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RakGas has advertised for a consultant to carry out geological mapping of blocks 4 and 5. The consultant will conduct a detailed site mapping of rock and sedimentary outcrops and their structures using various technical inputs. The work is expected to take two months from contract signing. A tender notice was published in Malawi’s The Nation on 15 July, and bids were due by 19 July. Block 4 covers the southern half of Lake Malawi, including part of Lake Malawi National Park, one of Malawi’s two UN World Heritage Sites, while Block 5 includes Lake Malombe and Lake Chilwa.


Following the departure of Murphy Oil, Sweden’s PA Resources has won a farm-in from SOCO International for the Mer Profonde Sud exploration permit. SOCO will take a 60% operating stake and will drill an exploration well in 2014 or 2015. The exploration permit excludes the Azurite field, which Murphy is in the process of abandoning, having announced in August that the field had reached its economic limit (AE 264/9). PA Resources had been keen to secure a new partner after Murphy pulled out, arguing that the rest of the block had further exploration potential.

Congo Brazzaville
Issue 338 - 19 January 2017

Gabon: New oil minister


Gabon has replaced its oil minister as part of a larger cabinet shuffle. Pascal Houangni Ambouroué, previously deputy economy minister, will replace Etienne Dieudonne Ngoubou, who was appointed in January 2014. Ambouroué was the youngest minister in the government when he was appointed to the cabinet in October 2016, aged 40. Before that, he spent a decade in international finance, including stints with BNP Paribas, Natexis and Crédit Agricole. He then joined the central African stock exchange, the Bourse des Valeurs Mobilières d’Afrique Centrale, where he became director-general in January 2012.


On 8 October in London, BP group chief executive Bob Dudley, Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi and National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla signed a letter of intent paving the way for Eni’s purchase of a 42.5% interest in BP’s exploration and production-sharing agreement (EPSA). The EPSA includes three contract areas, two in the onshore Ghadames Basin and one in the offshore Sirte Basin, covering a total area of around 54,000km2.

Issue 399 - 13 September 2019

Gabon: Dussafu drilling


BW Offshore’s DHIBM-1 well on the Dussafu licence has encountered hydrocarbons in the main well bore. Announcing its H1 results on 30 August, the company said well logging was continuing and a sidetrack well was planned. The main aim of the well, which targeted the Hibiscus prospect, was to find more resources in the Greater Ruche area.

Issue 304 - 10 July 2015

More Russian LNG for Egypt


Rosneft has followed Gazprom by signing a large liquefied natural gas (LNG) import deal with Egypt outside the competitive tender process. Starting in Q4 2015, it will deliver 24 cargoes over two years. Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) has already contracted to purchase 35 cargoes from Gazprom over the next five years. The first LNG supply tender issued by Egas in January was for 70 cargoes for delivery to the Höegh floating terminal at Ain Sokhna. Trafigura committed to deliver 33, Vitol nine, and Noble Group seven. BP’s initial commitment of 21 cargoes was reduced to 16.


Sierra Leone’s much vaunted reconciliation is looking more fragile than ever as November’s elections approach, at a time when – as African Energy’s new upstream oil update table shows – resources companies are expressing more interest than ever in the country’s potential for yielding hydrocarbons and minerals, writes Thalia Griffiths

Sierra Leone
Issue 189 - 26 June 2010

Report accuses Lundin


Three oil companies have been accused of being complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan.


BW Offshore has announced the start of production on 16 September from the Tortue field on the Dussafu licence to the BW Adolo floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The BW Adolo arrived in Gabon in late July and hook-up of mooring systems and installation of risers and umbilicals was completed in September. The FPSO, a converted crude carrier with a production capacity of 40,000 b/d, is installed on the Tortue field, one of five discoveries in the Dussafu licence.

Issue 280 - 28 June 2014

Gabon licensing sows confusion


The process of awarding blocks from Gabon’s pre-salt licensing round continues to cause confusion for oil companies. Several years in preparation, the new hydrocarbons code was adopted in February, passed by edict by the government during a parliamentary recess. However, a different version was published in the Official Gazette on 25 April. Law firm Miranda Correia Amendoeira & Associados says the bill will need to be ratified when parliament is next in session and could be amended then. A list of 13 block awards was published in October 2013 and companies were invited for contract talks. Then, in May, oil minister Etienne Ngoubou said three had been dropped because they lacked the necessary financial strength.

Issue 308 - 25 September 2015

Senegal: Cairn 3D seismic shoot launched


The Polarcus Adira vessel has begun acquiring a 2,603km2 3D seismic survey for Cairn Energy over the Sangomar, Sangomar Deep and Rufisque blocks. Partner FAR said the vessel would gather data in the north and east of the permits along trend from existing mapped prospects where there is no 3D seismic coverage. The survey will also help to delineate the SNE discovery. Cairn plans two appraisal wells and an exploration well, with drilling to start in early Q4.

Issue 333 - 29 October 2016

Mauritania: Kosmos takes Block C-6


Kosmos Energy has signed an agreement for Block C-6, which is adjacent to its existing Block C-12. The block was previously licensed to Tullow Oil, which pulled out in 2014. The Zoulé-1 well in Q4 05, and the Gharabi-1 well Q1 11 were both dry. Tullow had planned to drill a commitment well on the Sidewinder prospect as part of a four-well drilling programme, but instead opted to pull out as a cost-saving measure. Kosmos signed an agreement for the block during the Mauritanides mining, oil and gas conference in Nouakchott in mid-October.

Issue 246 - 17 January 2013

Equatorial Guinea awards new PSCs


The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy signed eight new production-sharing contracts (PSCs) at a ceremony in Malabo on 15 December. Several of the blocks went to companies already active in the region, but there were also a number of new players, several of them based in Hong Kong. Block W offshore Rio Muni went to Murphy Equatorial Guinea Oil Company as operator, with Vanco Energy Company’s successor Pan Atlantic Oil and Gas Ltd and state oil company GEPetrol as partners.

Equatorial Guinea

The International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (Itlos) has ruled in Ghana’s favour in a maritime border dispute with Côte d’Ivoire, paving the way for drilling to resume on the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (Ten) project. Tullow said it would now work with the government of Ghana to put in place the necessary permits to allow development drilling in the Ten fields to restart. Tullow expects to resume drilling around year-end, which will allow production from the Ten fields to start to increase towards the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel’s design capacity of 80,000 b/d.

Ghana | Côte d'Ivoire
Issue 201 - 21 January 2011

PA Resources: Delisting approved


The Oslo Stock Exchange has approved PA Resources’ application to delist its shares from the end of January.