All posts tagged Oil Patch Sahara


Chariot Makes Significant Gas Discovery Off Morocco

Chariot has announced the presence of “significant gas accumulations in the appraisal and exploration objectives of the Anchois-2 well with a calculated net gas pay totalling more than 100metres, compared to 55metres in the original Anchois-1 discovery well”.

Anchois-2 was drilled on the Anchois field within the Lixus licence offshore Morocco. Chariot has a 75% interest and operatorship of Lixus in partnership with the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) which holds a 25% interest.

The company says the well, which was spud in late December 2021, has been safely and efficiently drilled to a total measured depth of 2,512m by the Stena Don drilling rig in 381metres of water.

The AIM listed minnow says it undertook a comprehensive evaluation of the well through wireline logging, including petrophysical evaluation, subsurface formation testing including reservoir pressures and gas sampling, sidewall cores and well bore seismic profiles.

Its results are summarised as follows:

Appraisal Target

Gas Sand B has a calculated total net gas pay of more than 50m in two stacked reservoirs of similar thickness. The upper reservoir is a continuation of a reservoir drilled in the original discovery well, Anchois-1, with the lower reservoir being newly identified.

Exploration Targets

Gas Sands C, M & O were successfully encountered with multiple gas-bearing intervals across a gross interval of 250m measured distance with no water-bearing reservoirs identified, materially exceeding pre-drill expectations.

  • Previously discovered Gas Sand A was not targeted in the Anchois-2 well, due to the intention of evaluating it in the subsequent Anchois-1 re-entry operations, however, the Anchois-2 well encountered gas bearing sands at this level providing important additional subsurface data.
  • High quality reservoirs were encountered in all gas sands.
  • Further analysis will be undertaken to fully understand the positive implications on:
        •   Gas resources within the expanded Anchois field and the scale of the potential gas development.
  •   De-risking of numerous additional material exploration prospects within the Lixus licence area with similar seismic attributes to the Anchois discovery now considered to be low risk.
  • The well will now be suspended for potential future re-entry and completion as a production well in the development of the field.
  • The Stena Don rig will then move to the Anchois-1 gas discovery well to perform re-entry operations with the objectives of assessing the integrity of the previously drilled well, and if successful, providing a future potential production well for the development of the field.

 

 


Shell Joins the Rush to Drill Namibia

By Toyin Akinosho

UK major Shell has spudded the Graff-1 well in Namibia’s Block 2913 Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) 39, barely a week after TOTALEnergies began drilling Venus-1, offshore the same country.

It’s an intriguing place to be for a jurisdiction that hasn’t witnessed drilling by an oil major in over 25 years.

Shell is utilizing the Valaris DS-10 rig to probe a prospect which, like TOTALEnergies’ Venus-1, looks like a hub size play on three-dimensional (3D ) seismic data. 

The two acreages are adjacent to each other, in deepwater Orange Basin, although TOTALEnergies’ PEL 56 is in slightly deeper waters than Shell-operated PEL 39.

The Orange basin is a major delta system that spans both Namibia and South Africa.

Shell also has operated acreages in the South African segment of the basin.

As far as hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation is concerned Namibia has been in a “hoping mode” for close to 10 years, with plans to monetise the Kudu gas accumulation, the country’s only valid hydrocarbon discovery, caught in uncertainty and drilling activities by Western minnows turning up dry after spectacular dry holes.

The feeling of despondency was lifted in January 2021 when the Canadian independent ReconAfrica claimed it had encountered a working a hydrocarbon system in the Kavango Basin, a Permian aged geosyncline located onshore.


Aggressive TGS Kicks Off Another Seismic Survey in Mauritania

The Norwegian geophysical company, TGS, has announced commencement of a new seismic survey in the MSGBC Basin, offshore Mauritania.

It is a follow up to the North-West Africa Atlantic Margin (NWAAM) two dimensional (2D) seismic acquisition campaign.

The current survey, NWAAM 2021, will comprise 7,500 kilometres of seismic data, with a modern broadband acquisition set-up. The project is being undertaken using the vessel BGP Pioneer

“The survey is designed to illuminate the regional plays in the ultra-deep and deepwater areas with a new azimuth and to provide prospectivity insights of an oil-prone area in relation to recent key wells and the shallow water geology”, TGS says in a release.

TGS has been, perhaps the busiest multi-client seismic survey contractor on the African continent in the last three years. It was the go -to company for the Liberian licensing round, which was launched in 2nd Quarter 2020, because it holds a range of multi-client data across the Harper Basin, the focus of the round, to support the activity.

TGS acquired a keen rival, Spectrum Geophysical, in June 2019 and in 2020 acquired the Senegal North Ultra-Deep offshore three-dimensional (3D) survey, covering an area of more than 5,100km². The stand-alone northern Senegal survey was the continuation of the Jaan 3D seismic survey, which is TGS’ 3D dataset covering the southern portion of the Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry (MSGBC) Basin, offshore north-west Africa.

In Nigeria, between 2019 and 2021, TGS, along with its joint venture partner PetroData, carried out the country’s first regional multi-client Multibeam and Seafloor Sampling (MB&SS) Study, covering an area of approximately 80,000 square kilometres of the offshore Niger Delta and incorporating around 150 cores from the seabed, whose location is based on multibeam backscatter anomalies.

In terms of the ongoing Mauritanian survey, TGS says the project has a 60-day acquisition timeline, with fast-track data available three months after acquisition. The full dataset will be available by Q2 2022.

“Our latest seismic survey offshore Mauritania will provide explorers with the subsurface intelligence needed to assess the hydrocarbon potential of the deep and ultra-deepwater”, TGS says. “We see this project as the natural continuation of our successful NWAAM campaign, one of our flagship projects in Africa”.

 


Chariot Ready for Gas Appraisal Well in Morocco

Chariot Oil & Gas has signed a contract with Stena Drilling, to use its semi-submersible Stena Don drilling rig for the planned Anchois gas appraisal well within the Lixus licence, offshore Morocco.

Drilling operations are anticipated to commence in December 2021 and are expected to take up to approximately 40 days.

 With the drilling, Chariot o wants to unlock the development of the discovered sands by confirming the gas resource volumes, reservoir quality and well productivity.

The probe also seeks to provide a future production well for the development of the field as well as potentially deepen the well into additional low-risk prospective sands with the aim of establishing a larger resource base for longer term growth.

Anchois field’s development plan, so far, envisages two subsea wells tied into a subsea manifold with a 40-km offshore flowline connected to an onshore gas processing facility. From there another 40-km pipeline would link to a trunkline gas system to Europe.

 


Cameroon’s 25MW Solar Plants to Be Commissioned in Early 2022

The 10MW Guider and 15MW Maroua solar power plants, about to commence construction, will cost $31Million (XAF17Billion), and should be up and running before mid-2022. Guidder is located in Cameroon‘s North Province, close to the border with Chad, whereas Maroua is the capital of the country’s Far North Region.

The power utility ENEO (Energy of Cameroon), has received guarantees from the country’s Investment Promotion Agency (API), that the construction project will benefit from the tax and customs exemptions provided by the 2013 private investments incentives law (revised in 2017).  The related agreement was signed on January 20, 2021, in Yaoundé,

MGSC (a joint venture formed by Norwegian company Scatec, Israeli-American group Izuba Energy and Sphinx Energy, run by a Cameroonian economic operator based in the USA) was chosen by ENEO, in 2018, to develop the project.

Scatec, the leader of the consortium, has one of the largest solar energy capacities in Africa (400 MW in Egypt, over 300 MW in South Africa, 40MW in Mozambique, 300 MW under construction in Tunisia …).

The 25MW of solar energy expected from the Guider and Maroua plants will be sold to ENEO, according to the contract binding the involved parties. The power output should help diversify Cameroon’s energy mix, which is still largely dominated by thermal and hydroelectric energy. It should also reduce energy production cost.

 

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Renewed Upstream Activity May Trigger Big Investments in Namibia, Angola and South Africa

 

By NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber

Last spring, the Maersk Voyager, an ultra-deepwater drillship under contract by French supermajor TOTAL, drilled a wildcat well in the deepest water ever – 3,628 metres (11,903 feet) in Block 48, a massive area with potentially huge oil reserves in the Congo basin offshore Angola.

The record-setting achievement wasn’t a success just for Maersk and TOTAL. It also represented a victory for Angola and state oil company Sonangol in their search for new oil, part of a campaign to reverse a recent trend of production declines. The high-impact concept well was long anticipated, and it didn’t take long for other global players, including Qatar Petroleum (QP), to buy in. As part of its bid to expand its exploration portfolio, QP acquired a 30% stake in Block 48 in August, its first venture into Angola’s promising deepwater acreage.

If Angola were the only southwestern African nation making oil and gas news, that would still be a pretty good story. But the fact is, Africa’s southwestern coast is home to perhaps the most globally anticipated wildcats of 2020 and 2021 – exploration that continues despite the added challenges of COVID-19, which has constrained operating and capital budgets. As the African Energy Chamber noted in our 2021 outlook, if successful, prospects in Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, could “open new basins for development and trigger big investments towards the latter half of the 2020s.”

That’s headline-making, indeed.

Combined with Block 48, the Venus-1 prospect in Namibia, and South Africa’s Brulpadda and Luiperd, the region holds world-class resource potential. The key is translating that potential into real benefits for all Africans.

Production is Building Momentum in Angola
For nearly 70 years, oil has been a mainstay of the Angolan economy, contributing about 50% of the nation’s gross domestic product and around 89% of exports. The country holds the continent’s third-largest proven oil reserves 9after Libya and Nigeria in that order) and is behind only Nigeria in terms of production.

In recent years, though, the drop in oil prices scared off foreign investment, putting pressure on Angola’s well-established oil and gas industry as well as its oil-based economy. Despite its vast resources, production hurtled downhill, and the country hasn’t witnessed a major new discovery since 2011. Without fresh finds, consultants Rystad Energy, S.A. said, volumes could drop below 1Million barrels per day by 2025, far below capacity and less than half the 2008’s daily output.

That forecast was more than enough to spur Angolan President João Lourenço into action.

Following his election in 2017, he promised Angola an “economic miracle” and immediately began incentivizing participation in the nation’s oil and gas industry as part of his turnaround plan.

Lourenço’s lures, including better contract terms that would make foreign investment more profitable, paid off. With reforms such as tax relief and a standalone oil industry regulator in place, TOTAL – which has been operating in Angola for six decades – moved quickly in 2018 to take over Block 48 and was awarded Block 29 in the Namibe basin earlier this year; Italy’s ENI was awarded neighboring Block 28 about the same time. Angola also awarded several offshore blocks to Norway’s Equinor and BP. (There are approximately 50 blocks in the Namibe basin, but whether they will all be put into play remains to be seen.)  ENI and its partners also began production at Agogo-1, pumping a modest 10,000 barrels per day. While that may sound small, it contributes to a much larger sum: Taken together, Rystad said, production from new Angolan projects – that is, those begun just in the last five years – should yield 549,000 barrels per day by 2025.

Fiscal Regime Sets Stage for Success in Namibia
If early seismic data is to be believed, compared to Angola there is equal, if not even more, promise in new discoveries offshore Namibia. Scientists compare Namibia’s geology favorably to the pre-salt fields offshore Brazil, which hold 16Billion barrels of crude reserves. Yet Namibia’s basins are considered underexplored, meaning there’s ample opportunity for foreign and domestic investment. The possibility of high-impact discoveries has attracted the likes of TOTAL, ExxonMobil, QP, and Kosmos Energy, which has had significant wildcat success in Africa over the past dozen years.

Currently, all eyes are on TOTAL’s possibly play-opening Venus 1- prospect, which may turn out to be the largest discovery in Africa in a decade. An ultra-deepwater well in the Orange Basin, which straddles the border with South Africa, Venus-1 is thought to have at least 2Billion barrels of oil in place. If Venus-1 is successful, it’s likely to attract even more attention to the area. Fortunately, the Namibian government’s oil-friendly policies make it easy for foreign companies to do business there. The fiscal regime is positive, and the state-owned oil company, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), is a cooperative partner. It also helps that Namibia is politically stable and has some of the best-developed infrastructure on the continent, including a modern electricity distribution grid.

We’re Seeing Growing Excitement in South Africa
Like its neighbours to the west, South Africa has been the site of considerable excitement over frontier discoveries, including Total’s Brulpadda, which opened up the Outeniqua basin in 2019. Brulpadda is considered a world-class oil and gas play that holds as much as 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas and condensate light oil.

Brulpadda is considered an antidote to the cascade of ailments South Africa – like many countries with petroleum resources – has experienced in recent years: a drop in oil and gas exploration following a decline in commodity prices. It is likely that PetroSA’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant will provide a ready domestic market for Brulpadda, as will the nearby petrochemical and industrial facilities. It is also possible the discovery will help South Africa accelerate the use of gas for electricity.

TOTAL continues to explore other parts of the Outeniqua basin and just last month discovered gas condensate on the Luiperd prospect, where it is a joint venture partner with QP, CNR International, and an African consortium called Main Street. In an announcement, TOTAL said that the Luiperd well was drilled to a total depth of about 3,400 meters and encountered 73 metres of net gas condensate pay, making it even larger than the main reservoir at Brulpadda. TOTAL and its partners have decided to commercialize the Luiperd gas rather than drill another exploration well in the program.

Africans Must Realize the Benefits
There’s no question that these discoveries have made southwestern Africa an exploration hot spot.

Neither is there any doubt that the governments of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa have facilitated and even accelerated the discovery and development processes by making it easy to do business there. (In the case of South Africa, its fiscal terms for oil and gas companies are described as “very generous.”)

What remains uncertain is to what degree each country will continue working to ensure its natural resources, whether newfound or long-established, are used to lift people out of poverty. True, African involvement in joint ventures leads us to assume that the best interests of every citizen are being considered.

But this is a time for the oil and gas companies that are involved in these mega-opportunities to redouble their efforts to support local communities and people. These companies are our guests in Africa, but the price of a welcome to our resource riches can’t be merely contractual, a handshake between governments and businessmen. The more they profit, the more Africans should benefit.

This idea is at the heart of the concept of Shared Value, which has been defined as “a framework for creating economic value while simultaneously addressing societal needs and challenges,” and as the “practice of profit in a way that creates value for society.” Shared Value doesn’t suggest that businesses should act as philanthropies or charities, giving handouts to those who exhibit need. It goes beyond the idea of corporate social responsibility, which is often based on volunteerism and one-off donations. Perhaps most important, Shared Value recognizes that companies can only stay in business if they are making money. As consultants FSG described it, the value companies and the community are sharing is “worth,” that is, economic value on a financial sheet and societal value in the form of progress on social issues.

Shared Value recognizes that companies have a responsibility to take on social challenges through the business itself. It is in their economic interest to do this. In Africa, one way they can do that is by supporting capacity-building. As the Shared Value Initiative noted, despite the substantial economic output of the oil and gas industry, it has “not always translated into societal improvements in host countries and communities… companies are losing billions of dollars a year to community strife,” much of it due to underemployment.

As more companies are attracted to southwestern Africa and these exciting new developments, we can only hope that they will recognize that where opportunity exists for them it should exist for everyone. And they have the power to make it so.

That would be really big news.

(www.EnergyChamber.org)

 


PGS to Release Seismic Data for Namibe Basin in November 2020

PGS’ seismic acquisition vessel, Ramform Sovereign, has completed a large acquisition project offshore Angola using multisensor GeoStreamer technology. Operational and geological objectives were achieved successfully and safely, despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

The 2020 PGS Namibe Basin survey connects the three dimensional (3D) seismic coverage of southern Angola with PGS seismic data library coverage in Namibia, completing a large MultiClient footprint of high-quality broadband seismic data that spans the Namibe Basin.

Predicted reservoir presence and distribution maps indicate that this area contains a variety of leads and prospects”, PGS claimsin a release. “Full depth-imaging incorporating FWI velocity model building will improve knowledge of the subsurface petroleum system and reduce the risk for frontier exploration”.

The fast-track data for Angola Namibe Basin will be available in late fourth quarter, likely around November. 2020.

 

 


Low Price, Lockdown, Ideal for Oil data G&G Evaluation

The low oil price and restricted movement is the ideal time to expand the home office environment to allow for creative evaluation of all data in a company’s possession to resolve identified challenges in exploration Geoscience

This is the opinion of Ebi Omatsola. Africa’s top exploration thinker.

“That’s when its best to share knowledge with appropriate colleagues and prepare for the good days ahead when and if they come”, says the former Chief Geologist at Shell Nigeria and former MD of Conoil Producing.

“Petroleum is still the anchor for global energy”, Omatsola argues, and even if it’s very low priced at the moment, “Prices will still rise sufficiently to encourage low hanging Near Facility Exploration (NFEP)”, he explains.

Contending that natural gas is becoming the most important transition energy resource, Omatsola advises G&G (Geology and Geophysics) staff to pull out Prospect inventory and work them up, “as long as those prospects are in the NFEP category”.


‘Government Licence Revocation to Blame for Rig Fire Incident’, Company Laments

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

The Nigerian minnow, Guarantee Petroleum, has argued that the revocation order, sent to the company in early April 2020, right in the middle of a well re-entry process, encouraged a sense of pandemonium which resulted in the fire incident on the Grace-1 HWU, the hydraulic workover rig that was performing re-entry operations on Ororo field, in shallow water Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95.

“Service providers became jittery when the announcement came”, Tunde Giwa, the company’s Managing Director, lamented to Africa Oil+Gas Report.

“We had almost finalised operations”, Giwa explained, “We were at the bottom of the well (circa 10,000feet) we had opened four hydrocarbon zones, and taken all the plugs out. Baker Hughes was on site to put the tubings, (and complete the well). That was when the problem started. The service providers who could have intervened in the various well pressure amelioration work, were refusing to do their job”.

Nigerian regulatory authorities were well aware that there was an operation going on, there were safety issues involved and yet they revoked the licence of the operator with immediate effect.

The well re-entry commenced in October 2019 and officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) were aware of the work, which they sanctioned, according to documents sighted by Africa Oil+Gas Report. Well control challenges started in April and when the revocation order came, “the service companies started reducing their work scope”. Giwa claims that as of Sunday, May 17, 2020, the DPR had not responded to letters and email messages on the fire incident.

Asked why the company had deployed a hydraulic workover rig to re-enter and work over a well that had prior record of overpesssured zones, Giwa said that the issue was not the rig competency. “The Blowout Preventer (BOP) stack and drilling mud pumps (designed to circulate drilling fluid under high pressure) were the same as a regular rig”.

Guarantee Petroleum, with its partner, Owena Oil, won the Ororo field in the 2002/2003 Marginal field round.

DPR is right to be concerned that the two companies had sat” on the licence for 17 years without applying a sense of urgency to bring the asset to production.

It is in the DPR’s remit to revoke the licence.

But it is wrong for officials, themselves geoscientists and engineers, to approve technical operations of this nature and financial magnitude (in excess of $20Million), with a high safety quotient, and revoke the licence right in the middle of the operations.


Zomo-1; Likely Fifth Success or First Duster

Savannah’s Fifth Success or First Duster?

Savannah Petroleum has moved the GW 215 Rig to drill the fifth well in its exploration campaign in the Niger Republic.

Zomo-1, spudded on September 8, follows Bushiya-1, Amdigh-1 Kunama-1 and Eridal-1, all drilled by the British explorer between March and August 2018, and all of which encountered crude oil bearing zones, considered by Savannah to be of commercial size.

But none of the wells have been tested, so there is no clear handle on flow assurance.

As with others, Zomo-1 is located in the R3/R4 PSC Area in the Agadem Basin, south east of the republic of Niger. It is also, as with the rest, designed to evaluate potential oil pay in the Eocene Sokor Alternances as the primary target.

The well is planned to be drilled to a total depth of 2,438metres Drilling is expected to take between 30 and 35 days.

The Company plans to log all prospective sections within the well, with further logging employed for hydrocarbon bearing sections. “In the success case, the well will be suspended for future re-entry and further evaluation, which could include well testing”, the company says.

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