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Issue 380 - 08 November 2018

Gabon: Bid round, new oil law


Gabon has launched a licensing round to be governed by a revised petroleum code currently under preparation. Oil minister Pascal Houangni Ambouroue told the Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town on 7 November the round would offer 12 blocks in shallow water and 23 blocks in deep water. Bids are due by 22 April.Roadshows will be held on 5 January in Houston, on 15 January in London and on 19 February in Singapore, and the round will also be promoted at the African Petroleum Producers Organisation Cape VII conference in Malabo on 1-5 April.


The interim government has signed a production-sharing contract for Block 6 in the Taoudeni Basin with a company called Corvus Resources Management Ltd. Corvus is registered in the Cayman Islands and its corporate record, obtained by African Energy, gives no information on directors, revealing only that the company was formed on 28 August 2012. A cabinet statement said that Corvus had agreed to a work programme for the first four years of the contract to include exploration activity and drilling one well, for a total cost of $35m.


ANGOLA: Pipelines contract for LNG plant; ANGOLA: Technip to expand Angoflex; GHANA/CAMEROON: USTDA study; MADAGASCAR: Enermad farms out to Niko Resources; MOROCCO: Canamens takes Essaouira blocks; NAMIBIA: Key pulls out; SIERRA LEONE: Elixir takes over after Prontinal fails to pay; UGANDA: Tower farms out Area 5; UGANDA: Heritage spuds Giraffe

Ghana | Cameroon | Angola | Namibia | Sierra Leone | Madagascar | Uganda | Morocco
Issue 184 - 17 April 2010

Tough job for Allison-Madueke


Nigeria’s female ministers have proved themselves a tough and often talented bunch, but new petroleum minister Diezani Allison-Madueke faces a difficult challenge to finalise the Petroleum Industry Bill, which her predecessor, the law’s key architect Rilwanu Lukman,


Statoil and Exxon Mobil announced a gas discovery on 14 October with the Giligiliani-1 exploration well on Block 2. Operator Statoil said the discovery of an additional 1.2tcf of natural gas in place in the well brought total in-place volumes up to approximately 21tcf in the block. The discovery was made in Upper Cretaceous sandstones along the western side of Block 2 at a 2,500-metre water depth. “This discovery has proven the gas play extends into the western part of Block 2, which opens additional prospects.


While minister of mines and hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima is clearly in a hurry to bring more oil and gas resources into production and to raise the profile of his country within the global hydrocarbons industry, he is also holding out for the best deals he can get. Market speculation is focused on a prospective deal for London-based independent Trident Energy – which is led by former Perenco executives and describes itself as an expert in reviving mid-life oil and gas assets – to take over ExxonMobil’s Zafiro oil and gas field, which started production in 1996.

Equatorial Guinea
Issue 309 - 09 October 2015

Liberia: ExxonMobil schedules well


ExxonMobil plans to spud the Mesurado-1 well on Block LB-13 in late 2016 or early 2017, according to the 2016 work programme sent to block partner Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COP). The well, to be drilled in the second exploration phase of the contract, aims to prove a commercial quantity of hydrocarbons in the Cretaceous Santonian age reservoirs, and to provide calibration for the seismic response, which can be used to evaluate other leads on the block.


GHANA: Tullow contracts new rig; NAMIBIA: HRT licence extension; SAO TOME: Oranto completes PSC for EEZ Block 3

Ghana | Namibia | São Tomé & Príncipe
Issue 381 - 22 November 2018

Gambia: Well fails


Australian explorer Far’s Samo-1 well on Block A2 has failed to find commercial hydrocarbons. Far said the well was drilled to 3,240 metres and had oil shows at several levels but the main target horizons were water-bearing. The Australian company had talked up the well’s potential ahead of drilling, describing it as on trend with the SNE field in Senegalese waters to the north.

Issue 284 - 12 September 2014

Tunisia: Circle Discovery


Circle Oil has announced a light oil discovery with the El Mediouni-1 (EMD-1) exploration well on the Mahdia permit. EMD-1 was drilled in the north-central area of the permit in a water depth of 240 metres, 120km east of Sousse. The well was spudded on 8 June and drilled to a depth of 1,200 metres MD in the Upper Ketatna carbonates. The company said “very good light oil shows” were encountered in the main Lower Birsa carbonate target and the secondary Upper Ketatna carbonates target over a combined interval of 133 metres. Circle estimates recoverable resources at 100m barrels, but hole conditions deteriorated rapidly and Circle was unable to log the well.

Issue 317 - 11 February 2016

Mauritania: Sterling quits C-3


Sterling Energy has opted to withdraw from offshore Block C-3, assigning its 40.5% stake to Tullow Oil at no cost. The company, which farmed into the block in February 2015, said the 2D seismic data had “not sufficiently derisked the block potential” to justify entering the next exploration phase, which involves 700km2 of 3D seismic and a well, but it remained committed to the adjacent Block C-10, where it farmed in in June. A well is planned on C-10 in 2017.

Issue 228 - 30 March 2012

Somali maritime security developments


Efforts are being made to improve maritime security along the Puntland coast


BP Egypt has announced a second gas discovery in the North Damietta Offshore concession in the East Nile Delta. BP said on 9 March the Atoll-1 deep-water exploration well, drilled by the semi-submersible rig Maersk Discoverer, had reached 6,400 metres depth and penetrated 50 metres of gas pay in high-quality Oligocene sandstones. Expected to be the deepest well ever drilled in Egypt, the Atoll well still has another 1km to drill to test the same reservoir section found to be gas bearing in the 2013 Salamat discovery, 15km to the south.

Issue 299 - 01 May 2015

Angola hit by payments crisis


ConocoPhillips has had another disappointment in the Kwanza Basin with the Omosi-1 well on Block 37. The company said the well had been drilled to 6,300 metres total depth and had encountered a 160 metre gas column. No further activity is planned, and the well has been plugged and abandoned. After Cobalt’s big Cameia discovery on Block 21 in February 2012 and Maersk’s smaller 2011 Azul find on Block 23, there were high hopes for the Kwanza Basin. Angola had hoped the pre-salt play would deliver the same success as on the other side of the Atlantic, but it has not been an unqualified success.


Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil has considerably added to the complexity of the planned licensing round, to be run for the first time by regulator Agence Nationale pour la Valorisation des Ressources en Hydrocarbures (Alnaft), by announcing via a Financial Times interview that for some blocks at least bidders will be required to “swap assets” to gain access to attractive acreage (AE 131/17).