News from NVentures

All you need to know about Exploration Drilling, Appraisal & Development, Deals & Transactions, License Rounds.

Exploration Drilling

Offshore Namibia, Tullow and partners have announced a dry well at Cormorant 1 (PEL 37). Targeting a mid-Cretaceous marine turbidite / fan sandstone system, it reached a total depth of 3,855m, but encountered only gas shows. It did report good sandstone at the reservoir.

- The rig used by Tullow, Ocean Poseidon, has been immediately mobilised to the site of Prospect S for Chariot, Azinam and Namcor. Prospect S is one of five dip-closed structural traps in Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) turbidite channel systems, which have a combined prospective total of 1,758MMbbls. There are indicators nearby of good, mature source (Aptian Kudu Shale) and reservoir rocks.

- Eco, Azinam and partners have received the necessary Environmental Clearance Certificate to drill an exploration well on PEL 30. The ‘Osprey’ prospect on the Cooper Block has been identified and is estimated to contain as much as 882 mmboe and will be drilled in 2019. 

- On the coast of Congo, Anglo African is re-spudding the TLP 103 well on Tilapia, after the well pad suffered structural problems. 

- Activity in Egypt remains relatively high. Transglobe report NW Sitra-12, on Northwest Sitra, spud in July and is due to take 60 days to drill.

- BP will start drilling its first exploration wells in the northeast of Ramadan in the Gulf of Suez concession area by early October.

- APEX International plans nine exploratory wells with investments of $51 million on South East Meleiha and West Badr El Din. It won a seismic exploration tender in the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation 2016 bid round.

- Activity in The Gambia is set to attract global attention, with the southern extension of the SNE play about to be tested by FAR and Petronas. Erin’s 20% remains in the balance as they go through reorganisation under Chapter 11. The Samo 1 well, Blocks A2/A5, is due to spud in Q4 by the Stena Drillmax. The Samo prospect platform margin closure has two target intervals in the Lower Albian pro-delta apron sand reservoirs; on trend and similar facies to the giant SNE oil field.

In coastal Kenya, Zarara has engaged a larger rig at Pate-2, Block L-4. Drilling is expected to have resumed. Pate-2 is a well that is planning to target the Kipini sandstone and the secondary deeper target, the Kofia sandstone. The Pate gas discovery, which is being appraised by this well, was found to be gas charged in the Lower Eocene, however it was not fully logged or tested due to technical problems.

- Onshore Morocco, Sound Energy has mobilised at the site of TE-9. It is expected to be used for TE-10 and TE-11 as well. The location of TE-10 has been specified. It will be spud immediately after TE-9 has been drilled.
In Niger Savannah Petroleum continue their drilling campaign, with Zomo-1, Block R3, spud on 8th September and is due to take around 30 to 35 days to drill to a total depth of 2,438m.

Offshore Cameroon, Bowleven and partners have spud IE 4, Etinde Block. It will target ‘Drillbit’, a previously undrilled sand package at the IM-5 location. It is due to take 90 days for drilling and logging operations to be completed.

Appraisal & Development

- In Egypt the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has signed an agreement with General Petroleum Company in Sinai’s Sudr, Asl, Matarma and Karim fields to improve its production. New oil agreements have also been signed between EGPC, Cheiron, Oceaneer Zaafarana, and Sahara to conduct exploration and production in the North Zaafarana area in the Gulf of Suez. ENI is now producing 2 bcfd (around 365,000 boed) from the Zohr field. Rockhopper reported Al Jahraa-6, Abu Sennan, encountered oil in multiple reservoirs and is currently being completed for testing and production. Transglobe’s latest report on West Bakr is that infill wells M-North and M-South have been cased as oil wells. M-North is currently producing around 750 bopd and M-South was placed on production at an initial rate of around 500 bopd. NWG 38A-I encountered oil too.

- In Gabon BW and Panoro (Dussafu Block) announced a welcome discovery at DRNEM 1 (Ruche NE) of approximately 15m of good quality oil pay in the Gamba Formation and 25m of oil pay in stacked reservoirs within the Dentale Formation. An appraisal side-track was drilled around 800m north west of the original wellbore and encountered 34m of pay in the same formations. Meanwhile BW Offshore reported first oil from the Tortue field.

In offshore Ghana, deepwater Tano, Akeris due to commence appraisal drilling in October on the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points block. It has delayed submitting a development plan until next year. Pecan-4A is due to spud in quarter 4 of 2018. Maersk Drilling has been awarded a contract to drill it and two optional wells.
Onshore Morocco, Sound Energy announced a production concession has been awarded that relates to the Tendrara gas discovery. The field development plan includes drilling up to 5 new horizontal development wells and recompleting TE-6 and TE-7.

- In Nigeria, Elcrest E&P reports testing and production has been taking place at Opuama-10. Final casing string has been run and cemented at Opuama-11 and initial gross production is expected to be between 4,000 and 6,000 bopd. Well testing operations are currently in progress at Ubima.

Deals & Transactions

- In Cameroon Tower Resources have been granted a one year extension for the Thali licence, which was due to expire on 14th September 2018. The company want to drill the block in 2019.

In Egypt, Soco International has agreed to acquire Merlon Petroleum El Fayum for around $215 million, in cash and new SOCO shares. Merlon holds a 100% operated working interest in the El Fayum concession. The Egyptian government has signed an exploration deal with Shell and Petronas that is worth around $1 billion, to drill 8 wells in the West Delta Deep Marine area. The government has also signed a $10 million deal with Rockhopper, Kuwait Energy and Dover Corporation for the Abu Sennan concession. It includes a $2 million signing bonus for drilling 4 wells. SDX is in talks to acquire a ‘significant package of assets’ from BP in Egypt (thought to be the Gupco portfolio).

Offshore Mauritania, Cairn Energy has exercised an option agreement to acquire 30% from Total on Block C7.
Onshire Morocco, Sound Energy has signed a new 8 year petroleum contract that unites the areas that were previously covered by the Tendrara petroleum agreement and the Matarka reconnaissance licence, as well as the production concession application relating to the Tendrara gas discovery in Eastern Morocco and the existing Anoual petroleum agreement.

- Offshore Namibia Global Petroleum has signed a petroleum agreement to acquire 85% and operatorship interest in Block 2011A. Namcor and Aloe will have carried interests of 10% and 5%. At the end of 2 years Global has the option to shoot 2,000 sq km of 3D in the eastern part of the block or relinquish the licence. Eco Atlantic has, through its subsidiary Pan Africa Namibia Holdings, acquired the remaining 10% of the shares of Pan Africa Oil Namibia from Amis Oil and Gas. Once complete Eco will hold 100% of the issued share capital of Pan Africa Oil Namibia which will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. The acquisition means that Eco will have an 80% working interest in the Tamar Licence (PEL 050); it previously held 72%.

- In Nigeria Svannah has reported an update on the Seven Energy Transaction that was first announced in November 2017 and due to be completed in Q4 of 2018. An MOU has been signed between Frontier, SUGL and Accugas where a gas for oil swap will take place between SUGL and Frontier. This means that SUGL will own 100% of the Uquo gas project and Frontier will own 100% of the oil project at Uquo.
In South Africa Azinam has extended its foorptint south in the Orange Basin via a farm-in to acquire 40% operating interest in Block 3B/4B and 51% operating interest in Nearshore Block 34/4B in the Orange Basin. Ricocure will retain the rest of the interest. The licences are currently Technical Co-operation permits, but Exploration Right applications have been submitted for both assets with the hope that they will be completed and approved by the start of 2019.

In Uganda, CNOOC has signed a deal with Uganda to jointly explore in a new undisclosed block in the Albertine Graben.

License Rounds

- Reports from Equatorial Guinea suggest a bid round is set to be launched next year, 2019. Extensions for existing licences will be negotiated later this month, but the Ministry say could be refused unless they collectively invest a minimum of $2 billion in the country. 
- In Madagascar, OMNIS, in partnership with TGS and BGP, will launch a licensing round in Madagascar at Africa Oil Week in November 2018.
- Senegal plans to auction 10 oil blocks, including 1 onshore block, between the first and second quarters of 2019. Again, some blocks where work commitments are delinquent may be re-cycled into the bid round.
- Mozambique announced plans for a 6th Bidding Round in 2019.