All posts tagged Oil Patch Sahara


ION Completes Close to 20,000sq km of 3D Seismic Reprocessing in Mauritania

ION Geophysical Corporation (has completed the reprocessing and reimaging of approximately 19,100 km² of 3D seismic data offshore West Africa for its Mauritania 3D reprocessing programme.

The multi-client project was undertaken through an exclusive agreement with the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mines in Mauritania. It is comprised of 11 vintage seismic surveys and provides a seamless, modern, high resolution data set spanning the Mauritanian offshore coastal basin. This basin is a key part of the frontier MSGBC basin in which several large-scale, offshore, gas fields have been discovered, with an estimated 63trillion cubic feet (Tcf)* in place in Mauritania thus far, ION declares.

“With foreign investment flowing in, field developments expected to come online in 2023, gas favoured as a source of energy for the energy transition, and capacity expected to exceed domestic needs, contracts for LNG export to European and other markets is anticipated”, the company reiterates.

“The MSGBC basin has become one that matters in the global oil and gas landscape, even if it is still today a frontier area. We have an enormous potential and we must find the right solutions to use these resources for the development of the country,” stated Chemsdine Sow Deina, Exploration Director at Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures (SMH).

“With ION’s delivery of its Mauritania 3D reprocessing program, operators now have a lower cost, lower risk, sustainable solution for evaluating the offshore hydrocarbon potential of Mauritania,” said Chris Usher, President and CEO. “As a result, we anticipate additional discoveries will be made that ensure Mauritania’s long term energy security, as well as exports that fund sustainable economic growth and development.”

The Mauritania 3D reprocessing program was supported by the industry and almost triples the amount of 3D data that ION has delivered this year from approximately 10,000 km2 to 29,000 km2. Final pre-stack depth imaged deliverables are now available. Learn more at iongeo.com/Mauritania.

*Estimate from Mauritania-Senegal: an emerging New African Gas Province – is it still possible? October, 1, 2020. The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

 


TGS to Start a Second 3D Multi-Client Seismic Survey in the Egyptian Red Sea

The Norwegian geophysical company TGS, has announced a new three dimensional (3D) seismic survey in the Red Sea, Egypt, in partnership with Schlumberger.

This survey represents the second phase of new acquisition for the partners in this region and will encompass a minimum of 5,000 square kilometers. Data will be acquired with long offsets and processed using a Pre-Stack Depth Migration (PSDM) workflow to enable subsalt imaging. The acquisition is expected to start in April 2022, with final products anticipated in mid-2023 to ensure availability ahead of future license rounds in the region.

Egypt’s attractive, stable investment climate, enhanced by established exploration infrastructure and complemented by regular, transparent, and well-managed licensing rounds, has helped bolster interest in the Red Sea. The region is considered to hold significant hydrocarbon potential characterized by a wide range of prospective hydrocarbon systems comprising large, untested structures.

TGS and Schlumberger have a long-term commitment with the Egypt Ministry of Petroleum and South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (GANOPE) to promote the prospectivity of the Egyptian Red Sea. Through the acquisition and processing of seismic data. GANOPE is responsible for managing Egypt’s hydrocarbon resource potential under latitude line 28°.

The survey is supported by industry funding.

 


Shell Is Quiet About Rumours of Orange Basin Discovery

Shell has not expressly announced commercial discovery, whether minimal or significant, in its deepwater drilling offshore Namibia.

But everyone has had a say or two about the Graf-1 probe, located in Petroleum Exploration License 39 (PEL 39) in the Orange basin. Upstream, the Norway based oil and gas focused newspaper, had reported a very speculative story of the supposed find.

The well is being drilled by the drillship Valaris DS-10 in 2,000 metres of water.

The global newswire, Reuters, citing “three industry sources”, followed up, insisting the European major had made “a significant oil and gas discovery which could spark a wave of investment in the southern African country”. And then, after using the term “significant”, Reuters goes to state “it is unclear if the discoveries are big enough for Shell to go ahead with the development of the country’s first deep water field”. Reuters’ claim that the Namibian government was planning to make an announcement on the details of the discovery in the week of January 31, 2022, also turned out to be exaggerated.

A noteworthy feature of the speculation is the strong sense of Namibian government push behind it. “Upstream understands from two other sources that senior officials in Namibia’s Ministry of Mines & Energy believe results from the well are “positive” and that “Shell will do well” in the country”, the paper said, adding: “|Last month, just days after information began leaking out about Graff-1’s success, a further source with Namibian connections said Tom Alweendo, Namibia’s Energy Minister, was ‘very excited’ by the results”.

The media has gone so far as to report the density of the fluid (light oil), age of the reservoir (Upper Cretaceous sands, thought to be Cenomanian) and size of the find (a potential 300Million-barrel) It even reports hydrocarbon footage: “one layer at least 60 metres deep of hydrocarbons”.

All of these reports cite Shell executives as unwilling to comment, only grudgingly noting: “We continue to safely execute Graff-1 operations.”


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.

 

 

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