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Issue 189 - 26 June 2010

Africa Oil acquires South Omo Block


Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Africa Oil Corporation has signed a farm-out agreement with Agriterra (formerly White Nile) to acquire an 80% participating interest and operatorship of the South Omo Block in south-west Ethiopia.


Following a $1.29bn farmout deal in Tanzania in November, Ophir has farmed down stakes in four deep-water blocks offshore Gabon to Austria’s OMV ahead of a drilling programme due to start in February. OMV will acquire 30% non-operated interests in the Manga and Gnondo blocks and 10% non-operated interests in the Mbeli and Ntsina blocks. Ophir will retain 70% in Manga and Gnondo and 40% in Mbeli and Ntsina. OMV will pay past costs and a share of the well costs on the Padouck Deep, Affanga Deep and Okala wells, in addition to the cost of two additional wells and of planned 3D seismic surveys across the blocks.


The entire board of Western Australia (WA)-based Sundance Resources were killed in a plane crash in Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) on 19 June.

Congo Brazzaville

AIM-listed Sound Energy has signed binding heads of terms with Schlumberger that will expand the companies’ relationship into Meridja and the Tendrara relinquished areas while covering the cost of Sound’s forthcoming eastern Morocco geophysical survey programme.The existing field management agreement between the two companies will be extended to include Meridja and the Tendrara relinquished areas, which Sound agreed earlier this year to acquire from Morocco’s Oil & Gas Investment Fund (OGIF). Schlumberger will be granted a 27.5% working interest in both areas.


General Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, has announced a licensing round for seven onshore and offshore oil exploration blocks that will start on 17 October (see map)

Issue 268 - 20 December 2013

Carlyle Group backs former Cove team


US-based asset management firm The Carlyle Group has committed up to $200m of equity capital in Discover Exploration, a new oil and gas exploration company led by the former Cove Energy management team. London-based Discover said the investment would enable it to participate in an immediate two-well deep-water drilling programme in the Taranaki and Canterbury basins offshore New Zealand, and to fund an exploration programme in the Comoros Islands. This is the first investment by Carlyle International Energy Partners, a fund that focuses on oil and gas exploration and production, midstream, oil field services and refining and marketing in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Issue 207 - 16 April 2011

Shell concludes onshore sale


Shell, Total and Agip have sold their stake in the onshore OML 40 Block to Elcrest Exploration & Production Nigeria, a consortium of local company Starcrest Nigeria Energy (owned by Nigerian business mogul Emeka Offor’s Chrome Group) and the UK-based Eland Oil and Gas.

Issue 227 - 15 March 2012

Oil terminal


The government has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Cyprus-registered Gunvor Group to create an oil storage and trading terminal on the island of São Tomé

São Tomé & Príncipe
Issue 296 - 12 March 2015

Angola: Vaalco spuds post-salt well


Houston-based Vaalco Energy announced on 2 March it had spudded the post-salt Kindele-1 well, the company’s first on Block 5. The well will test a fault block adjacent to Conoco’s 1988 Mubafo discovery, which tested oil from the oil from the Mucanzo sand section within the Pinda formations. The well is being drilled by the Transocean Celtic Sea semi-submersible rig and is expected to take six weeks. Kindele-1 will be drilled to 1,800 metres to evaluate the Mucanzo sand section, then deepened to 2,250 metres for geological and geophysical correlation.


Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy in April told the International Energy Forum in Rome that the race to develop the ageing Abu Qir gas field was between Italy’s Edison and the UK’s BG Group, which produces 40% of Egypt’s gas supply (AE 137/17). More recently, it emerged that Edison had offered $1.4bn as a signature bonus payment for the field’s export rights and had thus become the front runner.

Issue 171 - 03 October 2009

Eni returns to Ghana with Vitol farm-in


Italy’s Eni has made a big new African acquisition, taking stakes in Vitol’s two blocks adjacent to the Tullow Oil plc/Anadarko Petroleum Corporation acreage offshore Ghana.


Saipem has announced a contract with Noble Energy for the offshore installation of a 70km gas pipeline connecting the Alen platform to Punta Europa to supply gas from the Alen field to the Alba liquefied petroleum gas processing plant and the EGLNG facility. Project start-up is planned for H1 2021. The Alen development is the first step in plans for an offshore natural gas hub in Equatorial Guinea, opening the potential for future monetisation of additional discovered resources through existing infrastructure.

Equatorial Guinea
Issue 209 - 21 May 2011

BG weathers North African unrest


The revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia during the first part of the year affected the company’s gas production in both countries, but operations are returning to normal. Fears that a week-long blockade of BG Group’s offices in the town of Nakta could lead to a shutdown of its Tunisia operations have receded after the company committed to employing more local staff and made other concessions.

Issue 211 - 21 June 2011

Ultra-deep bid round planned


With interest rising as oil companies prepare to drill a series of exploration wells, National Oil Company of Liberia (Nocal) plans to launch a licensing round by year-end for 13 new ultra-deep blocks.

Issue 373 - 13 July 2018

Tanzania: Aminex farm-out


Aminex subsidiary Ndovu Resources Limited has signed a farm-out agreement with Omani conglomerate The Zubair Corporation for a 50% working interest in the Ruvuma production sharing agreement. Aminex, which will receive $5m in cash plus carry costs of $35m in respect of its remaining 25% interest, said the farm-out would accelerate the development of the Ntorya gas project while reducing the cost to the company.