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Issue 201 - 21 January 2011

Morocco: Circle Oil in new gas find

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Circle Oil has announced a gas discovery with the KSR-10 exploration well on the Sebou permit, north-east of Rabat in the Rharb Basin.

Morocco
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While talking up its efforts to support the oil and gas industry through the current downturn with a two-year extension to all exploration contracts, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has published a new ministerial order that limits to three years the period during which companies can employ expatriate workers. “The order follows years of successful capacity building and training within local companies and local labour in Equatorial Guinea, which has made available a well-trained pool of local talent,” a ministry statement said.

Equatorial Guinea
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Total and Sonangol signed a production-sharing agreement with the government of São Tomé & Príncipe on 15 March to explore for oil in Block 1 of the islands’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the national oil agency ANP said.The award follows an invitation for expressions of interest launched by the São Toméan authorities in May 2018.

São Tomé & Príncipe
Issue 266 - 26 November 2013

Nigeria: Heritage in Bayelsa State tie-up

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Heritage Oil has agreed to form an indigenous Nigerian oil company through a joint venture with Bayelsa Oil Company, owned by the government of President Goodluck Jonathan’s home state. Heritage will own 45% of Petrobay Energy, which will be based in the Bayelsa State capital Yenagoa, in the Niger Delta. The venture will give Heritage access to more Nigerian assets while complying with Nigeria’s strict local content laws. Heritage said Petrobay would look to acquire production, development and exploration assets from international oil companies, and would combine “Bayelsa Oil Company’s indigenous support from state government and local communities with Heritage’s strong technical track record and access to financial markets”.

Nigeria
Free

With further progress in its electricity privatisation, increased food production due to investment in agriculture, and capital markets responding favourably to banks and bonds, it is easy to be drawn into the bubble of optimism that has built up around the Nigerian economy and its prospects. Away from the conflict zones of the north and Niger Delta, real progress has been made, but for every bit of positive newsflow there is a reality check, such as a new report from the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) which examines illegal oil exports – a still little understood cog in the machine of money and power-broking that defines public life in Nigeria.

Nigeria
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As the new regime in Tripoli establishes its authority, Libya urgently needs to restart oil production.  A potentially divisive mix of old and new faces is emerging to take charge of the sector, writes John Hamilton

Libya
Issue 149 - 31 October 2008

AfDB funds Hasdrubal

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The African Development Bank has approved a senior loan of $150m through its Private Sector Window to finance BG’s Hasdrubal oil and gas field development project in the Gulf of Gabes (AE 140/14).

Tunisia
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Tullow Oil is consolidating its position in Ghana with a politically savvy $300m bid for the West Cape Three Points (WCTP) stake held by EO Group – owned by former New Patriotic Party (NPP) president John Kufuor’s allies Kwame Bauwah Edusei and George Owusu.

Ghana
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Kosmos Energy has taken two more blocks in São Tomé and Príncipe’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), in a farm-in agreement with Equator Exploration. Equator, 81.5% owned by Toronto-listed Oando Energy Resources, has farmed out 65% operated stakes in blocks 5 and 12 to Kosmos, which licensed EEZ blocks 6 and 11 late last year (AE 311/1). Equator signed the production-sharing contract (PSC) for Block 12 in February with São Tomé’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP-STP). The PSC for Block 5 was signed in April 2012 and a 1480km2 3D seismic survey was acquired in April 2015.

São Tomé & Príncipe
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Camac Energy has changed its name to Erin Energy and agreed a $200m prepayment facility with Glencore Energy to finance its Oyo field development. The name change followed a reverse stock split in April. The company announced on 26 May that it had agreed heads of terms with Glencore on an offtake agreement with an embedded prepayment element. The offtake contract would allow Glencore to lift Oyo crude from the Armada Perdana floating production, storage and offloading vessel for a minimum of two years.

Nigeria
Issue 278 - 31 May 2014

Namibia: Repsol well hits snags

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Repsol has suspended drilling of the Welwitschia-1A well in the Walvis Basin following a series of technical problems. Partner Tower Resources said on 27 May it expected drilling to resume in the first week of June and to be completed within budget. The well spudded on 23 April using the Rowan Renaissance drillship. Following installation of the 36-inch casing, it was observed that the pressurised wellhead housing had slumped. The partners decided to plug and abandon the original well and re-spud 50 metres away. Drilling resumed at the new site on 1 May, but was further delayed by a fault in the blow-out preventer (BOP) control system, which Tower said it expected to be resolved shortly.

Namibia
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Among the larger Saudi-controlled companies active in the African resources boom is Stockholm-based Svenska Petroleum, which belongs to Saudi/Ethiopian magnate Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi – one of that group of Saudi businessmen born into non-Saudi or marginal communities who have emerged as very significant players, usually by being linked to senior Saudi princes as ‘men of business’ during part, at least, of their careers.

Nigeria | Morocco | Côte d'Ivoire
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Ultra-deep find for BP, deep discovery for Eni; Roc drilling; NW Gemsa well hits oil, gas; Lundin PSC farm-out; MPDC seeks partners, New Maurel & Prom find; Petronas signs for two Rovuma Basin blocks

Mozambique | Egypt | Angola | Ethiopia | Gabon
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In a 9 May filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Kosmos Energy has given details of a dispute over development plans for the Mahogany area of the West Cape Three Points (WCTP) Block. The Mahogany area, covering parts of the Mahogany East discovery and the Mahogany Deep discovery, was declared commercial in September 2010, and a plan of development (PoD) was submitted to the Ministry of Energy in May 2011.

Ghana
Issue 136 - 12 April 2008

Elixir starts seismic acquisition

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Australia’s Elixir Petroleum has taken over operatorship of 8 Investments’ Block SL-4 and has begun a 3D seismic acquisition programme.

Sierra Leone