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Issue 289 - 20 November 2014

Nigeria: TGS forms JV with PetroData


Norway’s TGS-Nopec has formed a joint venture with Nigerian data storage and management provider PetroData Management Services. TGS said TGS-PetroData Offshore Services Limited would provide upstream operators in Nigeria with geoscience products and services including seismic data and processing services, digital wellbore data, and geological and geophysical interpretation studies and services.


The high global cost of oil and gas exploration has slowed the pace of work on some of the Gulf of Guinea’s smaller plays, and several blocks secured at the height of industry excitement about the region are now changing hands as the original licensees review their positions. Many of the newcomers are Australians, originally tempted into Africa’s east coast and now looking west. For a number of players,

Ghana | Mauritania | Algeria | Morocco | Senegal

Operator Murphy Oil Corporation plans a well on the Ntem concession in February following a lifting of force majeure on the block. The Ntem area has been under force majeure since June 2005 as a result of overlapping maritime border claims by Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. The border claims remain unresolved but the joint venture partners, Murphy and Sterling Energy have now agreed with state oil company Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures to allow exploration to proceed. Murphy has contracted the Ocean Confidence drillship for the Bamboo #1 well, which will be drilled at a site outside the disputed area.


The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) – previously known as the Norwegian Petroleum Fund – decided on 28 June to exclude Cairn Energy and Kosmos Energy from its portfolio because of the two companies’ decision to explore for oil and gas in areas offshore Western Sahara under licences issued by the government of Morocco. According to a statement by Norges Bank, which runs the fund, its executive board’s decision was made following an “assessment of the risk of particularly serious violations of fundamental ethical norms”.


The appointment of a new cadre of senior executives and the streamlining of Sonatrach’s top-level management structure is intended to focus the organisation on its core upstream and downstream activities, and in particular to reverse the declines in production of recent years. The government is also planning broader reforms of business conditions, potentially relaxing financial restrictions that are unpopular with foreign investors. Supporters of these efforts argue that there is no alternative as the budget and current account deficits are unsustainable. But meaningful reform will require both a change of culture within Sonatrach and other institutions, and strong leadership.


BG Group announced on 17 May that it had signed production-sharing contracts with the government for offshore exploration blocks L10A and L10B in the southern Lamu Basin (AE 204/18). BG Group will be operator on both blocks, and the acquisition follows recent drilling success offshore Tanzania for the UK major.

Issue 372 - 29 June 2018

Somalia agrees revenue sharing


The federal government and federal states have agreed draft oil and mining regulations covering ownership and revenue sharing but Somalia is still a long way short of finalising the regulatory conditions needed for exploration to start. The framework authorises the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources to issue permits and manage petroleum and mining activities, but the Petroleum Law, which was updated in 2016, still needs to be ratified by parliament before any production-sharing agreement can be negotiated with the ministry.


TGS on 19 September launched a 3D seismic survey in ultra-deep water offshore southern Senegal’s Casamance province. The Senegal ultra-deep offshore 3D survey will cover more than 4500km2 in the MSGBC Basin, outboard from TGS’s Jaan 3D dataset. The government, which has faced criticism over past licensing decisions, is planning to launch a licensing round for its open acreage in October. A new Petroleum Code and Local Content Law passed in February 2019 introduce a system based on production-sharing contracts.

Issue 402 - 25 October 2019

Senegal: Bid round launch put back


Senegal has postponed the launch of a planned licensing round until 4 November, saying contract documents still need to be finalised. The launch had been due to take place at the Africa Oil & Power (AOP) conference in Cape Town on October 9-11 but will instead be held during Africa Oil Week. President Macky Sall did not attend the event to receive the AOP Oil Man of the Year award, which was accepted on his behalf by oil and energy minister Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé.

Issue 320 - 24 March 2016

Namibia: PetroRio withdrawal


Brazilian independent PetroRio has announced it is pulling out of Namibia, three years after drilling three high-profile wells without finding commercial hydrocarbons. Samples of light oil were recovered from the 2013 Wingat well, which proved that the oil system in the Walvis Basin was working but may have tested the wrong reservoir interval. It was followed by the Murombe well in the Walvis Basin and the Moosehead well in the Orange Basin, which both came up dry. The company, formerly known as HRT Participações em Petróleo, has been scaling down its activities, selling exploration assets and seeking to generate revenue by acquiring fields that are already in production.

Issue 171 - 03 October 2009

Petroceltic makes gas find


Petroceltic International has made a third gas discovery with the AT-1 well on the Isarene permit in the Illizi Basin (AE 163/18).

Issue 152 - 12 December 2008

Edison pays $1.405bn for Abu Qir gas


Edison International has won a tender to take over the offshore Abu Qir gas fields after agreeing to pay a signature bonus of $1.405bn. The Italian company said it had signed a 20-year concession agreement with Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) following an international tender in which 13 companies submitted offers.


South Sudan is exporting 170,000 b/d of crude via it pipeline to Republic of the Sudan and petroleum minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth expects to increase output from Block 5A from 5,000 b/d to 17,000-20,000 b/d by May 2020, working in co-operation with Khartoum-based Sudan National Petroleum Corporation (Sudapet).

South Sudan

The much discussed rewriting of Libya’s ancient petroleum law has moved from the realm of discussion and speculation to reality with an official announcement of the procedure through which the legislation must now pass to enter statute


US explorer Vaalco Energy said the offshore South-east Etame 1 exploration well hit 4.88 metres of oil pay in the Gamba sandstone