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Issue 276 - 03 May 2014

Premier rebuffs Ophir merger

Subscriber

Premier Oil has turned down a merger proposal from Ophir Energy that would have created a $5bn company, making it the fifth largest oil and gas explorer listed on the London Stock Exchange after BP, Shell, BG and Tullow. Ophir said the merger would have “provided the potential to create a well-funded, re-focused, full cycle exploration and production company”. Premier has cash flow from producing assets in the North Sea and Asia, while Ophir has a stake in Tanzania’s giant offshore gas fields, as well as exploration assets in seven other countries and jurisdictions.

Issue 222 - 16 December 2011

Lion Petroleum finds new partner

Subscriber

Canada’s Lion Petroleum Corporation has entered into a letter of intent (LoI) for a reverse takeover of TSX Venture Exchange-listed Rare Earth Industries (REI), in a deal which could provide the funds

Kenya
Subscriber

Tullow is ‘really pinching itself with these results’ and so are Kenyans. Tullow’s discovery in Turkana County offers potential for big revenue flows and greater energy security, but provokes ‘resource curse’ fears as East Africa’s biggest economy finally lines up to become an oil producer

Kenya
Issue 245 - 13 December 2012

Eni resumes drilling, Shell enters talks

Subscriber

Eni has resumed exploration drilling after the post-revolution hiatus – only the second international oil company to do so after Algeria’s Sonatrach – while Royal Dutch Shell has held talks in Tripoli. Eni began drilling the AI-108/4 well in Sirte Basin Area A (Block NC82) – awarded in the 2008 EPSA-4 round to the 50/50 Eni/National Oil Corporation (NOC) joint venture Mellitah Oil and Gas (MOG) – on 29 November.

Libya
Subscriber

National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla and Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin met in London on 20 February. An NOC statement said the agreement they signed “envisages the establishment of a joint working committee… to evaluate opportunities in a variety of sectors, including exploration and production”. The companies also signed a crude oil offtake agreement. This is the first concrete response from an international oil company (IOC) to Sanalla’s plan to bring foreign investment back into the sector, and it was welcomed by NOC as a “step forwards” in its plans.

Issue 337 - 22 December 2016

Rosneft farms into Zohr

Subscriber

The purchase of a 30% stake in Eni’s Shorouk concession by Russia’s Rosneft marks a significant increase in Moscow’s influence in North Africa, where the failure of United States and Western European policies over the past five years has left a geopolitical vacuum. The deal fits with Rosneft’s focus on international expansion under its chairman Igor Sechin – who is also an influential acolyte of President Vladimir Putin and worked as a military translator in Angola and Mozambique in the 1980s, and who is understood to have a good working relationship with US President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination for secretary of state, the former ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson.

Egypt
Subscriber

Italy’s Eni has announced a discovery on the Nooros East exploration prospect on the Abu Madi West licence and completed the Zohr 2X appraisal well on the Shorouk Block. The Nidoco North 1X well was drilled as a deviated well from the shore into the shallow offshore Nooros East field and encountered more than 43 metres of gas and condensates in sandstone layers of Messinian age. The well will be brought into production by end-March, enabling the Nooros area, which started production in September 2015 just two months after the initial Nooros discovery, to raise output to 45,000 boe/d.

Egypt
Subscriber

Moribund Guinea licenceholder Hyperdynamics has announced the resignation of former UK foreign secretary Lord Owen from its board of directors. Lord Owen joined in September 2009 as the company sought to remake itself under new president and chief executive officer Ray Leonard.

Guinea
Issue 238 - 07 September 2012

Equatorial Guniea: Fresh gas find for Ophir

Subscriber

Ophir Energy has made another gas discovery on Block R as it seeks to prove up gas reserves for a planned second production train at the Equatorial Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas plant.

Equatorial Guinea
Free

Eni announced on 21 August that the Zohr gas field had reached the target plateau production of 2.7bcf/d set out in the plan of development five months ahead of schedule. A second 216km, 30-inch pipeline connecting the offshore subsea production facilities to the onshore treatment plant started up on 18 August. Together with the completion and optimisation of the plant treatment capacity, the new pipeline paves the way for an increase to 3.2bcf/d by year-end, Eni said.

Egypt
Subscriber

Tullow Oil has agreed to brave Guinea’s complex operating environment, taking a 40% stake in Hyperdynamics’ offshore concession. Past exploration has been a saga of corrupt governments and inexpert partners, but Tullow’s arrival comes as the government of President Alpha Condé tries to overturn the legacy of dictatorship and military rule. Tullow chief executive Aidan Heavey told African Energy in early November that the geology of the offshore concession was highly promising.

Guinea
Subscriber

Taiwan’s CPC Corporation has farmed down half of its 70% stake in three exploration licences to CEFC China Energy Company, following a drilling programme in 2015. According to the transfer agreement between CPC and China CEFC Energy, the privately owned Chinese firm paid $114m for a 35% stake, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported. CPC retains 35% and state oil company Société des Hydrocarbures du Tchad (SHT) holds the other 30%. CPC’s OPIC Africa subsidiary operates the Chari Ouest III, Chari Sud II and Lac Tchad 1 blocks.

Chad
Subscriber

Maersk Oil has agreed to acquire a 15% interest in Block 16 from Devon Energy for an initial payment of $70m, subject to government approval.

Angola
Issue 203 - 18 February 2011

Bidding groups form for Gabon pre-salt

Subscriber

Several oil majors are putting bids together for the new deep and ultra-deep blocks that will enable Gabon to explore its pre-salt potential. The government announced last November that it was

Gabon
Subscriber

Sudan is seeking to revitalise its oil industry in a bid to raise production following the easing of sanctions. Oil minister Azhari Abdalla said the government was considering a licensing round in H2 2019 and planned to redraw some of the 16 blocks that are currently open to reduce their size. “We are open for direct negotiations in the meantime,” he told reporters at a press briefing during Africa Oil Week in Cape Town on 6 November.

Sudan