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Issue 377 - 28 September 2018

Egypt: Soco to acquire Merlon


Having recently pulled out of Republic of Congo and Angola, London-listed Soco International has moved into Egypt, with the acquisition of Merlon Petroleum El Fayum Company for $215m, to be paid in cash and shares. Merlon, a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, has 100% in the onshore El Fayum concession in the Western Desert, which will add production, reserves and exploration upside to Soco’s Vietnam-focused portfolio.

Issue 332 - 18 October 2016

Tullow Oil: Norway sales


Tullow Oil has decided to exit the Norwegian Continental Shelf, selling its working interest in eight licences to Aker BP, and another four to Statoil. The Statoil transaction includes the Wisting discovery in the Barents Sea. BP Norge and Det Norske Oljeselskap completed a merger in September, creating Aker BP as a new independent company. Aker BP said the acquisition, which includes 15% in the Oda (previously known as Butch) discovery in PL 405, strengthens its position in core areas surrounding the Ula, North of Alvheim, Skarv and Krafla/Askja areas.

Issue 384 - 17 January 2019

Chad: Presidential son to head SHT


President Idriss Déby Itno’s son Séïd Idriss Déby Itno was named director-general of state oil company Société des Hydrocarbures du Tchad (SHT) on 24 December. He was previously deputy director-general of the Djermaya refinery, a post also occupied at one stage by his cousin Haoua Daoussa Déby. He was at the centre of a row with the Chinese management last year over positions for Chadians at the refinery. At SHT Déby replaces Tahir Hamid Nguilin, who was previously a top official of the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale.


Kosmos Energy is drilling a second well offshore Mauritania, with results expected in the middle of Q4. The Dallas-based company said in an operational update that the Marsouin-1 well on Block C8 spudded on 28 August. The well is located some 60km north of the basin-opening Tortue-1 well in a water depth of 2,400 metres and is designed to test a four-way trap with multiple stacked targets, including Lower Cenomanian, Albian and Aptian formations. It is targeting 300mboe of gas and liquids, and Kosmos plans up to seven exploration and appraisal wells over the next 18 months.

Mauritania | Senegal

Having brought in a Japanese partner, the US indie is preparing to drill off Sierra Leone and Liberia, hoping to continue the region’s success with the drillbit established by Ghana’s oil plays. Meanwhile controversial entrepreneur Frank Timis is tightening his grip on resources plays in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone | Liberia

A decade-old production-sharing agreement (PSA) for three blocks in the Cuvette Centrale Basin has moved a step closer to approval with a new draft submitted to cabinet on 15 January. The PSA was originally signed on 21 December 2007 between the government and the Comico-Cohydro joint venture of Compagnie Minière du Congo and the state-owned Congolaise des Hydrocarbures for the exploration and development of blocks I, II and III of the Cuvette Centrale Basin.

DR Congo

ANGOLA: New find on Block 31; ANGOLA: First oil from Morsa West; ANGOLA: Total gives CGGVeritas 4D inversion project; CHAD: New find for CNPC; EGYPT: BG begins Phase V gas production from WDDM; EGYPT: East Mediterranean Gas in repricing deal; LIBYA: Petrobras drills in Area 18; MOROCCO: New gas find for Circle; NIGERIA: Oando wins swamp drilling contract; NIGERIA: Acergy to revamp Mobil platforms

Egypt | Angola | Chad | Nigeria | Libya | Morocco

AIM-listed Sound Energy has announced a better-than-expected gas flow from the TE-7 appraisal well on the Tendrara licence, and has raised a net £24.3m ($32m) through a share offer as it talks up the potential for a “huge gas deposit”. The share offer, at the market price rather than a discount, used the online platform to enable private investors to participate on the same terms as institutions.

Issue 233 - 15 June 2012

Tower wins Repsol farm-in


Oil trader Arcadia Petroleum has secured a farm-in from Spain’s Repsol on its offshore licence 0010. Repsol plans to take a 44% stake and assume operatorship.


In a last-ditch bid to hang on to the licence, Hyperdynamics is claiming its Fatala well was a discovery, despite initially announcing it had not encountered hydrocarbons. The licence was due to expire on 21 September unless a discovery was made. Nigeria’s South Atlantic Petroleum, which farmed in to the licence in March, has withdrawn, but Hyperdynamics said it would be seeking a two-year appraisal period. However the company, which struggled to find funding and partners to drill Fatala, is likely to find financing appraisal work a challenge.

Issue 330 - 16 September 2016

Ghana: CGG JV


French geophysical services company CGG on 30 August announced an agreement with GNPC Operating Services Company Ltd (Gosco) to form a joint venture company focused on 2D, 3D and 4D marine seismic acquisition and related services. The company, Gosco Geoscience Ltd, will be a Ghanaian indigenous company based in Accra. Gosco, an independent Ghanaian upstream services company, operates the Offshore South-West Tano and East Keta petroleum blocks.

Issue 154 - 09 January 2009

Gazprom plans following bid win


Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom has said it will invest $120m in exploration of the El Assel perimeter, which it secured in the seventh bid round on 13 December.


Somaliland has had some success at attracting companies to explore for oil, but is burdened by Somalia’s troubles and by its lack of international recognition, writes Nadine Marroushi.


Houston-based McDermott International has won a contract to build a 15,000-tonne platform for Noble Energy’s Alen gas-condensate development project off the east coast of Bioko Island.

Equatorial Guinea
Issue 195 - 09 October 2010

Petronas pulls out of Ogaden


Petronas is pulling out of Ethiopia, selling all its oil and gas interests to SouthWest Energy, the company formed by the Malaysians’ former local agent.