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Issue 356 - 27 October 2017

Tanzania: Statoil to drill

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Drilling contractor Ocean Rig said on 13 October it had signed a new contract with Statoil for a one-well drilling programme offshore Tanzania. The contract is expected to start in Q1 2018, to be performed by the Ocean Rig Poseidon. Statoil is operator of Block 2, where significant gas resources have been discovered.

Tanzania
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AIM-listed Sound Energy has signed binding heads of terms with Schlumberger that will expand the companies’ relationship into Meridja and the Tendrara relinquished areas while covering the cost of Sound’s forthcoming eastern Morocco geophysical survey programme.The existing field management agreement between the two companies will be extended to include Meridja and the Tendrara relinquished areas, which Sound agreed earlier this year to acquire from Morocco’s Oil & Gas Investment Fund (OGIF). Schlumberger will be granted a 27.5% working interest in both areas.

Morocco
Issue 351 - 28 July 2017

Nigeria: NNPC returns to the north

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The new National Gas Policy (NGP) reiterates successive governments’ ambitions to open up new territories for exploration beyond the Niger Delta and deep offshore. It identifies the Anambra Basin as “a key sedimentary basin, which has been barely explored but is considered to be most likely extensive and rich in dry natural gas”. Other basins with potential include the Benue Trough and the Kerri, Yola, Gongola, Bida, Iullemeden (shared with Niger) and Lake Chad (shared with Chad) basins.

Nigeria
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GE on 2 May announced an order from Angola’s AE Energia for seven TM2500 mobile aeroderivative gas turbine generator sets for state power producer Empresa Pública de Produção de Electricidade (Prodel). The TM2500 units will be installed in Namibe, Huila and Cuando Cubango provinces and will be capable of providing the remaining 200MW of power for the government to achieve a targeted 1GW of electricity by end-2018.

Angola
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AIM-listed Sound Energy said on 18 April that a drilling rig was on the way to the Sidi Moktar licence, where it plans to re-enter two wells drilled by the previous licenceholder, Longreach Oil & Gas. Longreach discovered gas on the licence in 2014 but ran out of money before it could test the wells.The Sidi Moktar licences cover 2,700km2 in the Essaouira Basin of central Morocco close to existing infrastructure, including the state-owned Office Cherifien des Phosphates plant.

Morocco
Issue 353 - 15 September 2017

Nigeria: Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 starts up

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd joint venture has started production at the Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 project in the Niger Delta. The first phase of the Gbaran-Ubie integrated oil and gas development was commissioned in June 2010. Peak production of around 175,000 boe/d is expected in 2019. “Today’s announcement is a positive step for Shell’s global gas portfolio,” said Shell upstream director Andy Brown.

Nigeria
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Niger-focused Savannah Petroleum is in talks to acquire the oil and gas assets of Nigeria’s Seven Energy, which has run into financial difficulties related to the closure of the Forcados terminal and non-payment for its gas supply to power stations. Savannah said on 13 July that it had entered into a binding exclusivity agreement in relation to the potential acquisition.Savannah has exploration acreage in Niger, where it plans a first well in August.

Niger | Nigeria
Issue 342 - 16 March 2017

Cameroon: Bowleven board ousted

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Activist shareholder Crown Ocean Capital has ousted most of Bowleven’s board of directors, casting doubt on a farmout agreement for Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG) to take 80% in the onshore Bomono permit.Crown Ocean has said the deal announced on 6 March, which would enable gas from Bomono to be sold within VOG’s distribution network, “will not remotely recover for shareholders the more than $100m so far spent on the Bomono project”.

Cameroon
Issue 344 - 21 April 2017

Egypt: SDX well finds gas

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North Africa player SDX Energy has announced that the SD- 1X well on its South Disouq concession in the Nile Delta has found gas at the first of its target intervals. London-based SDX said on 17 April that the well had reached a total depth of 2,370 metres and had encountered 19.8 metres of net gas pay in the upper Abu Madi section. The well is now drilling ahead in the hope of encountering oil in the deeper Abu Roash and AEB horizons.

Egypt
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The government is exploring the use of coal bed methane and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to reduce the cost of running its 90MW dual fuel open cycle gas turbine power plant at Orapa, which is currently operating using diesel. A tender has been issued for an owner’s engineer to work on developing LNG and coal bed methane gas infrastructure to supply the power plant. Bids are due by 7 October but a compulsory site visit and pre-tender clarification meeting will take place on 23 September.

Botswana
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The Egyptian government implemented encouraging energy sector reforms over the summer months including a further round of tariff increases and an electricity law setting out the first steps in the unbundling of the sector. Egypt’s reliance on gas-fired power generation as a short-term way of closing the gap between supply and demand looked foolhardy and expensive in June when this policy seemed destined to commit the country to much higher levels of imports.

Egypt
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Libyan oil executives presented three major upstream project proposals to IRN’s New Libya Oil & Gas Forum in London in mid-October. These were Mellitah Oil & Gas (MOG)’s offshore Bahr Essalam development, Nafusa Oil Operations’ onshore Ghadames Basin development, and Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco)’s plans for developing existing producing and non-producing fields. The country’s disastrous budget and security situation means that, in theory, none of these proposals should have any chance of advancing. National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla confirmed that all exploration programmes had been cancelled for 2015 because there is no budget for them.

Libya
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Azito Energie on 30 June marked the commercial start-up of phase 3 of its 430MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in Abidjan with a ceremony attended by President Alassane Ouattara. The original simple-cycle facility of 290MW has been converted to a 430MW CCGT power plant via the addition of a condensing steam turbine, powered by the gas turbines’ exhaust heat. Azito is now one of the most modern, efficient power plants in West Africa, and provides 25% of Côte d’Ivoire’s total electricity capacity.

Côte d'Ivoire
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A major gas find by Italian major Eni in the Egyptian deep offshore could have profound consequences for a number of industries. Rising demand for gas-fired electricity in the last decade has all but submerged Egypt’s gas export ambitions, with imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, Russia and other suppliers expected to meet shortfalls in domestic fuel supply for years to come. According to a range of industry sources who spoke to African Energy, so substantial is the Zohr field – initially estimated at 30tcf – that not only could imports become unnecessary, but export LNG projects could eventually come back on the agenda.

Egypt
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Morocco is in the final months of discussions with governments and gas-producing companies over long-term LNG import contracts. Senior adviser to the minister of energy, mining, water and the environment Abdellaziz El Gamah told the Morocco Energy Exchange (organised by African Energy’s publisher Cross-border Information) in Edinburgh on 12 October that the ministry had held “more than 100 meetings with international suppliers” who have submitted non-binding offers. “We project to short-list the international suppliers in December,” he said. The short list is expected to contain the names of three to six potential suppliers.

Morocco