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Eni announced the start of oil production from the Nené Marine field on the Marine XII Block on 5 January. The Nené Marine field produces oil from the Djeno pre-salt formation 2,500 metres below sea level, in a water depth of 28 metres. Full field development will take place in several stages and will include the installation of production platforms and the drilling of over 30 wells, with plateau production of over 140,000 boe/d. First phase production of some 7,500 boe/d is transported to Eni’s Zatchi production platform via a 17km subsea pipeline.

Congo Brazzaville
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Chevron subsidiary Chevron Mauritania Exploration Limited has reached agreement to acquire a 30% non-operated working interest in offshore blocks C8, C12 and C13 from Kosmos Energy. Kosmos is preparing to drill a well on the Tortue prospect, using the Atwood Achiever drillship. Chevron will not initially fund the well, but retains the option to participate in Tortue after the transaction is completed. Kosmos retains a 60% interest in the blocks and remains the operator, while state oil company Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et du Patrimoine Minier has a 10% carried interest.

Mauritania
Issue 292 - 16 January 2015

Kenya: Lion spuds Badada well

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Taipan Resources subsidiary Lion Petroleum spudded the Badada-1 exploration well in the Anza Basin on 7 January. The well, on Block 2B, has been the subject of court action by local people claiming they would be displaced by the drilling and had not been properly informed about the company’s operations. Lawyers representing Taipan, Lion, Premier Oil, the Wajir County government, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, the Attorney General and the National Land Commission appeared in court in Nairobi on 10 December and received confirmation that a temporary injunction halting drilling had been lifted, allowing work to continue at the well-site.

Kenya
Issue 296 - 12 March 2015

Horn changes name and focus

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Having suspended its operations in Puntland in February, Horn Petroleum has announced a new identity which bears a marked resemblance to the former Energy Africa. Horn said it planned to take advantage of the low oil price “to aggressively pursue onshore and shallow-water upstream oil opportunities in Africa”. It will change its name to Africa Energy Corporation, move to Cape Town, and bring in Energy Africa stalwarts Jan Maier as vice-president exploration and John Bentley and Adrian Nel as directors. Energy Africa was taken over by Tullow Oil in 2004 and is fondly remembered by former employees.

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Former Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) exploration, production and technical services director Halfani Halfani has been appointed as Ophir Energy Tanzania country chairman. Halfani has retired from TPDC, which has undergone a significant restructuring with the appointment of new director-general James Mataragio and the recruitment of large numbers of new staff in preparation for its new role as national oil company. Mataragio had previously spent ten years with Bell Geospace in Houston.

Tanzania
Issue 296 - 12 March 2015

Western Sahara well non-commercial

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Kosmos Energy has said its CB-1 exploration well on the Cap Boujdour permit area offshore the disputed Western Sahara encountered non-commercial hydrocarbons and will be plugged and abandoned. The well penetrated 14 metres of gas and condensate pay in clastic reservoirs over a 500-metre hydrocarbon-bearing interval. The Atwood Achiever drillship is now proceeding to Mauritania to test the Tortue prospect, where Chevron Corporation farmed in in February. The top-hole portion of Tortue has already been drilled by the Atwood Achiever en route to Western Sahara.

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Athens-based Energean Oil & Gas has announced a $6m investment programme in its onshore West Kom Ombo Block. The project includes re-interpreting aeromagnetic data, acquiring 400km of 2D seismic and drilling two wells by June 2016. Energean drilled two wells in the first exploration phase, which ran to 2011, and acquired 1,500km of 2D seismic and aeromagnetic surveys. Energean is operator of the licence with a 60% interest. It also holds an 85% interest in the East Magawish Block, as well as acreage in Greece.

Egypt
Issue 290 - 04 December 2014

Ophir buys Salamander

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Ophir Energy is buying Salamander Energy, giving it additional acreage in south-east Asia. Salamander was co-founded in 2005 by Ophir managing director Nick Cooper, and Ophir said its portfolio offered an attractive balance to its existing African operations.The all-share deal values London-based Salamander at £314m ($528m). On completion, Salamander shareholders will own approximately 20.9% of Ophir, which has already announced two Asian acquisitions this year. Ophir was awarded a block from Myanmar’s 2013 licensing round, and a deal with Niko Resources in October 2014 gave it interests in seven licences in Indonesia.

Issue 197 - 05 November 2010

Surestream plans AIM listing

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Central Africa specialist Surestream Petroleum plans to list on London’s AIM market in 2011. The company, which has acreage in Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, aims to raise $120m through an initial public offering. The company has a strategy of selecting countries with high political risk, a difficult operating environment and immature legal framework, It is interested in earlystage exploration in the hope of proving up new plays then handing assets on for development. The company has attracted farm-ins from Glencore and Eni to its DRC acreage.

Issue 290 - 04 December 2014

Beach Energy: New MD

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Australia’s Beach Energy has named former Woodside vice-president Rob Cole as its new managing director, replacing Reg Nelson, who is stepping down after nearly 25 years. Beach is Australia’s largest onshore oil producer, but also has the Lake Tanganyika South licence in Tanzania, where Woodside farmed in in July, taking 70%.

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Moroccan state oil company Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (Onhym) plans to acquire seismic onshore in the disputed territory of Western Sahara next year. A senior Onhym official told African Energy the company planned to acquire between 800 and 1,000km of 2D seismic across onshore Blocks XI and XII, which the official said were particularly underexplored. In addition, Onhym has relinquished its interest and operatorship in the neighbouring Boujdour Onshore Block, which has now been renamed Block 188.

Issue 290 - 04 December 2014

Dragon Oil drops Petroceltic bid

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Dragon Oil has walked away from another bid approach, announcing on 1 December that it had dropped plans to make an offer for Petroceltic, citing “prevailing market conditions”. Dragon approached Petroceltic in July, when the oil price was still around $110/barrel. The company carried out due diligence, and confirmed to Petroceltic in September that it planned to seek support for the deal from its majority shareholder, the Emirates National Oil Company. In October, the deal was priced at 230p/share.

Issue 290 - 04 December 2014

Niger: Savannah starts FTG survey

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ARKeX has begun acquiring an airborne full tensor gradiometry (FTG) survey on the R1/R2 licence area for London-based Savannah Petroleum. The ARKeX N344CS Twin Otter aircraft will operate from China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)’s Jaouro airstrip near the permit area. Savannah, which listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market in August, raising £29.3m ($50m), signed a production-sharing contract in July for the R1/R2 Area, which covers 30.5% of the original Agadem permit relinquished by CNPC in June 2013.

Niger
Issue 146 - 20 September 2008

Uganda: More success for Tullow

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Tullow Oil has announced an oil discovery with the Kigogole-1 exploration well in the Butiaba region of Block 2.The well was drilled to a total depth of 616 metres and encountered two oil zones with net pay of ten metres. Testing hasconfirmed the presence of moveable light sweet oil in reservoirs just below 400 metres. This is the shallowest section where oil has been encountered in Uganda to date, Tullow said. Kigogole-1, drilled 10km north-east of the Kasamene-1 discovery, was the third test on the new Victoria Nile Delta play within the Lake Albert Rift Basin.

Uganda
Subscriber

Italy’s Eni has announced a successful production test on the Minsala Marine 1 well in the Marine XII Block. The discovery is located 35km offshore and 12km from the recent Nene Marine discovery. During the production test, the well delivered more than 5,000 b/d of oil and 14 mcf/d of gas, from a 37 metre section of the 420 metre oil column identified in the discovery well. The oil quality is 41° API. Eni estimates the potential of the Minsala Marine discovery to be about 1bn boe in place, of which 80% is oil.

Congo Brazzaville