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Issue 224 - 02 February 2012

Ophir eyes gas for EGLNG Train 2


Ophir Energy has contracted Ocean Rig’s dynamically positioned semi-submersible rig Eirik Raude for three firm wells plus one contingent well on Block R

Equatorial Guinea

Cameroon’s second floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project has taken a step forward with the signing of a gas convention agreement between New Age LNG and the government establishing the fiscal terms for its project to produce gas from the Etinde permit. Project company CMLNG, a subsidiary of New Age LNG, will use a newbuild FLNG production vessel to process gas from Etinde. The FLNG project will be developed in conjunction with the upstream Etinde development, operated by parent company New Age (African Global Energy).


While Algiers tries to gain better control over Sonatrach's operations, IOCs remain concerned that the authorities are prone to inflexibility and obsessed with outmoded concepts of national interest


Equatorial Guinea’s application to join the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has been successful and the country will become the fourth sub-Saharan African member. An Opec statement said a meeting in Vienna on 25 May considered Equatorial Guinea’s request to join the organisation and decided to approve its admission with immediate effect.Equatorial Guinea was among 11 non-Opec members that agreed to production cuts in December to stabilise the oil price.

Equatorial Guinea

Tullow Oil’s reported $300m bid to buy the West Cape Three Points Block stake held by EO Group – owned by former president John Kufuor’s allies Kwame Bauwah Edusei and George Owusu – not only raises the London-listed firm’s stake in the highly prized Jubilee field to almost 26.5%, it also represents what Accra observers call a ‘masterstroke’ to overcome thorny political questions that have blocked previous asset sales, including Kosmos Energy’s effort to sell its 23.49% Jubilee stake toExxonMobil for $4.3bn. EO’s directors are still being investigated in Ghana for alleged corruption (cases having been dropped in the US).

Issue 410 - 27 February 2020

Senegal: FAR arbitration


The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce has found in favour of Woodside Energy in a claim brought by FAR Limited. The tribunal declared that FAR did not have a pre-emption right over Woodside’s 2016 transaction to enter the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore (RSSD) joint venture. Far had challenged Woodside’s $430m purchase of a 35% stake in the RSSD joint venture from ConocoPhillips in 2016, claiming its pre-emptive right was ignored, but the tribunal ruled that the joint operating agreement did not grant pre-emption rights over a transaction involving a sale of shares in one of the member companies.


Eni has announced that an appraisal of the Nene Marine-1 well has established reserves of 600m barrels of oil and 700bcf of gas. The structure, which lies 17km offshore, has considerable additional upside that will be evaluated with further delineation wells, Eni said. The discovery well was drilled in 24 metres of water to a total depth of 3,013 metres and encountered a significant wet gas and light oil accumulation in a Lower Cretaceous pre-salt clastic sequence.

Congo Brazzaville

Turkey has embarked on a ‘beggar thy neighbour’ policy in the eastern Mediterranean involving diplomatic and military pressure, as its long-term political and economic interests are threatened by quicker-than-expected advances towards the establishment of a regional gas hub centred on Egypt and involving Cyprus, Israel and possibly even Lebanon. Italy’s Eni, the leading exploration company in the region, is in the firing line. In early February, the Turkish government picked fights over hydrocarbons exploration rights with Cyprus and – more surprisingly considering they are divided by the entire width of the eastern Mediterranean and share no borders – with Egypt.

Issue 225 - 16 February 2012

Hyperdynamics well fails


Hyperdynamics Corporation has announced that its Sabu-1 well failed to find commercial hydrocarbons, adding to pressure on the cash-strapped company

Issue 327 - 08 July 2016

Ghana: Tullow close to TEN start-up


Tullow Oil aims to start up the $4bn Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) project within weeks, and has come up with a long-term solution to production problems at Jubilee.In a 30 June trading statement, Tullow said TEN was expected to deliver first oil “within the next three to six weeks”. Hook-up and commissioning of the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel is nearing completion, and oil production is expected to reach the 80,000 b/d capacity around year-end as the facilities complete performance testing and the initial ten wells are brought up to optimum rates.


The international companies that worked so hard to obtain major contracts from the Libyan regime, and their diplomatic backers and bankers, now find themselves confronted with an awkward situation. The unspoken rule of many transactions in recent years has been to find a member of the Qadhafi family – or more usually their representatives – to sponsor a deal through the Jamahiriya (State of the Masses)

Issue 315 - 14 January 2016

Egypt: Subsea 7 contract


BG’s Burullus Gas Company joint venture has given Subsea 7 a contract for the platform extension and tie-in of the first phase of the West Nile Delta development. This will tie back BP’s Taurus and Libra fields to BG’s infrastructure. The award follows a contract in July 2015 for engineering, procurement, installation and pre-commissioning of subsea infrastructure for the development. Nexans was awarded a contract in September to supply 48km of rigid umbilicals.


Sonangol has declared Cobalt Energy International’s Zalophus-1 well on Block 20 to be a commercial gas discovery. Sonangol said in a statement the Kwanza Basin well was drilled to a depth of 5,210 metres in 1,830 metres of water and encountered a 44-metre hydrocarbon column in the pre-salt. It estimated resources at 2.8tcf of gas, as well as liquids. A deal announced in August 2015 for Cobalt to sell blocks 20 and 21 to Sonangol for $1.75bn has yet to be finalised.

Issue 243 - 15 November 2012

Zanzibar dispute progress for Shell


Tanzania’s Union Government and the semi-autonomous Zanzibar Revolutionary Government have reached preliminary agreement over a revenue-sharing deal that could eventually permit exploration to go ahead in the archipelago’s waters. Royal Dutch Shell was awarded northern offshore blocks 9-12 to the east of Zanzibar in the 2002 licensing round but has been unable to conclude a production-sharing agreement.


The South African government has gazetted technical regulations for petroleum exploration and exploitation, the majority of which deal with hydraulic fracturing in the country, providing guidelines for environmental impact assessment, detailing equipment standards to ensure safe drilling and specifying that all operators must obtain a water licence before starting work. 
Interested parties have until 14 November to submit comments on the proposals, then the government will make any adjustments and the regulations will be promulgated. Three companies, Royal Dutch Shell, Challenger and Falcon, filed applications for exploration in the Karoo Basin before the government placed a moratorium on licensing in February 2011 (AE 221/12).

South Africa