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Last Man Standing: In Praise of a Vanishing Era

By Gerard Kreeft

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a shrinking oil and gas market, it is perhaps a sign of the times when two of the most respected and deeply devoted drilling contractors decide to forego their independence and instead merge their operations. A story of technical prowess, innovation and adaption to market pressures in order to survive. The story of Maersk and Noble Drilling.

The Maersk Saga

 

 

 

 

 

The Maersk dynasty dates four generations. Captain Peter Mærsk Møller (1836-1927) took part in one of the most significant changes in shipping; the move from sail to steam in the late 1800s. He obtained a position in Jeppesen Shipping, a leading Danish shipowner. He captained various Jeppesen vessels and married Anna, the owner’s daughter. Later a steamship company was formed, the foundation of A.P. Moller-Maersk.

 

 

 

 

 

A.P. Møller (1876-1965), became the second generation, acquiring the company’s first five tankers in 1928 and established offices in the USA, the UK, Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Later he was awarded an offshore concession for mineral exploration, which became the basis of Maersk Oil and Gas and which was later sold to TOTALEnergies.

When A.P. Møller, passed away in 1965 his son Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller assumed chairmanship of the family foundations. Currently Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla, the youngest daughter of Emma and Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, became chairmanship of the family foundations with the passing of her father in 2012.

 Maersk Drilling

The Maersk Drilling chapter is one of innovation and technical prowess. Maersk Drilling traces its origin to the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), established by Maersk, Shell and Gulf (now Chevron) to explore the concession granted to Maersk. The Maersk Storm Drilling Company was set up in joint venture with the Dearborn Storm Drilling Company. The two semi-submersibles named Zephyr I and Zephyr II were owned by Maersk but operated by Storm Drilling.

Later Maersk Drilling established Atlantic Pacific Marine Corporation (APMC) in the USA. APMC served as a basis for building knowledge concerning drilling technology. This eventually led to the construction of the jack-up Maersk Explorer in 1975, the world’s largest jack-up. Shortly after Maersk Drilling ordered 5 additional rigs: 2 jack-ups, a semi-submersible, a drilling tender, and a so-called self-contained platform rig.

In 1990 Maersk Drilling pioneered the foundations of the jack-up market off the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Until then the NCS had primarily been explored and developed by semi-submersible rigs.

Between 1990-2004 Maersk owned and operated 10 cantilevered offshore barges on Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela.

In 2008 Maersk entered the deepwater market with the delivery of the Maersk Developer and subsequently the Maersk Discoverer and Maersk Deliverer. An additional four drillships were delivered in the period 2011-2015.

In 2019 Maersk Drilling was listed as an independent company on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

Noble Drilling

Noble Drilling finds its origins in Oklahoma. When oil was discovered at the Lloyd Noble family farm, this set-in motion the basis for the founding of Noble Drilling. In the 1920s with the discovery of the Seminole oil field, which produced 527,000 barrels of oil per day, Noble Drilling soared.

Originally the company consisted both of drilling and oil and gas properties; the latter became Noble Energy and was purchased by  Chevron for $13 billion in 2020.

In the 1990s Noble Drilling upgraded five rigs limited to working in 70 feet of water or less to units capable of operating in water depths of 6,000 feet or more. In 1997 the Noble fleet included 45 rigs.

Between 2000-2020 Noble augmented the fleet by adding high specific assets and developing strategic alternatives for many existing standard specifications, transforming Noble, one of the oldest drilling contractors, with one of the youngest fleets in the industry. This includes 17 new rigs to the fleet through acquisitions and new builds and the departure of 34 jack-ups, 5 drillships and 3 semi-submersibles.
 Conclusion

The new combination-Maersk and Noble Drilling-could prove to be awesome competition. A strong, virtually debt-free balance sheet and one of the youngest fleets in the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last word can best be told by what a former Maersk employee told me, only half-jokingly: “the 7 stars of the Maersk logo means that Maersk employees have to work 7 days a week”.

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 contributes to the Institute Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). His book entitled The 10 Commandments of the Energy Transition, is scheduled for publication in early 2022.


AfDB Grants Mozambique Some Minuscule Funding to Boost Local Content

The African Development Bank Group says it has approved a grant of $1.5Million to Mozambique to boost the development of local content “in the natural resources sector”.

The money looks rather minuscule, but the continental lender says it “is earmarked for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) targeting local content and women-owned business in the natural resources sector of the nation”.

An AfDB press release says that the new approval brings its total commitment to SME Development to $2.5Million, following an announcement of a previous financial package of $1Million in June 2021 to the Instituto para a Promoção das Pequenas e Médias Empresas (IPEME) under the Local Content Development Project for Youth-Led and Women in Business MSMEs (MOZYWEB). IPME is funded by the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund (YEI MDTF) (https://bit.ly/3wPvrCj).

The new financial contribution approval, from two Bank fund sources –  the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) (https://bit.ly/3wSuppd), through the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi) (https://bit.ly/3kGJghD), and Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) (https://bit.ly/3Hlnh9D) –  will provide technical and institutional assistance to Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), ‘Mozambique’s national oil company under the LinKar Initiative.

This support follows the Board of Directors approval of a $400Million senior loan project in November 2019 to “Mozambique LNG Area 1.”  The loan agreement carried a recommendation to build capacity in developing local companies by specific technical assistance programs in order to create decent jobs in the country.

The LinKar Initiative will focus on upgrading the capacity of local SME suppliers of goods and services in a wide variety of sub-sectors, including catering, office supplies, training, facilities management, customs, recruitment, and logistics, with the aim of advancing the country’s economy.

Estevao Pale, CEO of the Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH),, said: “The implementation of gas projects, foreseen in the next 12 to 24 months, of the Coral Floating LNG and Area 1 (by TOTAL), in the Rovuma Basin, as well as the construction of the Central Termica de Temane ( CTT)  project,  calls for an urgent materialization of LINKAR’s four areas of action: capacity-building, funding, technical assistance and hiring of SMEs”.The CTT project is projected to generate an average of 450MW of power and the production of 30.000 tons of LPG (domestic gas), in the Inhambane Basin”.

ENH is the government body responsible for exploring, producing, and commercializing hydrocarbons in Mozambique, is committed to leveraging Mozambique’s gas resources to drive broader economic growth and create sustainable local jobs.

Mr. Ple says that both programmes (LinKar and MOZYWEB) “will support more than 300 local companies by providing them with access to skills and certification, access to contracts and financing from local financial institutions. These SMEs will create decent jobs, especially for women and youth, and boost local content in the gas industry in Mozambique”, African Development Bank Country Director Cesar Augusto Mba Abogo, said, commending the Bank Group’s support to Mozambique”.

 

 

 

 


Libya Knocks Angola to Third Place African Oil Producer

Libyan crude oil output averaged 1.163Million Barrels Per day in August 2021.

It hardly bettered Angolan figures, which made 1.129MMBOPD in the same month.

But it’s not difficult to envision the North African country edging out Angola and becoming the continent’s second largest crude oil producer after Nigeria.

Between January and August 2021, Libyan crude oil output has ranged between 1.13MMBOPD and 1.195MMBOPD, with the average being 1.1615MMBOPD for the eight-month period.  Angolan numbers have trended lower, ranging between 1.073MMBOPD and 1.176MMBOPD. Angolan average output in that period is 1.127MMBOPD.

These figures may appear too close-less than 40,000BOPD- to declare that Libya has surpassed Angola in crude oil output, but Libya is coming from a low base; a situation created by conflict.

Whereas it had not, in those eight months, returned to the 1,213MMBOPD high that it made in November 2020, it has shown significant hunger and considerable headroom to grow.

Libya’s security issues loom menacingly in the background, threatening its output and there is hardly enough money to deliver on field optimization and basic day to day operations.

But Angola doesn’t suffer the scale of these challenges that Libya confronts.  Apart from investment fatigue, which also affects Libya, the Angolan problem is almost squarely about geology. With proven reserves less than 10Billion barrels, it hardly has the hub sized reservoirs in enough quantity to view a line of sight to, say 1.5MMBOPD by 1H 2022.

Libya meanwhile, is all of a 44Billion barrel oil tank, the largest repository of crude on the continent. Years of under investment caused by both a peculiar brand of politics as well as conflict, have, however stifled exploration, development and field optimization. But Libya has managed to add more than 1 Million Barrels of Oil Per Day since September 2020, after its two warring factions — the UN-backed Government of National Accord and the self-styled Libyan National Army — agreed to a peace deal. And now the state hydrocarbon company says it is sure of ” producing 1.45MMBOPD by the end of 2021, if it gets the budget and the country is better secured. Just two fields can deliver the 300,000BOPD that will take the country to that goal: one in the Sirte basin and the other in Ghadames Basin.

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Was the NNPC Operationally Profitable in 2020?

While the Nigerian state hydrocarbon firm congratulated itself on making a net profit after tax for the first time in its 44-year history, Africa Oil+Gas Reports examination of the audited reports of each of its 21 subsidiaries indicate that Nigeria’s most integrated oil and gas company struggled with revenues in 2020, operationally, in the entire value chain, than it did in 2019.

There was a depressing upstream showing, a midstream failure and a mixed bag of fortunes in the downstream.

Even the supposedly bespoke investment vehicles: for the investment firms (NAPIMS, Duke Global Energy) performed…

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SEPLAT Starts Commissioning an Alternative Pipeline, Ten Years after Construction Began

Seplat Energy has struggled for uptime in pumping its crude through the Trans Forcados Pipeline, a frequently vandalized facility in Nigeria’s Western Niger Delta.

Now the company has commenced commissioning of the Amukpe-Escravos Pipeline (AEP) and looks forward to oil flow “in December 2021”, it says in its latest update.

The AEP will provide an alternative evacuation route to Trans Forcados Pipeline, which was down for two weeks in September 2021, pushing Seplat’s gross (operated) output to less than 60,000BOPD.

Seplat had anticipated, in its second quarter 2021 (2Q 2021) update “to introduce hydrocarbons into the line by the end of September, 2021 and during 4Q to lift our crude via the Escravos terminal upon completion of the crude handling agreements (CHA) with Chevron”.

But the September 2021 deadline passed. “Procedure is being reviewed and we’re working to close out a few open switches prior to introducing Hydrocarbon”, explain management sources at the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the state hydrocarbon firm in joint venture with Seplat in the Western Niger Delta.

Construction of the 160,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD) evacuation facility was begun by the Nigerian independent, Pan Ocean Overseas, in October 2011. It is a 20”X67km Crude Oil pipeline which is meant to serve as an alternative (ultimately the mainstay) to the existing Seplat/Shell 24”/28” export pipeline to the export terminal at Forcados on the Atlantic Ocean.

“The completion of minor tie-in works on the Pipeline, which are not within Seplat Energy’s direct control, have been slower than anticipated due to a combination of challenges associated with access to the Escravos terminal owing to Covid-19 protocols and providing clarifications with the owners of the pipeline”, Seplat explained in the briefing last July.

“Our partner, NPDC owns a direct stake in the pipeline and are now actively working with Seplat Energy and the pipeline owners and their respective banks, to enable the final completion of the project. The construction of the entire pipeline system – including the metering facilities, is effectively complete and the precommissioning process is progressing well. This process involves functional testing of key components and operating systems integration with the receiving terminal facilities.

“The imminent conclusion of this project will significantly improve our assets’ production uptime compared with the TransForcdos Pipeline TFP (81% in H1 2021) and reduce losses from crude theft and reconciliation (12.1% in H1 2021)”, the Seplat update explained.

 


ExxonMobil’s Next Move: Is there a Plan B?

Gerard Kreeft

Will ExxonMobil’s Board decide to exit from its Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique? Gas reserves are estimated at 80Trillion Cubic Feet (80Tcf) and the cost for developing the field are estimated at more than $30Billion. The mere fact that such a discussion is taking place leaves pundits scratching their heads.

Surely in the midst of the energy transition such a project with its abundance of natural gas is the symbol of moving towards a cleaner fuel.

ExxonMobil is in a state of turbulence. Once seen as the oil and gas industry leader, the Dallas headquartered supermajor is in uncharted waters. Its biggest challenges are legal, not the search for oil and gas: ExxonMobil’s management has been forced to accept three new board members, nominated by Engine Number 1, a small, but very influential investor; and an environmental court challenge which potentially could derail its Deepwater Guyana projects.  Surely the court decision in the Netherlands ordering Shell to cut by 2030 its CO2 emissions by 45%, compared to 2019 levels, is a decision being followed closely by the courts in Guyana and the boardroom of ExxonMobil. Afterall, ExxonMobil’s upstream activities in the Netherlands and the UK are joint-ventured with Shell.

ExxonMobil has written down between $17–$20Billion in impairment charges, and is capping capital spending at $25Billion a year through 2025, a $10Billion reduction from pre-pandemic levels. Its market capitalization now hovers at $250Billion; in October 2020 ExxonMobil’s  market cap plunged to $140Billion.

Clark Williams-Derry and Tom Sanzillo, IEEFA(Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis) recently reported that ExxonMobil has since 2013 invested $61.5Billion on US upstream capital projects, only to report $5.3Billion in cumulative losses(see below).

To meet the green challenge ExxonMobil has unveiled a plan to build one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects along the Houston Ship Channel in Texas. The proposed project would cost $100Billion and would capture and store 100Million metric tons of CO2 per year. The emissions saved would be equivalent to removing 1 in every 12 cars on US roads, the company says. ExxonMobil is proposing to build infrastructure to capture its own CO2 emissions, as well as those from power plants, oil refineries, and chemical plants in the Houston area.

For the project to be economically viable, it would need major public funding and the introduction of a price on carbon in the US. ExxonMobil says the project could be fully operational by 2040.

Yet public reactions are at best muted and at worst cynical. Carbon Market Watch sees CCS “as a lengthy distraction from the debate about greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuels and getting emissions down at source”.

CCS can perhaps be seen as a partial measure to reduce a company’s CO2 footprint; however, only within the structured framework of a green energy roadmap. Not as a smoke screen in a continued broken hydrocarbon narrative.

What ExxonMobil fails to understand is that since the Paris Climate Agreement of December 2015 the industry landscape has changed drastically. Shareholders are demanding an energy transition strategy in which key renewables play a key role and CO2 emissions levels are drastically reduced.

ExxonMobil’s reaction has been– less spending on hydrocarbons with the hope for a better day. No renewable vision. A company in retreat. Certainly a project such as Rovuma with potential gas reserves of some 80Tcf should be the centre of any long-term energy transition  strategy, given the importance of natural gas in the transition phase. Yet because of its religious belief in only exploring for hydrocarbons it has painted itself in a corner.

A Contrasting Vision

A contrasting vision is that of TOTALEnergies. In the summer of 2020 French oil and gas giant TOTALEnergies  announced a $7Billion impairment charge for two Canadian oil sands projects. This might have seemed like an innocuous move, merely an acknowledgement that the projects hadn’t worked out as planned.

Yet it opened a Pandora’s box that could change the way the industry thinks about its core business model—and point the way towards a new path to financial success in the energy sector.

While it wrote off some weak assets, it did something else: TOTALEnergies began to sketch a blueprint for how to transition an oil company into an energy company.

Patrick Pouyanné, TOTALEnergies’ chairman and chief executive, now says that by 2030 the company “will grow by one-third, roughly from 3Million BOE/D (Barrels of Oil Equivalent per Day) to 4Million BOE/D, half from LNG, half from electricity, mainly from renewables.” This was the first time that any major energy company  translated its renewable energy portolio into barrels of oil equivalent. So, at the same time that the company has slashed “proved” oil and gas from its books, it added renewable power as a new form of reserves.

Each of the oil and gas majors spilled red ink in 2020, and most took significant write-downs. But TOTALEnergies’ tar sands impairments were different. The company wrote off “proved reserves,” or oil and gas that the company had previously deemed all-but-certain to be produced.

Proved reserves long stood as the Holy-of-Holies for the oil industry’s finances—the key indicator of whether a company was prepared for the future. For decades, investors equated proved reserves with wealth and a harbinger of long-term profits.

Because reserves were so important, the Reserve Replacement Ratio, or RRR—the share of a company’s production that it replaced each year with new reserves—became a bellwether for oil company performance. The RRR metric was adopted by both the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. An annual RRR of 100% became the norm.

But TOTALEnergies’ write-off showed that even “proved” reserves are no sure thing, and that adding reserves doesn’t necessarily mean adding value. The implications are devastating, upending the oil industry’s entire reserve classification system, as well as decades of financial analysis.

How did TOTALEnergies reach the conclusion that “proved” reserves had no economic value? Simply put, reserves are only reserves if they’re profitable. The prices paid by customers must exceed the cost of production. Given current forecasts that prices would remain lower for longer, TOTALEnergies’ financial team decided those resources could never be developed at a profit.

On the renewables front, TOTALEnergies has confirmed that it will have a 35 gigawatt (GW) capacity by 2025, and hopes to add 10GW per year after 2025. That could mean an additional 250GW by 2050.

A key to TOTALEnergies success is its willingness to devote capital to projects at an early stage. Its renewable investments include:

  • 50% portfolio of installed solar activities from Adani Green Energy Ltd., India;
  • 51% Seagreen Offshore Wind project in the United Kingdom;
  • Major positions in floating wind farm projects in South Korea and France.

TOTALEnergies’ renewable investments will add ballast, keeping it afloat. The company hasn’t abandoned oil and gas, and its hydrocarbon investments may prove problematic over the long term. But its renewable investments will add ballast to the company’s balance sheets, keeping it afloat as it carefully chooses investments, including oil and gas projects, with a high economic return.

Taking on renewables has enabled TOTALEnergies to broaden its portfolio and take on additional risks. Perhaps a key reason why TOTALEnergies in 2022  will possibly continue with its Mozambique LNG project and ExxonMobil will be probably exiting the country.

-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 contributes to the Institute Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).


NETCO Snagged Six Contracts in 2020, Says NNPC Annual Report

NETCO, the engineering service subsidiary of Nigeria’s state hydrocarbon firm NNPC, won six contract awards worth over $57Million in 2020, the company says in its annual report.

Five of the contracts were awarded by NETCO’s fellow subsidiaries in NNPC group. Three of them were for projects relating to rehabilitation of the dilapidated refineries and one was for an engineering study evaluating a westward extension of the Escravos Lagos Pipeline system (ELPS).  Only one of the contracts was awarded by an entity outside.

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Chinese Coal Imports from Mozambique, South Africa, in a Historic Surge

Export of coal from Mozambique and South Africa to China has leaped to a historic high in 2021, as the world’s second largest economy buys from new sources to deal with a global coal shortage.

As the market has tightened, China started importing from these two countries, which are not its non-traditional markets, like South Africa and Mozambique and expanded its trade with existing trading partners, including Myanmar Colombia and Kazakhstan.

China’s trade in coal with Mozambique and South Africa has a history. The Asian giant returned to import from South Africa years after it stopped as a result of problems with the chemistry of South African coal. Imports from South Africa, mostly used for coal to power generation, moved from zero in December 2020, to 1 Million tonnes in April 2021.

China’s coal trade with Mozambique was active between 2011 and 2014, when it stopped. It was restarted in February 2021. Monthly imports from Mozambique reached 174,000 tonnes in April, the highest level on record, according figures quoted by South China Morning Post.

 

 


Angola’s Oil Industry –The Turn Around Begins

By Tako Koning

Angola’s oil industry has been low profile the past few years with no really significant major oil or gas discoveries.

Oil production from the country’s mature oil fields continues to decline steadily from a peak production of 2Million barrels of oil per day in 2008 to the current 1.13Million barrels per day.  But it is too early to write off Angola as an important oil producer in the global oil industry. One needs to be reminded that Angola remains Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria.

In the past few weeks, events have happened which point to a turnaround in Angola’s oil industry.

1.) Nine blocks in the onshore Lower Congo and Kwanza Basins were awarded to various small international and local Angolan oil companies. This is positive news. However, the existing subsurface geological and seismic data indicate that if exploration is successful, the new oil fields will likely be small. Future possible oil production from those areas likely will not materially impact Angola’s oil production. However, the activity there could build a reasonably sized onshore oil industry and create jobs which would be very important for Angola’s struggling economy. 

2.) TOTALEnergies announced they will commence this month the drilling of an exploration well on ultra-deepwater Block 48 in a world record-breaking water depth of 3,628 m (11,900 ft). This record was previously held by TOTALEnergies in an exploration well drilled in 2016 in 3,400 m (11,155 ft) water depth off Uruguay. A possible oil or gas discovery in Block 48, which is located in the Lower Congo Basin, will open up a wide range of similar prospects in this basin’s ultradeep waters. Accordingly, this well will be one of the world’s most high-profile wells to be drilled this year.

3.) This month, TOTALEnergies announced that following their recent successful appraisal well drilled in the Golfinho oil discovery, they will install a floating production project in the deepwater Kwanza Basin to produce oil from the Cameia and Golfinho oil fields. The FPSO will go online in 2026 and produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The importance of this announcement is under-appreciated by most oil industry observers and needs to be further explained.

The offshore Kwanza Basin has been explored for over a half-century, beginning in 1968 with the drilling in shallow water Block 7. Neither a drop of oil nor a cubic metre of gas has been produced in the basin since that time. However, beginning in 2011, Houston-based Cobalt International Energy made seven oil, gas, and condensate discoveries in Cretaceous-age pre-salt sediments. Due to a wide range of various issues, Cobalt went bankrupt in 2017 and its discoveries remained undeveloped. Thereafter, TOTALEnergies was awarded operatorship of the legacy Cobalt blocks. The French major re-evaluated the discoveries and remaining prospects and completed the successful Golfinho appraisal well. The Cameia – Golfinho production project will create an activity hub in this part of the Kwanza Basin which will result in a further reappraisal of the other Cobalt discoveries, prospects, and leads which could lead to additional oil production projects.  

At times, oil and gas explorers need to take a historical view of the exploration in any sedimentary basin. In the deepwater Kwanza Basin, in 2011 a huge drilling campaign commenced which was focused on exploring for oil in the pre-salt sediments. The objective was to try to duplicate in the Kwanza Basin the major oil discoveries made in Brazil’s pre-salt, including the giant Tupi (now Lula) and Libra oil discoveries. The operators included BP, TOTALEnergies, Repsol, ENI, Statoil, Maersk, Petrobras, and Cobalt. The results were very disappointing. Oil discoveries by Cobalt and Maersk were non-commercial. The campaign also resulted in natural gas discoveries which were relinquished by the oil companies since at that time they had no rights to the gas. For example, as unbelievable as it may now sound, ConocoPhillips drilled the Kamoxi-1 exploration well on Block 37 and walked away from a 160 m gas column in the pre-salt without testing it.

Since that time, Angola revamped its oil and gas legislation so that the companies are also entitled to any gas they discover. You can be sure that a number of companies have now taken a hard look at the possible appraisal of ConocoPhillips Kamoxi gas discovery in view of the high current and projected global gas prices. Accordingly, in my view, the deepwater Kwanza Basin could eventually host a floating Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) project if the threshold gas reserves for a commercial project are established.  

From a geologist’s point of view, the Kwanza Basin’s gas potential is promising. From an environmental viewpoint, such a project is positive since gas is the least carbon-emitting of the hydrocarbons. Most forecasts are that gas will be the critical “bridging fuel” in the rapidly increasing energy transition. From an economic viewpoint, such an LNG project could be commercially positive since gas prices continue to escalate and the need for gas keeps ramping up worldwide.  

In conclusion, there is lots of life left in the Angolan oil patch and the turn-around has just begun.

Tako Koning is a Calgary, Canada-based energy consultant who worked in Angola for twenty years from 1995 to 2015. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in geology and from the University of Calgary with a B.A. in Economics. He is a registered professional geologist with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). In Angola, Tako was employed mainly by Texaco but also later by Tullow Oil and the American/British consulting firm of Gaffney, Cline, & Associates.  He has been on the International Advisory Board of Africa Oil + Gas Report since its inception in 2001. In 1994, Tako was awarded Honorary Life Membership by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) for his work with Nigeria’s university students and also for his assistance to NAPE.  


China is Close to Getting Concession of Angola’s Port of Lobito

The construction arm of China’s state-owned CITIC Group Corporation Ltd. (formerly the China International Trust Investment Corporation) is one of only two companies whose offers for the concession of the Port of Lobito, Angola, were admitted.

The other offer being considered came from International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), according to the Angolan Ministry of Transport.

The concession for the management and operation of the Multipurpose Container and Cargo Terminal at the Commercial Port of Lobito is for a period of 20 years, the ministry says.

Bolloré Logistics, the French-owned company with a wide Africa network, put in the preliminary bid, but it failed because it did not provide for the payment of the minimum amount of the concession fee of 80Million dollars under the terms of the tender specifications.

Dubai Port World, Yilport, Qterminal, and Abu Dhabi Ports all bid for the concession, but did not make an offer.

An evaluation committee will rate the proposals admitted to the competition, and the winner is expected to be announced before the end of 2021, according to the statement.

The container and general cargo terminal at the port of Lobito has a total area of ​​241,540.94 square metres, a berth of 1,199 linear metres, and the capacity to handle more than 600 thousand tons of non-containerized cargo and 250 thousand TEU (unit equivalent to 20 feet) per year, the Ministry of Transport claims.

CITIC Construction has branches in Algeria, Angola, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, South Africa, Kenya, Russia, Myanmar, and a number of other overseas markets.

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