All posts tagged feature

Panoro Completes Entries into Two Eq. Guinea Acreages

The Norwegian producer Panoro Energy ASA has confirmed that the award of Block EG-01, has been ratified by the Government of Equatorial Guinea.

The Oslo based minnow also notes that all necessary approvals have been received allowing for the completion of Panoro’s farm-in to the Kosmos Energy operated Block S offshore Equatorial Guinea.

So, the company has concluded regulatory approvals into two blocks in the space of six months: the farm -in into Block S was announced in October 2022 while the award of Block EG-01 was offered in February 2023

Panoro now officially holds a 56% operated interest in Block EG-01 alongside partners Kosmos Energy (24%) and GEPetrol (20%). It also has a 6% participating interest 12% non-operated participating interest in Block S, which was derived from purchasing 6% stake from each of Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy, such that the remaining stakes in Block S are Kosmos Energy (34%, operator), Trident Energy (34%) and GEPetrol (20%).

Exploration: Panoro repeats, in a statement, that one exploration well is planned on Block S during 2024 to test an Albian play in the Akeng Deep prospect. Gross mean unrisked prospective resources are estimated to be around 180 million barrels and the prospect lies within tie-back distance to the Sendje-Ceiba FPSO.

Block EG-01

Block EG-01 is located in water depths ranging from 30 metres to 500 metres, mainly shallow, and is covered by high quality 3D seismic. The government’s award of Block EG-01 is for an initial period of three years during which the partners are expected toconduct subsurface studies based on existing seismic data to further define and evaluate the prospectivity of the block. Following this, the partners will have the option to enter into a further two-year period, during which they will undertake to drill one exploration well.

Past exploration activities have led to the identification of an extensive prospect inventory within tie-back distance to the Ceiba Field and Okume Complex facilities. Since 2003, three exploration wells have been drilled on the block, with two encountering thin oil and gas pay and one encountering oil shows. The main hydrocarbon plays are Eocene sands and Upper Cretaceous turbidites analogous to the Block G plays where over one billion barrels STOIIP has been discovered. Moreover, there is potential for deeper Albian targets, similar to the Block S prospect, which is scheduled for drilling in 2024.

Block S

Block S covers a surface area of 1,245 km2 with water depths ranging from 450 metres to 1,500 metres and is covered by high quality 3D seismic. The block surrounds the producing Ceiba Field and is adjacent to the producing Okume Complex, which is operated by Trident Energy and where Panoro holds a 14.25% non operated participating interest. Past exploration activities on Block S have tested and proven the necessary geological play elements which has led to an extensive prospect inventory being identified within tie-back distance to the Ceiba Field and Okume Complex facilities.

Benefits Negotiations Force Removal of 140,000BPD of Crude from Nigerian Output

By Macson Obojemuinmon

A stalemate in negotiation of wages and benefits led ExxonMobil’s Nigerian workers to shut in the company’s oil wells, forcing the American major to declare force majeure on oil liftings from its major export terminals in the country.

ExxonMobil’s Qua Iboe Terminal loaded 138,731Barrels of Oil and Condensate (blend) Per Day in March 2023. The company’s two deepwater FPSOs – Erha and Usan – which are considered terminals in their own right, produced a combined 116,142BPD in the same month, according to figures from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

Several of the staff told Africa Oil+Gas Report, “we are making all efforts to bring everyone back to the negotiation table”, thus, corroborating the statement by the company’s spokesperson Michelle Gray:  “We will continue to take all reasonable actions necessary to resolve the impasse as soon as possible”.

Some of the staff themselves admit that it is very unusual to shut down production to prove a point on the negotiating table for wages and benefits. “I would have thought they would have allowed for some further negotiation before taking the decision to shut down production”, one staff admitted “This is not the best for anyone”.

ExxonMobiil’s output, which is entirely offshore, has been one of the least affected by the crude oil theft from evacuation infrastructure, a key factor in Nigeria’s plunging hydrocarbon production. But the fields have suffered natural depletion in the last 10 years, as the company has invested less on the facilities.

The shallow water assets, which delivered close to 140,000BPD in March 2023, are in the process of being sold by ExxonMobil to Seplat, although the refusal of the regulator to grant consent for the sale has forced a halt in the proceedings.

Yet the ongoing negotiations are not restricted to either deepwater asset workers or shallow water staff.

“There’s no transition in ExxonMobil yet”, the staff disclosed to AOGR. “Until government gives their approval, (for the sale and purchase of the shallow water assets) we are maintaining the status quo”.

“We are all one as at today. No difference”,

Panoro Annexes More Slice of Tunisia

Norwegian junior Panoro Energy has entered into a definitive agreement with Beender Tunisia Petroleum Limited to acquire the latter’s 40% shareholding in Sfax Petroleum Corporation (SPC) for a total consideration of approximately $18.2Million in a mix of cash and shares.

The total acquisition cost of $6 per 2P barrel.

The deal translates to an addition of almost 3Million barrels of oil of 2P reserves and net daily production of 800-900Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD). This increases Panoro’s full year 2023 production guidance to 9,500 to 11,500BOPD (from 9,000 to 11,000 BOPD), recognising approximately nine months of production from completion, and increases the 2023 peak target to in excess of 13,000BOPD (previously in excess of 12,500BOPD) around year end SPC, through its subsidiaries, indirectly owns a 49% interest in the producing TPS Assets which comprise five oil field concessions in the region of the city of Sfax, onshore and shallow water offshore Tunisia, including Cercina, Cercina Sud, Rhemoura, El Ain/Gremda and El Hajeb/Guebiba. SPC also holds 87.5% interest in the Sfax Offshore Exploration Permit (SOEP) offshore Tunisia.

Prior to the acquisition, Panoro’s effective ownership of SPC stood at 60% (29.4% interest in the TPS Assets and 52.5% interest in SOEP), which it acquired from OMV in 2018. Post the Acquisition Panoro’s ownership of SPC will increase to 100% (49% interest in the TPS Assets and 87.5% interest in SOEP) and SPC will be a fully owned subsidiary of Panoro.

Panoro says that the taking of Beender’s 40% ownership of SPC equates to a 19.6% interest in the producing TPS Assets and 35% interest in SOEP.

As part of the acquisition, Panoro has assumed approximately $ 4Million of Beender’s share of outstanding Tunisian loan facilities. Panoro has refinanced this Tunisian facility into its principle corporate facility, increasing total facility amounts by $9Million (separately Panoro has made Q1 loan repayments of $ 6Million). Panoro has then also assumed Beender’s share of cash and working capital equivalent to approximately $6.5Million.

The Consideration payable is inclusive of all working capital adjustments with completion expected in April 2023.

Balance sheet as of the completion date will include an additional 40% of asset and liabilities of SPC acquired at fair value and equally the results from the Tunisian operation will be consolidated at 100% Upfront consideration comprises $4.9Million cash and $ 8.3Million (“Share Consideration”) via the allotment and issue of 2,945,035 new Panoro shares at an issue price of NOK 29.18 per share (issue value NOK 85,936,092.12).  Half of the Share Consideration have an agreed lock-up period of six months form the issue date, whereas the remaining 50% are subject to a lock-up of 12 months.

Deferred consideration of  $ 5Million payable in cash by end 2023.

About The TPS Assets.

How John Wayne (Red Adair) Helped Save the Oil Patch

By Gerard Kreeft

I’ve done made a deal with the devil. He said he’s going to give me an air-conditioned place when I go down there, if I go there, so I won’t put all the fires out.”

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Red Adair Quotes

Hellfighters (1968) is an American adventure film starring John Wayne depicting Red Adair as the worldwide oilfield fighter. The film was for the most part negatively received. Yet to have a film made about yourself is indeed a high compliment.

In the course of his career spanning some 35 years Adair and his company battled more than two thousand land and offshore oil wells, natural gas wells, and similar spectacular fires. During World War II Adair served in a bomb disposal unit of the US Army. After the war he started working in the oil and gas industry for Myron Kinley now viewed as the grandfather of modern well control.

Already in 1931 Kinley traveled to Romania and extinguished the 2-year-old Moreni 160-well which had created a crater of 250 feet across and 65 feet deep. Kinley became an international celebrity.

In 1936 Kinley extinguished a well fire burning in Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, using another new technique. Myron erected a derrick six hundred feet from the burning well and drilled a slant-hole well that intercepted the burning well’s casing deep beneath the surface. He then pumped drilling mud into the well bore, killing the gas pressure and putting out the fire. This use of directional drilling, then a nearly new procedure, provided a novel and radical solution to wild-well control.

How will well control be remembered by future generations? Certainly well control certification done either by IWCF or the IADC will seem like a distant memory.

Kinley and Adair pioneered the technique of using a V-shaped charge of high explosives to snuff the fire by the blast known as the Munroe effect. Adair had seen it used in bazookas and the atomic bomb. Chemical energy generated by initiation of an explosive is focused on the center of a hollow cavity. The concentrated force generates a jet with high penetration power.

Adair gained global attention in 1962 when he tackled a fire at the Gassi Touil gas field in the Algerian Sahara, nicknamed the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter: a 140 metre pillar of flame that burned from mid-November 1961 until the end of April 1962.

Regarding Africa, the two largest oil producers are Nigeria and Angola of which the latter has never experienced a major oil or gas blowout.  Nigeria has had its fair share of blowouts.  Perhaps the worst in the country was in 1980 when Texaco was drilling the Funiwa-5 development well in the shallow water of River State.  Texaco lost control of the well, resulting in a blowout and a spill of 400,000 barrels of oil which had a devasting impact on the nearby coastal communities.

Fast forward to April 2010: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill involving BP’s Macondo Prospect. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of the USA was considered to be the largest marine disaster in the history of the industry. The US federal government estimated the total discharge at 4.9Million barrels. In 2011 a White House commission blamed BP and its partners for a series of cost cutting decisions and an inadequate safety system, but also concluded that the spill resulted from “systemic” root causes and “absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies.” As of 2018, cleanup costs, charges and penalties had cost BP more than $65Billion.

While the various oil field fires and marine disasters have captured the imagination of Hollywood, such tragedies have further stained the reputation of the oil and gas industry. What has the industry done on the regulatory front?

The Politics of Well Control

The setting up of an international well control system is a story in its own right. In the early 1990s, the various European countries maintained a variety of well control training schools. The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) encouraged and provided key leadership in a bid to provide standardized well control training. In December 1992, the European Well Control Forum was established in The Hague in The Netherlands, as a non-profit organization.

As IADC’s Director of European Operations (1991-1997), part of my mission was to help build consensus among the drilling schools, the drilling contractors and the operators. These meetings were held throughout Europe. Consensus and trust were slowly built over a number of months. The breakthrough came when Shell declared its global support for such a standard. The consent of BP and TOTAL soon followed.  When the European Well Control Forum was founded in 1992 in The Hague, Shell, not surprisingly, delivered the first chairman.

IADC’s reaction was mixed. At first it was surprised and happy that a global well control standard had been reached; but later it felt some reservation and worry that the oil companies now had a dominant say in well control training. Do not forget that oil companies and the drillers have–in good times and in bad—always maintained an adversarial relationship. This is the real reason why IADC has created its own well control programmes.

To illustrate the point more graphically. I remember one meeting at which a key Shell speaker was scheduled to give an opening address and was introduced by Alain Roger, then IADC Chairman. Alain gave an introduction as only Alain could: “We all know what win-win means”…the Shell speaker was ready to nod his agreement…then came Roger’s punch line…”the oil company screws you twice”. The audience became deadly silent; an acknowledgement that the blow had landed.

Since then, the European Well Control Forum has been renamed the International Well Control Forum (IWCF). Their primary objective is to develop and manage well control training, evaluation, and certification programs for the exploration and production sectors of the oil and gas industry.

“IADC’s WellSharp accreditation programme provides comprehensive well control training standards for the global drilling industry, emphasizing rigorous training for every person with well control responsibilities”, IADC says in a statement. “WellSharp provides trainees with in-depth knowledge, well-honed role-specific skills, and greater confidence that they know what to do to prevent and handle well control incidents.”

The question remains: what is the difference between the IADC and IWCF well control training? According to LearnToDrill…” both IADC and IWCF certificates are the same. Both organizations exist to offer accredited Well Control training, and both organizations typically have the same standards.”

“The IWCF, or International Well Control Forum, is based out of Aberdeen, Scotland. The IWCF’s sole focus is well control and well control training. Generally, IWCF training and IWCF certificates are more focused on European, Asian, and Middle Eastern markets.”

The IADC is based out of Houston, Texas.  While it has global reach, and is constantly working to expand this reach, the contractors group is primarily focused on the United States. As a result, for many US-based land drilling contractors, IADC Well Control is used almost exclusively.

Adair gained global attention in 1962 when he tackled a fire at the Gassi Touil gas field in the Algerian Sahara, nicknamed the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter: a 140 metre pillar of flame that burned from mid-November 1961 until the end of April 1962.

…Both IADC certificates and IWCF certificates are used interchangeably in many parts of the world. In the United States, for example, many operators and contractors exclusively accept IWCF certificates. Similarly, IADC Well Control training is accepted in many parts of Europe and Asia.”

Some final remarks

How will well control be remembered by future generations? Certainly well control certification done either by IWCF or the IADC will seem like a distant memory. Perhaps a bedtime story for your grandchildren? A gloating story of Red Adair putting out a desert blaze will certainly gain their attention.  And if that doesn’t draw their fancy simply play that old John Wayne film…one more time.

Gerard Kreeft, 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 has Dutch and Canadian citizenship and resides in the Netherlands.  He writes on a regular basis for Africa Oil + Gas Report and is a guest contributor to IEEFA(Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis) based in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. His book ‘The 10 Commandments of the Energy Transition ‘is on sale at

AFC Buys Up Aker Energy, Will Determine the Course of Ghana’s Next Deepwater Development

Africa Equity Investment has acquired Aker Energy, operator of Ghana’s Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block.

The transaction hands the company a 50% stake in the ready-to-develop asset, which contains the ultradeepwater Pecan field, located in >2,500metres of water, with 2P reserves volume estimated at around 450–550Million barrels of oil equivalent.

Aker Energy’s management team will remain in place after the consummation of the deal and will keep working on the project, including the submission of the plan of development (PoD) for the Pecan field to Ghanaian authorities by the end of April 2023.

AEI is a subsidiary of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), who is always looking for a high value, energy infrastructure deal on the continent. AFC originally invested in Aker Energy in 2019, after the latter  issued subordinated convertible bonds to the   multilateral finance development institution, of $100Million. “The bonds have a coupon of 5.5% per year and will be converted to equity in the event of an Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) of Aker Energy, at an agreed discount to an IPO offering price of 1.85% per year”, Aker Energy said in a statement at the time. The bonds have a maturity of five years, with an option to extend with another three years. The proceeds from the bonds were be part of the financing for the development of the Deepwater Tano. The investment has since increased to $200Million and AFC president and CEO Samaila Zubairu had been sitting on the Aker Energy board.

The Pecan complex was discovered in 2012 by Hess Corporation who sold to Aker Energy in 2018. Aker had meant to fast track the project but had run into headwinds in the last 30 months.

Aker has indicated that the field could produce as much as 110,000Barrels of oil per day. What it hasn’t said, in public, is how long the peak production could last.  The project could cost up to $4Billion.

Shelf Drilling’s Scepter, Dolphin’s Blackford, Join the Nigerian Drilling Surge

Shelf Drilling’s new two-year contract for the jack up Scepter offshore Nigeria is the latest in the growing list of drilling contracts targeted at drilling in Nigeria, where a surge in rig count has reached 30% between February and March 2023.

Scepter is expected to spud the first well in the contract in May 2023. It’s not clear how many wells it will drill, but it must be a multi-well campaign to have a contract value of  $118Million for the firm period, including mobilization revenue. The contract includes a one-year option, Shelf drilling says.

Scepter will join the Blackford Dolphin, a platform rig which is currently drilling in the Oyo field complex on Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 120 and 121 for the Nigerian indigenous company General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL).

These rigs are the latest data in the rig count, which surged by 30% from February to March 2023.

Dolphin Drilling, owners of Blackford Dolphin, even signed a new contract for the rig after it arrived in Nigeria. The new deal, with Peak Petroleum  is in direct continuation of the previously announced 12-month contract with GHL.

This story was initially published in the February 2023 edition of Africa Oil+Gas Report

Descalzi Will Continue as ENI’s CEO for the Fourth Consecutive, Three Year Term

By Macson Obojeminmoin

Claudio Descalzi will continue his role as one of ENI’s longest running Chief Executive Officers (CEO) in history.

It is official.

Giuseppe Zafarana, an Italian Military General, will replace Lucia Calvosa, the law professor who has been Chairman of ENI’s Board since May 2020.

General Zafarana and Mr. Descalzi’s names are among those of six candidates submitted for the office of Directors by Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), The candidates’ names are to be approved at the company’s Shareholders’ Meeting on May 10, 2023.

The “Shareholder Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF)”, as ENI describes it in a statement, is holder of 4.41% of the share capital of ENI SpA. The MEF also owns, through the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, a further 26.21% stake, for a total of 30.62% of the share capital.

Mr. Descalzi, who joined ENI as a reservoir engineer in 1981, has held the reins of the Italian E&P major for nine years. This re-appointment, for a fourth term of another three years, is clear indication that he has won both the politics and the legal battles of the most important challenge to his reputation. For most of the past half a decade, an arm of the Italian judicial system indicated, consistently, that it was convinced that the company, under his watch, was involved in corrupt dealing with Nigerian officials in the course of the purchase of the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, in 2011. The state prosecutor vigorously pursued, in the court of Millan, “a conviction of the current CEO”.  Those charges were dismissed by the court in 2021.

General Giuseppe Zafarana has been the commander general of the Guardia di Finanza since May 2019. His military career began in 1981, attending the 81st “Osum II” course at the Corps Academy. Put into service in 1985, he has held numerous operational positions in Lombardy, Veneto, Lazio, Calabria and Sicily. In particular, he commanded the Lieutenancy of Conegliano Veneto (1985 – 1987) and the Company of Lamezia Terme (1987 – 1989); he assumed positions in the leading investigative departments of the Corps, such as the Central Tax Police Unit (1991 – 1995) and the Tax Police Unit of Palermo (1997 – 2000); he was Provincial Commander of Rome (2003 – 2008) and Regional Commander of Lombardy (2015-2016). Zafarana was Interregional Commander of Central Italy, to whom command, coordination and control functions are attributed to the Departments located in the Lazio, Umbria, Abruzzo and Sardinia Regions. He was awarded numerous decorations and honours, including that of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

The other candidates submitted by the Ministry for the office of Directors include: Cristina Sgubin, Elisa Baroncini, Federica Seganti and Roberto Ciciani.


A periodic update on Conferences and Exhibitions focused on oil and gas and energy in Africa and for Africa in the next nine months…

  • APRIL 16-20, 2023



  • APRIL 17-18, 2023



  • APRIL 25 – 27 2023



  • APRIL 27–28, 2023


+1 281 691 5725

  • MAY 1-4, 2023



  • MAY 9 – 11, 2023



  • MAY 16 – 18, 2023



  • MAY 16 – 18, 2023


  • JUNE 13-15, 2023



  • JUNE 14-16, 2023



  • JUNE 20-23, 2023



  • JULY 31-AUGUST 2, 2023



  • SEPTEMBER 17-21, 2023



  • SEPTEMBER 27 – 28 ,2023



  • OCTOBER 9 – 13 ,2023



  • OCTOBER 16-20, 2023



  • NOVEMBER 7-9, 2023



  • NOVEMBER 12-16, 2023



East African Oil Pipeline in Court Again: Hearings Reserved for June at the Earliest

The 1,443 Kilometre East Africa Community Oil Pipeline (EACOP) has had another day in court; and the East African Court has decided it would rule whether it was qualified to hear the case against its construction or not, between June and August 2023.

The last court attempt to halt the construction -before this one- was dismissed in Paris, France on February 28, 2023. The Paris Civil Court, after more than three years and a lengthy procedural battle, threw out the case  brought by Friends of the Earth France, Survie and four Ugandan civil society organizations (AFIEGO, CRED, NAPE/Friends of the Earth Uganda and NAVODA) against French oil giant TOTAL, regarding its oil mega-projects (the upstream development, Tilenga and the midstream work, EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania.

The installation of the massive EACOP infrastructure; a heated pipeline which would allow Uganda to export its crude via Tanzania’s port of Tanga, is ongoing. Its contractors include China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering (CPP), Bollore, Schneider Electric and Worley. In January 2023, Ruth Nankabirwa, Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, issued the license authorizing the project, following the application submitted on July 1, 2022, “in compliance with various acts and regulations, including the Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission, and Midstream Storage) Act 2013, Regulation 59 of the Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission, and Midstream Storage) Act 2016, and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Special Provisions Act 2021”..

In the current suit against the project, the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) reserved judgment after hearing arguments for and against the objection to the court’s jurisdiction filed by the Secretary General of the East African Community, the Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Uganda in response to the case challenging the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) “until the questions of environmental, social justice, and climate justice concerns raised in the case are heard and determined.”

The preliminary objection sought to dismiss the case before the Applicants Natural Justice, Centre for Strategic Litigation, the Centre for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT) Limited, and Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) – got the opportunity to ventilate the real issues at the main hearing.

The contention of the Respondents’ was threefold: One, that the court did not have the power to entertain the case since it was brought outside the statutory period of two months. Secondly, they contested the jurisdiction of the court to entertain issues of violation of human rights- according to the Respondents, this matter fell outside the court’s purview when human rights issues arose. Finally, the Respondents argued that the matter was not ripe for hearing due to the Applicants’ submission being defective.

The Applicants – asked the court to dismiss this preliminary objection on the basis that it was not properly framed. The nature of the objection raised by the Respondents is argued on points of law only. The Applicants argued that the issues raised by the Respondents required the court to go into questions of fact, which the court should not consider at a preliminary stage. Specifically, the court could not, at this point, evaluate the contested dates on which The Intergovernmental Agreement and the Host Government Agreement were signed.

Ruling on the preliminary objection will likely be handed down when the court sits again in June or August 2023. If the preliminary objection on the court’s jurisdiction is successful, the case shall be dismissed, and if the court determines that it has jurisdiction, then the matter shall proceed, and will be heard on merits.

Shell Expects Massive Reduction in Egyptian Gas Output

Shell Plc is expecting a shortfall of 491Billion standard cubic feet of gas from what it planned to produce in Egypt between 2023 and 2025.

This is 85% of the company’s promised gas delivery to Egypt’s National Gas Grid for the period.

The shortfall is mainly caused by the performance of the West Delta Deep Marine fields being insufficient to meet the committed quantities to ELNG, the facility that ships natural gas from Egypt to Europe.

Egypt  has been keen on increased gas output, both to satiate its domestic appetite and to supply Europe’s needs. Shell, it seems with these figures, wouldn’t be able to help much with that.

If the government diverts more gas to the domestic market, this would increase the shortfall to ELNG.

© 2021 Festac News Press Ltd..