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ENI Scouts for A Rig for Coral North Drilling in Mozambique

Italian explorer ENI is looking to contract a rig to carry out drilling, completion and testing of four wells, in Coral Norte project offshore Mozambique, with start-up scheduled for the third quarter of 2024.

ENI has proposed Coral Norte as the second floating liquified natural Gas (FLNG) project, to drain reserves in Mozambique’s Area 4.

The first project, Coral Sul FLNG, commenced delivery of its first cargo in August 2022.

ENI is designing Coral Norte FLNG, as an exact copy of Coral Sul FLNG; with the same capacity for 3.3Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum, as it has for Coral Norte FLNG.

Building a second platform is considered as an efficient way to maximise the profitability of the gas resources discovered in the Coral structure.

The planned investment in Coral Norte is $7Billion and will still be subject to approval by the Mozambican government.

Coral Norte will be stationed 10 kilometres north of Coral Sul, the first project to take advantage of the large reserves in the deepwater Rovuma Basin.

ENI’s proposal consists of production commencement in the second half of 2027, meaning it could start up before the onshore projects, which depend on the consolidation of security conditions in the face of threats of terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado.

ENI is looking for drilling rig that must, among other characteristics, have a nominal water depth of 3,000 metres and a minimum drilling depth of 5,500 metres.. The rig must also be able to operate in conditions of strong sea currents with a suitable riser drilling system.



CGG Commences Côte d’Ivoire Reimaging Project near Baleine Field

CGG has announced the start of a major new multi-client three-dimensional (3D) Pre-stack depth migration PSDM reimaging programme in the Tano Basin offshore Côte d’Ivoire.

CGG is carrying out the project in association with the country’s Direction Générale des Hydrocarbures (DGH) and national oil company, PETROCI Holding (PETROCI).

The 6,400 sq km reimaged seismic data set near the recent world-class Baleine field will give interested industry operators unique insight into this high-potential new play.

The project is supported by industry funding and expected to complete by the end of 2024, with a fast-track volume available in Q1 2024.

CGG claims it will draw on its “two decades of geoscience experience in Côte d’Ivoire to reimage the 3D seismic data with its latest proprietary technologies, including time-lag Full waveform inversion (FWI), Q-compensated full waveform inversion (QFWI), and the potential application of targeted FWI imaging”.

The team, the company says, will also conduct a regional interpretation of the project area to provide a better understanding of the distribution of the highly prospective clastic and carbonate plays in the Tano basin.

Dechun Lin, EVP, Earth Data, said: “The recent discovery of the Baleine field has led to heightened exploration interest in offshore Côte d’Ivoire. Our reimaging project is the first of its kind to utilize cutting-edge technology to enable confident evaluation at a prospect as well as regional level, to give a better picture of the subsurface in this world-class basin.

The resulting ultramodern data set will offer unique access to near-field exploration opportunities, placing IOCs a step ahead in fast-tracking the development of these high-impact prospects.”

Financial Close Reached for Tunisia’s Largest Solar Plant

Financial close has been reached on the planned 100-megawatt, $86Million, solar PV plant in Tunisia’s Kairouan governorate.

It is Tunisia’s first privately-financed solar project.

It will also the biggest; with around 20% of Tunisia’s renewable energy capacity.

The facility is being developed by AMEA Power, a renewable energy independent producer which is a subsidiary of the regional holding group AlNowais Investment Company, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The partners signed project launch papers on Tuesday 26 September, at the government headquarters in Al Qasba, Tunis. This initiative stands as one of Tunisia’s most impactful infrastructure projects in over a decade.

The financing close is the culmination of a four-year process. Tunisia awarded the Kairouan PV plant to a consortium that includes AMEA Power and Chinese energy solutions provider TBEA Xinjiang New Energy Company earlier in 2019. AMEA Power was then awarded a concession and power purchase agreement in March 2022, and construction on the plant was set to begin at the end of 2022.

The solar plant will benefit from up to $26Million in debt financing from the African Development Bank, including $13Million sourced from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa SEFA, a multi-donor fund that provides finance to unlock private sector investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. “The financing scheme is designed to ensure the holistic development, financing, operation, and maintenance of the plant, located roughly 150 km south of Tunis, in El Metbassta”, AfDB says in a statement.

AMEA Power expects to break ground on the project between December 2023 and January 2024, with plans to fully kick off operation on the solar farm by the summer of 2025.

The project, which will have a 120 MW peak production capacity and be built under a build, own, operate model. The project is expected to generate some 222 GWh of clean energy annually, powering some 43,000 households in the country, and offsetting an estimated 100,000 tons of CO2 annually once fully operational, the statement notes.

Through March 2022, Tunisia had about 472MW of installed renewable energy capacity, of which 244 MW was wind power, 166 MW solar power, and 62 MW of hydroelectric power, representing a combined 8% of national energy production capacity, according to International Trade Administration of the United States’ Department of Commerce.

Tunisia has set a national strategy to develop solar plants with a combined capacity of 500 MW across the country, with a target to have clean energy sources comprise 35% of its electricity mix by 2030, and its unconditional emissions reduction target to slash 27% — 35Million tons of carbon dioxide —- by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, and ultimately become carbon-neutral by 2050.

Tunisia plans to construct a 200 MW plant in Tataouine, a 100 MW plant in Gafsa, and two 50 MW plants in Tozeur and Sidi Bouzid.

TOTAL Sells Chunks of Angola to Malaysia’s State-Owned Firm

TOTALEnergies EP Angola Block 20 has finalized the sale to PETRONAS ANGOLA E&P LTD (PAEPL), a company belonging to the PETRONAS group of companies, of a 40% interest in Block 20 in the Kwanza Basin in Angola.

PETRONAS is Malaysia’s state hydrocarbon firm and it is very active in Africa.

“The transaction was completed for an amount of $400Million as at January 1st, 2023, subject to customary price adjustments”, TOTALEnerges says in a statement, adding it retains the operatorship and a 40% interest in Block 20, alongside PAEPL (40%) and Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção S.A. (20%).

Block 20 contains the Cameia and Golfinho oil discoveries, located around 150 kilometres southwest of Luanda.

“These discoveries are planned to be developed through a system of subsea wells connected to a FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading unit) with an oil production capacity of 70,000 barrels per day, which will be the seventh FPSO developed by TOTALEnergies in Angola. The project will include the best available technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and the facilities will be designed for zero flaring, with the associated gas entirely reinjected into the reservoirs”.



LPG Production to Commence in Mozambique in 2024

Sasol says it will start the first, in-country production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) in Mozambique by March  2024.

The product is part of the deliverables of the field development plan for the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) in the northern region of Mozambique’s province of Inhambane.

That FDP aims to optimally develop the light oil and gas resources contained in the Inhassoro, Temane and Pande fields.

The LPG processing facility has capacity for 30,000 tons of LPG per annum. “The equipment is being installed in the factory under construction for the production of the field”, according to Radio Mozambique. Mateus Mosse, director of Cooperative Relations at Sasol. says that the pace of the work is satisfactory and believes that the deadlines established for the completion of the works will be met.

“What Sasol will produce in terms of cooking gas corresponds to around 60 to 70% of the country’s demand. It is true that the economy is growing, this could perhaps reduce demand to 50%, but it is already significant in terms of contribution to the country”, Mosse told the country’s government owned radio  “Let’s stop importing 50% of the cooking gas that the country needs, as there is a lot to gain. First, we will stop importing a significant amount of cooking gas; second, we will have a Mozambican company buying gas from Sasol and reselling it; we will have other distribution companies and cooking gas resellers purchasing in the country”, he said.

In 10 Months of Barging Crude, Newcross Distances itself from the ‘Jinx’ in Eastern Nigerian Onshore’s NCTL Pipeline

Of the four Nigerian owned, acreage holding producers who inject their crudes into the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), Newcross E&P Ltd has emerged the one with the truest grit.

In August 2022, it exited the line, which has lain prostrate since 2021 and contracted a shuttle tanker MV Bryanston, to ferry its barged crude to the Bonny Terminal.

Since its December 2022 gross output of 5,074BOPD (Net-2,283BOPD) from the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 24, Newcross has maintained gross production higher than 10,000BOPD for the entire…

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NCDMB, NNPC, Oil Majors, in League to Streamline Contracting Process

By Abdulwaheed Sofiullahi, Reporter, SOEs

The Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some of the country’s hydrocarbon producers, including state owned NNPC Ltd as well as five International Oil Companies (IOCs).

The MoU is aimed at reducing the contracting cycle to a maximum of 180 working days.

The agreement, released on September 26, 2023 at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, focuses on the efficiency goals outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), to establish an industry framework for optimizing the contracting cycle.

Key highlights of the framework in the MoU include reductions in the contracting cycle for open competitive tenders, selective tenders, and single sourcing tenders to 180, 178, and 128 working days, respectively, compared to the existing best effort performance of 327, 333, and 185 working days, respectively.

“An optimized contracting cycle is poised to enhance the ease of conducting business, lower costs, and drive efficiency, ultimately leading to increased production, higher revenues, and improved profitability”, according to a statement issued after the signing.

Signing on behalf of NCDMB was the agency’s Executive Secretary, Simbi Kesiye Wabote. The NNPC Ltd was represented by its Executive Vice President, Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan.  The participants described the MoU as a forward-looking step that will significantly enhance the nation’s crude oil production.

Representatives of IOCs, including the Managing Directors and Country Chairs of Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, TOTALEnergies, and ENI, pledged their commitment and support for the MoU’s implementation for the mutual benefit of all parties.

“This framework aligns with the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimization Program (NUCOP) and is in accordance with the directive from the President for NNPC Ltd. and NCDMB to collaborate with the industry to improve the petroleum sector’s performance”, the statement added.


Sasol: Pilot Successful, Green Hydrogen Production Starts Early 2024

Sasol, the South African synfuels giant, expects to commence consistent production of green hydrogen in early 2024, once the 69 Megawatt Msenge Emoyeni Wind Farm, in the Eastern Cape, begins supply of renewable energy to Sasol’s Sasolburg site via a wheeling arrangement.

The company says it has proven the concept, when it produced its first green hydrogen, under a pilot phase, using a 3MW solar photovoltaic facility in its factory in Sasolburg, in the country’s Free State province,  in June 2023.

It had used the pilot project to repurpose an operational electrolyser to use renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The green hydrogen produced in Sasolburg will be used in mobility applications.

“There is a demand for green hydrogen to decarbonise the mining industry, and in other mobility applications,” declares Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler.

“Once operational, the (69MW) Msenge wind farm together with the Sasolburg solar farm will provide sufficient renewable power to commercialise green hydrogen in South Africa”,  Grobler assures.

“This is a huge step forward in the energy transition, not just for Sasol but also for South Africa,” Grobler explains.




Fuel for Thought: Liquefied Petroleum Gas


By: Gorgui Ndoye

The past several years have shown that a range of fuel options for power generation is an important hedge against instability. Fuel flexibility is a hallmark of Capstone microturbines, which can run off a variety of sources, from natural gas and propane to methane, hydrogen, and more.

Today we’re spotlighting liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a widely available fuel that is an excellent alternative to diesel and other expensive, “dirty” fuels. This primer explains the types of commercially available LPG and how they can integrate into Capstone microturbine systems.

What is LPG?

Using LPG in Microturbines

LPG is a mixture of propane (C3), butane (C4), and small quantities of various other hydrocarbons, such as propylene and butylene.

LPG is transferred and stored as a pressurized liquid; however, its boiling point is such that it evaporates easily under ambient temperature and pressure. The molecular composition of LPG determines the dew point, heating value, density, and many other properties, as well as the percentage of contaminants. These values determine whether a fuel can be used in an engine or turbine. For this reason, it is important to know the composition of the LPG before designing the fuel delivery system. Because the LPG composition can vary significantly between fuel types, Capstone enhanced the fuel capabilities of the C200 and C1000 series microturbines to use a variety of LPG.

The four most common commercially available types of LPG are Special Duty Propane (HD-5), Commercial Propane (HD-10), Propane-Butane Mixtures (PB Mix), and Commercial Butane. LPG can also be mixed with conditioned air to make an LPG/Air Mixture. The addition of air may alter the overall fuel properties to a more desirable level for operation. Capstone’s microturbines can run using HD-5, PB Mix, or LPG/Air Mixtures.

When comparing LPG to Natural Gas (NG), it’s important to note the heating value difference. NG has an average heating value of 1,000 Btu/scf. SD-5 is roughly 2,500 Btu/scf, and Commercial Butane is over 3,000 Btu/scf. Therefore, the heating value of LPG is 2.5 to 3 times greater than NG. So, LPG requires much lower volumetric flow rate to achieve the same engine output. LPG is also stored as a liquid, which compresses the fuel volume 250:1—without costly cryogenics required by LNG. These factors offer a small footprint for LPG compared to NG’s need for pipelines and large infrastructure, and LPG can be transported easily and stored in tanks, making it a good diesel replacement.

Using LPG in Microturbines

  1. Special Duty Propane

Special Duty, or HD-5, Propane is defined as greater than 90% propane and less than 5% propylene. This grade is ideal for all types of engines and turbines due to the burn’s cleanliness and the low level of contaminants relative to diesel.

All Capstone microturbines have a version that can operate using HD-5 Propane.

  1. Propane-Butane Mixtures.

Twenty-three Capstone C65 microturbines provide prime power to Southern California Edison’s Avalon site on Catalina Island

Propane-Butane Mixtures,  or PB Mix, have no standard specification for their compositions and can be a problem for gaseous fuel operation due to the low dew point of butane. The higher the concentration of butane, the lower the dew point falls, and the more heat tracing and insulation needed with the fuel delivery system. This causes a higher risk of fuel condensation, which may lead to engine problems. The LPG-capable C200 and C1000 series microturbines were designed with a versatile fuel system. This includes internal heat tracing and fuel line insulation, which reduce the risk of condensing vapor from heavier fuels. The goal of the heat tracing and insulation is to maintain the supplied inlet fuel temperature without needing to increase the fuel temperature or vaporize condensed liquids.

The LPG-capable C200 and C1000 microturbines are approved to operate using a Propane-Butane Mixture of up to 40% butane. This does not mean that PB Mixtures containing greater than 40% butane are disqualified. Capstone applies the same limitations towards propylene, limited to less than 5%, as well as all other contaminants listed in the Special Duty Propane specification.

  1. LPG/Air Mixtures

Certain LPG types that are not suitable for microturbines may be approved when mixed with air. Alternatively, the mixture may attempt to match the properties of a more standard fuel, such as NG. LPG/Air mixtures are not standard and may require complex fuel delivery systems. The approval of these fuel types depends on review of the fuel properties and composition. Detailed analysis would be needed to determine feasibility for use in microturbines.

  1. Real-World Application

In March 2023, a 600 kW, C600S, LPG-fueled system was commissioned at a remote food processing facility in Bamako, Mali. Like many land-locked countries, Mali relies on expensive, “dirty” fuels like diesel and heavy fuel oil, so this project was important in demonstrating the benefits of a system whose fuel is less expensive and more environmental.

The new system also improves reliability, which addresses issues of load shedding and blackouts the facility had previously experienced. Because the microturbines also require very little maintenance compared to other technologies like diesel generators, power availability and cost savings were also improved.

Twenty-three Capstone C65 microturbines provide prime power to Southern California Edison’s Avalon site on Catalina Island

“The Mali project is a model for other customers and power companies, showing the benefits of LPG as an alternative fuel,” said Gorgui Ndoye, business development director for Capstone Green Energy. “There is tremendous opportunity to use LPG in many regions around the globe, but it can play an especially important role in Africa as part of the continent’s energy transition.”

Better for Business and the Environment.

It’s difficult to underestimate the positive impact that added reliability and cost savings have on the bottom line. Often, the combination of LPG and microturbines offers significant upside—including cleaner fuel and lower emissions. What’s more, once a customer decides to go with Capstone, we can fast-track and deploy nearly anywhere within three months of order.

The world’s energy landscape won’t become more predictable. Smart power security decisions made today will set businesses up to confidently navigate the future. An LPG-fueled microturbine system could be the answer.



Renewable Energy Wheeled for the first time through Cape Town’s Grid

The first electrons of renewable energy have officially been wheeled via the City of Cape Town’s energy grid, as part of the city’s plans to end power outages, which plagues South Africa.

Growthpoint Properties (JSE: GRT) became the first party to wheel renewable electricity in the city in collaboration with licenced electricity trader Etana Energy (Pty) Limited (Etana), a joint venture in which the South African owned Neura Group and H1 Holdings hold 49% and 26% respectively and UK based Chariot holds a 25% interest.

Wheeling is a process where electricity is bought and sold between private parties, using the existing grid to transport power from where it is generated to end-users that can be long distances apart.

“It creates greater access to affordable renewable energy and contributes to resolving the country’s energy crisis”, UK based Chariot says in a statement.

“As part of the City’s wheeling pilot project, in which Etana was selected as a participating trader, solar energy generated at Growthpoint’s The Constantia Village shopping centre in Constantia is being exported into Cape Town’s electricity grid for use at Growthpoint’s 36 Hans Strijdom office building in the Foreshore”.

Solar power from The Constantia Village was successfully injected into the City’s energy grid for the first time in September 2023.

Etana Energy says it is pleased that the city selected it as a trading partner, and we look forward to providing further energy support to the region for the foreseeable future.

“This electricity licence not only enables us to instigate this trading, but it also has the potential to help to unlock the development of further large renewable projects in South Africa. We are looking to supply greener power across the national grid for commercial and industrial requirements so this early-stage trading is a key step within our longer term plans for this business.”

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