies could reveal where discovered fields may actually be commercial, whilst advanced well stimulation techniques could lower the commercial threshold.

Updated Datasets Support Exploration

In 2010 and 2011, 2,581 line-km of high quality 2D seismic data was acquired followed by the acquisition of high resolution aeromagnetic data. A new GIS GeoDatabase named KMAP-2020, commissioned by Sonangol in 2015, was then completed as part of the reassessment of the remaining oil potential ahead of licence rounds. This product, available for the whole onshore basin or for individual blocks, includes outcrop information, petrographic studies and palaeontological reports from recent field trips together with seismic profiles, well stratigraphy panels and geosections.

The KMAP-2020 database has recently been further refined by the inclusion of modern satellite imagery supplied by specialist, Tectosat Ltd. Using Landsat imagery, SRTM DEM, ASTER and PALSAR Radar data*, the whole basin has been remapped at a much more comprehensive 1:50,000 scale involving interpretation at 1:25,000 scale, with additional integration of lithological detail from some 3,000 field sample points.

The resulting updates to the surface geology maps within the KMAP-2020 database have positive implications for de-risking the underlying petroleum systems. Halokinetic activity is evinced in anomalous domes and basins showing salt withdrawal and folding adjacent to the main bounding faults of the Tertiary troughs.

Fault expressions mapped at surface have been used to understand structural controls related to various tectonic episodes. Where it is shown that many of the Tertiary-aged faults are soft-linked to deeper syn-rift structures, the charge of post-salt reservoirs with pre-salt oil can be de-risked.

Similarly, areas of Tertiary uplift are observed in the vicinity of Blocks 11 and 12 where present-day river systems are seen to have incised; this uplift may have hinged to the north at the Cabo Ledo fault. These details are key in determining long-distance migration paths from known source kitchens, including the offshore, into pre-salt and post-salt structures; indeed, the presence of basin margin oil seeps together with the pre-salt Cacuaco Field north-east of Luanda suggest that the sub-salt section should be suitably charged.


Underexplored Area in New Licence Round

An integration of past exploration results, available seismic and well datasets with the KMAP-2020 database (which includes the satellite imagery interpretation) demonstrate that the Onshore Kwanza Basin is a world class petroleum basin that in recent decades has been considerably underexplored.

The post-salt section has numerous anticlinal closures that are untested; where these have been drilled the structures exhibit good reservoir qualities and host viable oil fields, such as those at Quenguela and Benfica. Where sampled, the pre-salt is shown to exhibit good quality carbonate reservoirs formed by coquina.

Exploration 

shoals with vuggy porosities as well as fluvial-deltaic sandstones. The hydrocarbons encountered here are light oils with gas and with no known encounters of CO2 or high sulphur content.

When the results of the updated ArcGIS geological study are combined with available seismic and well datasets, conclusions can be drawn that suggest that the upcoming licence round may be the trigger for the first commercial production of oil from onshore Kwanza.

Recent announcements by the newly formed ANPG (National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels) have defined a strategy for the allocation of petroleum concessions including open acreage within all of Angola’s basins. Concessions will be awarded through a process of public tender, restricted public tender and direct negotiation over a period of seven years, starting in 2019 and culminating in 2025. 

The blocks offered by public tender are those that are deemed exploration blocks that have not formerly been abandoned and restored to the state. The blocks of the Onshore Kwanza Basin have been announced as a part of the 2020 licensing round, which will open in the fourth quarter of 2020. Blocks KON5, KON6, KON8, KON9, KON17 and KON20 are offered by public tender and these blocks all offer excellent potential for exploration as well as opportunities to appraise and develop discovered fields.

In August this year, the ANPG held a Clarification Session as a precursor to the opening of the round; during this session senior members of ANPG gave informative presentations and clarified the timeline for the submissions of bids and signature of the contracts.

Exceptional Opportunity 

The history books of exploration bear witness to a multitude of junior exploration companies that secured onshore acreage, within a known petroleum province, yet were unable to successfully demonstrate to investors and potential farm-in partners that they could cost effectively de-risk a drilling location.

The Onshore Kwanza Basin is different in that it offers the opportunity to secure acreage containing a post-salt field or prospect that can potentially be appraised and brought into production, providing cash-flow to fund further pre-salt exploration where the prize may be bigger. The 2020 Angola Licence Round, which kicks off April 30, 2021, should therefore be in the plans of all junior and mid-sized oil companies. 

* SRTM DEM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission – Digital Elevation Mapping), ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer), PALSAR (Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar)

This paper was first published in the October 2020 edition of GEOExPro magazinehttps://www.geoexpro.com/articles

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