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Egypt and Ethiopia Work to End Dispute Over Africa’s Largest Hydropower Plant

By Okot Njoroge, in Nairobi

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi have agreed to accelerate talks to find a solution to the long-running dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

GERD is Africa’s largest hydropower project, with 6,000MW capacity, more than double Ethiopia’s current generating capacity, and will rank among the world’s 10 biggest hydropower plants.

Addis Ababa and Cairo say they are targeting the wrap up of an agreement before November 2023, bringing an end to years of bitter negotiations over how to share the Nile’s water.

Ethiopia will continue to fill the reservoir for the rest of 2023 but has pledged to do so in a way that doesn’t cause “significant harm” to Egypt and Sudan and continues to meet their water needs, according to a joint statement by Egypt and Ethiopia.

Ethiopia commenced electricity generation from one of the turbines of the vast dam on February 20, 2022. Located on the Blue Nile River in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of western Ethiopia, GERD is estimated to cost anything from $4Billion to $6.4Billion at full completion. it is largely financed by government bonds.

Ethiopia’s first phase filling of the dam was in July 2020, during which 4.9Billion cubic metres of water was collected. The second phase, in 2021, raised the volume to 18.4Billion cubic metres of water. The 74Billion cubic metre -capacity dam is expected to take five to seven years to fill.

Egypt, which lies downstream of the Nile, has maintained that GERD is a significant threat to its water supply.

Ethiopia argues that “the dam will be very beneficial to all … helping store Nile water, which can be used in the case of a drought,” President Ahmed said in a statement.



Jubilee SE: Two New Wells Gush Over 20,000BOPD; Push Field Output Above 100KBD

By Abdulwaheed Sofiullahi

The first two of four wells in the Jubilee field to be brought onstream in 2023 came online in May and July 2023 at initial rates of over 20,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD), way above expectations.

The probes are in the Jubilee South East (JSE) comportment of the Jubilee field, which has been producing since December 2010.

The first well in the JSE project was hooked up in May 2023, delivering around 17,000BOPD.

Tullow is expecting to finalise two more JSE producers as well as one water injector well. The company says it is “confident in the production ramp-up we have outlined”.

Tullow and its Partners plan to maintain this increased level of production of over 100,000BOPD at Jubilee “over the next few years through an ongoing infill drilling programme”, Tullow says in a release.

“Future drilling locations have been identified to further extend this plateau and realise the full potential of the significant Jubilee resource base”, the company explains

Production efficiency on the Jubilee FPSO has been high, averaging 97% uptime in the first half of 2023, Tullow reports.

Jubilee field average daily output for 2022 was 83,626BOPD, according to the annual report of Ghana’s Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC).


TSK to Start Construction of 360MW Gas Fired Plant in Senegal from 2024

European engineering firm TSK, has partnered with Senegalese company LFR Energy for the construction of the Sandiara Power Plant, a gas-to-power facility located in Senegal’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Construction is slated to begin in 2024.

“The consortium has ambitions to build the largest gas-to-power plant in Senegal with the objective to develop Sandiara as a regional energy hub through the exploitation of the country’s gas and oil resources,” says Pierre Diouf, CEO, LFR Enrgy.

The power plant will mostly run on domestic gas obtained from Senegal’s western hydrocarbon reserves, most likely the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) and Yakaar Teranga gas basins. “Gas from GTA will be mostly used for export,” says Malick Guaye, First Deputy of the Municipality of Sandiara, who is in charge of the energy projects in the SEZ. “The Sangomar field has gas, but it is mostly an oil field, and first gas from Yakaar-Teranga will be exclusively for domestic use, making it the most appropriate field for the project.”

The gas will be transferred to the power plant via a pipeline connecting Sandiara and the Malicounda power station, which is currently under construction.

The power plant will comprise a combined cycle power station (CCG) that uses Siemens Energy SGT-800 gas turbines to meet industrial power generation demands. With a capacity of 360 MW and utilizing natural gas resources, the project is estimated to have an annual production capacity of 2,900 GWh.

Diouf said the plant will have the potential to integrate resources, “…perhaps with solar energy as well, since we intend to build photovoltaic panels near the plant.”

LFR plans to begin construction of the facility in the first quarter of 2024, with the goal of having it operational by 2026. The project will be funded by loans, mostly from the Emirati investment fund Al Furqan Credit, with the remaining half (around 15 to 20%), financed by shareholder equity. The project will be structured in accordance with Senegalese law governing public-private partnerships while the produced electricity, a portion of which will be dedicated to SEZ demands, will be provided by the state utility SENELEC under a 25-year power purchase agreement.



Petrofac Wins the Management Contract for Espoir FPSO in Cote D’Ivoire

Petrofac, the UK headquartered energy industry service provider, has been awarded a facilities management contract by CNR International offshore Cote D’Ivoire, West Africa.

“The initial three-year, multi-million-dollar contract will see Petrofac’s Asset Solutions business providing integrated services for the Espoir Ivoirien Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel”, the company says in a release.

“Around 110 personnel currently supporting the FPSO, including those onshore and on the vessel, will transition to Petrofac from BW Offshore following the recent sale of the vessel to CNRI. The transition of people and operatorship is expected to complete before the end of July 2023”.

Petrofac says the contract builds upon its existing strong relationship with CNRI in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), which has centred around the provision of operations and maintenance services.

“The contract will be managed from Petrofac’s technical hub in Aberdeen, using decades of experience in the mature and highly regulated UKCS market”.


Invictus Starts New Seismic Shoot in Zimbabwe’s Frontier Acreage

Australian minnow Invictus Energy reports that work is progressing according to plan on the Cabora Bassa two dimensional seismic acquisition 2023 (CB23 2D) programme being carried out by Polaris Natural Resource Development Ltd (Polaris) on its behalf.

Having also acquired Invictus’ earlier seismic survey in 2021 (CB21), “Polaris are well-placed to deliver safe and efficient operations”, Invictus explains.

A total of 425kilometres of lines have been successfully and safely cleared and the layout of receiver nodes is well underway. The first recorded data has been acquired and the survey is expected to be complete in mid-August 2023.

STRYDE wireless node layout ahead of data acquisition

The programme is a key part of the Company’s Phase 2 exploration campaign in the Cabora Bassa Basin, with the new seismic lines tying-in to existing legacy data, including Invictus’ 2021 survey. The data will provide a denser seismic grid over leads identified in the east of the basin and along the basin’s southern margin.

“This, along with data and insights from Mukuyu-1 and the upcoming Mukuyu-2 well, will be used to mature these leads as future drilling candidates”, Invictus affirms.

The CB23 Survey is utilising the latest generation STRYDE wireless nodes, which are less than 25% of the weight of comparable systems and makes the laying out and retrieving of the wireless nodes significantly easier, cheaper and substantially lowers the environmental footprint.

The survey work will include some dedicated testing of acquisition parameters that will allow for the optimization of a potential future 3D seismic survey in the basin.

2D seismic processing contract awarded to Earth Signal Processing Ltd

Meanwhile, the contract to process the data acquired in the CB23 programme has been awarded to Earth Signal Processing Ltd.

“Earth Signal processed the CB21 survey for Invictus and this prior experience will enable an efficient processing workflow and provide a seamless, high-quality dataset across the basin”.

For Western Indies in Africa, the ‘Chutzpah’ Is Back/Our Latest Issue

The 2014 crude oil price crash harvested a lot of victims.

Afren went under, BG was swallowed by Shell, Anadarko disappeared, Tullow Oil, which shared the position, with Anadarko, of the arrowhead of African wildcat exploration, has not recovered since; it sold its prime properties in East Africa to TOTAL, recalibrated its Pan African exploration forays and retreated to one heartland: Ghana.

All of which is why it is consequential to witness a company like Savannah, which didn’t exist in 2014, grab portfolios in Chad, Cameroon and South Sudan and announce increased share of the Nigerian market. And of course, take notice that M&P, which still holds over 20% of Seplat Energy in West Africa, is looking to triple its output in Gabon (Central Africa) and double its production inTanzania (East Africa).

Seplat itself may become, in a matter of months, a bigger onshore/shallow water Nigerian operator than Chevron or TOTAL.

Yes, the London, New York, Australia, and Calgary listed Independent E&P player is back in full reckoning on the African Oil Patch.

Majors like TOTAL, Shell and ENI are making the headlines on hub sized discoveries in the continent’s frontier basins, but the minnows are back from a nine-year retreat into the shadows.

Welcome to the INDEPENDENTS’ DAY ANNUAL 2023.

Read your copy here.

In this edition, we also deliver market intelligence material in the consequential countries from Algeria, Angola, Egypt and Gabon to Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.

The Africa Oil+Gas Report is the primer of the hydrocarbon industry on the continent. It is the market leader in local contextualizing of global developments and policy issues and is the go-to medium for international corporations, local entrepreneurs, technical enterprises or financing institutions, for useful analyses of Africa’s oil and gas industry. It has been published by the Festac News Press Limited since November 2001, and since the COVID 19 season, as a monthly digital (pdf) publication, delivered to subscribers around the world. Its website remains www.africaoilgasreport.com and the contact email address is info@africaoilgasreport.com. Contact telephone numbers in our West African regional headquarters in Lagos are  +2347062420127, +234803652979, +2348023902519



Ewo Well (OML 120) Out of Pressure Control Problems, Close to ‘Primary’ Target

By Macson Obojemuinmoin

General Hydrocarbons Ltd (GHL), the Nigerian independent operator of the deepwater Oil Mining Lease (OML 120), has worked its way out of the “kick” experienced when the platform rig Blackford Dolphin ran into an abnormal pressure regime in a shallow reservoir in the Ewo-1 wildcat in late May 2023.

The well has been sidetracked, and the rig is now very close to the primary target.

“We are close to target and should be drilling that this week” company sources tell Africa Oil+Gas Report.

An analogue of ‘Big Ewo’

The Ewo Deep prospect is a large, deep, four-way closure, hemmed in by a roll over fault.

Fondly called “The Big Ewo” by GHL staff, it lies in the vicinity of the Oyo North West structure in OML 120.

Geoscientists at D’Harmattan, a firm of subsurface consultants who evaluated existing data (seismic, logs and other petrophysical data), say “the reserves estimate is several hundreds of millions of barrels”.

Africa Oil+Gas Report confirmed that the seismic dataset used in determining “The Big Ewo” is the same data set used by Erin Energy, (formerly CAMAC), the previous asset holder and operator. So, we repeated our question: “If the ‘Big Ewo’ was sitting there all along, how come no one ever drilled it, in all the 30 years since the acreages were first awarded?”

The response from both GHL and D’Harmattan sources is that “the current estimate is from a deeper prospect from the one Erin looked at and drilled one well on”.

The Oyo field was producing in OML 120 before the acreages (OMLs 120 & 121) were revoked from Erin Energy, in 2019. The acreage was awarded to GHL in 2020, in one of the last discretionary awards made on the eve of the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which now forbids any granting of acreage awards outside of the process of a bid round.

This drilling is GHL’s first field operations since its incorporation in 2007.



George- Ikoli Takes a Seat on PWYP’s Global Council

The Nigeran lawyer Tengi George-Ikoli has been appointed to the Global Council of Publish What You Pay (PWYP), a civil society movement of more than 800 organisations spanning 50+ countries that enable people’s right to information and participation in natural resource governance.

Ms. George Ikoli is the senior officer at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), a member of organisation  of the PWYP movement. She is one of the 10 representatives elected this year to form the Global Council.

That election occurs every three years; filling seven seats reserved for sub-regions, two for member organisations with global reach and one for an Africa Steering Committee member. George-Ikoli is one of the two on the Council who were elected from “member organisations with global reach”.

She was nominated by her colleagues at the NRGI; Suneeta Kaimal, CEO President, Patrick Heller, Chief Programme Officer and Nafi Chinery, Africa Director, to take over from Evelyne Tsagué, the NRGI’s Africa Capacity Development Advisor.

“The council makes overarching recommendations to PWYP’s Board and Executive Director, ensures governance standards for national coalitions, and oversees coordination mechanisms between the regions”, the PWYP says on its website.

“Accountable to the Global Assembly, it works by consensus, voting on decisions only when necessary. With the Council is truly representative of PWYP members, drawing on their many strengths to guide our campaign for open, accountable, sustainable, equitable and responsive governance in the extractive sector”.

George-Ikoli is based in Abuja and works on NRGI’s project “Oil Dependency in Nigeria,” which aims to imagine a future without oil. The project will re-think oil’s role in Nigeria’s economy in light of the petroleum sector’s declining performance and the uncertainties caused by the global shift to cleaner energy. She holds a joint honours LLB in law and economics from the University of Wales, Swansea, and an LLM from the University of Bristol.

Prior to joining NRGI, George-Ikoli worked as the programme coordinator for Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC), implementing the charter, a set of economic global best practice principles, to advance the interests of the Nigerian economy and its citizens in the management of the country’s natural resource endowments. In her role she collaborated with stakeholders to strengthen revenue management, ensure local communities benefit, promote oil and gas industry efficiency and enhance transparency and accountability in the extractive industry.

Nigerian Electricity Discos Apply for Tariff Hike

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says the eleven (11) successor electricity distribution companies (“DisCos”) have filed an application for rate review with the Commission.

“The request for rate review is premised on the need to incorporate changes in macroeconomic parameters and other factors affecting the quality of service, operations and sustainability of the companies”, NERC says in a release.

“Accordingly, the Commission hereby invites the general public for comments on the rate review applications by the distribution licensees.

“Interested stakeholders are advised to review and take into consideration the excerpts of the Rate Review Applications filed with the Commission by the respective licensees”.

The applications can be accessed on the Commission’s website at www.nerc.gov.ng.

As part of the rule-making process and in the exercise of the powers conferred by the Electricity Act, the Commission shall conduct a Rate Case Hearing on the applications prior to making a ruling.

“Any person wishing to participate in the proceedings as an intervenor should forward his/her application to tariff@nerc.gov.ng before close of business on 20th July 2023. The Request to Participate shall include the following:

  1. An explanation of the person’s interest in the proceeding and how the party would be affected by the outcome of the Application;

and ii. A description of the party’s concerns, observations comments and/or objections to the application.

All members of the public and stakeholders are encouraged to send their comments or representations before the close of business on 20th July 2023 to the following address: The Chairman/CEO The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Plot 1387 Cadastral Zone A00 Central Business District Abuja

Senegalese Company Wins High Profile Engineering Contract on the Sangomar Field

Local Senegalese player Gorée Offshore Engineering (Gorée) has got more than a foot in the door to contracting opportunities in the Sangomar field, the first commercial scale oilfield development in the country.

In Consortium with Genesis, a wholly-owned Technip Energies company, Gorée has signed a multi-year Outline Agreement (OA) with the Australian explorer Woodside Energy (Senegal) B.V.

The Consortium will provide Asset Integrity Management Engineering Services to the Sangomar Field’s first phase, located offshore Senegal and operated by Woodside.

“This international Consortium will be pivotal in delivering a successfully integrated Integrity Management offering for Woodside while delivering key local content milestones in developing and supporting Senegalese engineers through knowledge sharing, on-the-job training, mentoring, and interactive learning”, Technip says in a statement.

Gorée, which was founded in May 2019, says it is committed to serving clients operating in the MSGBC basin, particularly offshore Senegal and Mauritania.

Gaspard Mendy, Goree’s founder, kickstarter

This contract to the Genesis- Gorée Consortium, announced on July 13, 2023, follows an earlier award to Gorée, in July 2022, of a structural engineering design project by Subsea 7 in Senegal, involving design of sea fastenings for 52 subsea structures to be installed at the Sangomar field, which is on course to deliver first oil before December 2023.

Gorée was founded and led by Gaspard Mendy, a Senegalese Chartered Engineer with 15 years’ industry experience. He holds a 2006 MEng (Hons.) degree in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Liverpool. He has worked in various contracting and consulting roles for several major operators and contractors, including ConocoPhillips, Perenco, Worley, CB&I and KBR. Principal Offshore Structural Engineer with 15 years’ experience in the North Sea, Caspian and African sectors.

The Sangomar field, discovered (as SNE field) in 2014, is spread over 400 square kilometres, in water depths of 700 – 1400 metres. The first phase of the development will target ~ 230Million barrels of crude oil; it includes the installation of a stand-alone floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility and subsea infrastructure that will be designed to allow subsequent development. The FPSO has a production capacity of approximately 100,000Barrels of Oil Per Day of crude oil, which will provide revenue to help deliver sustainable long-term economic and social benefits for Senegal.



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