Exclusives

The North African nation hopes to regain pre-Arab Spring production levels, but challenges abound.

ExxonMobil, Guyana, Payara, oil, Liza, offshore, discovery

To better gauge resource potential, ExxonMobil said the discovery is being evaluated with two sidetracks drilled. A well test is underway.

Guyana, ExxonMobil, SBM Offshore, Liza, offshore, contract, FPSO

The news is encouraging for the FPSO sector, where activity has drastically slowed. Analyst says FPSO orders will increase in 2017.

ExxonMobil, offshore, Nigeria, discovery, oil, Owowo

The supermajor says it has discovered between 500 million and 1 billion barrels of potential recoverable resources in the Owowo Field offshore Nigeria.

Egypt’s offshore sector is leading the way in attracting large investments and pioneering the use of high-end subsea production systems despite the depressed industry environment.

Deepwater International

Anadarko Petroleum has decided to terminate its charter of the Dolphin Drilling drillship Belford Dolphin in September this year, with the unit currently working for the operator off east Africa’s Mozambique.

The battle to win the contract to design and build a world-class FLNG unit to be used by Eni and its partners on a mega-gas project offshore Mozambique is coming to the boil.

Various subsea equipment will be delivered throughout 2015 and 2016.

UK independent Sterling Energy has had the exploration period for two frontier blocks northwest of Madagascar extended.

The contract is for a firm charter period of 15 years with five yearly extension options exercisable by the client. 

Exploration

The Nigerian court case is the latest of several inquiries, following those by Dutch and Italian authorities, into the purchase of OPL 245, which could hold up to 9.23 billion barrels of oil, according to industry figures, Reuters reported.

CNOOC Uganda Ltd. (CNOOC) will exercise its pre-emption rights under the joint operating agreements it has with Tullow and Total to acquire 50% of the interests being transferred to Total concerning acreage in Uganda, according to a news release.

ExxonMobil Corp. has agreed to pay Italy’s Eni $2.8 billion for a 25% stake in a giant Mozambique gas field to strengthen its position supplying rich Asian markets.

Nigeria's Oranto Petroleum said signed an oil E&P sharing agreement with South Sudan covering the country's Block B3 and that it would spend $500 million on an exploration campaign in the area.

The court filing alleges those involved conspired to commit a felony and violated corruption laws by paying $801 million to Nigerian officials for OPL 245 in 2011.

Production

Libyan oil officials said staff at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf have been reduced to a minimum since a faction known as the Benghazi Defence Brigades seized them in clashes, and that the area is effectively a military zone, Reuters reported.

The project, located 24 km (15 miles) offshore the Cabinda province in 60 m (200 ft) of water, is designed to handle 150,000 barrels of liquids and 350 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, according to a Business Wire news release.

The Pacific Bora, a sixth-generational double-hulled drillship, is currently in Nigeria. It should be mobilized to the Oyo Field and on site in June, and can be used for drilling and well completion, the press release said.

Libya's recent oil production has dropped to 663 Mbbl/d after Waha Oil Co. cut output by about 35 Mbbl/d as a precaution due to the unrest, said Jadalla Alaokali, a board member of National Oil Corp., Reuters reported.

Markets are surprised by the reported rise because a major export pipeline carrying nearly 250 Mbbl/d, Forcados in the restive Niger Delta, has only been open for three weeks of the past year due to militant attacks, Reuters reported.

Subsea Engineering

Italian energy company Eni will sell a 30% stake in its giant Egyptian offshore gas field Zohr to Russia’s Rosneft for $1.575 billion, pressing ahead with asset sales to fund investments and offset weak oil prices.

BP has agreed to buy 10% of Eni’s Shorouk concession offshore Egypt, which includes the giant Zohr gas field, for $375 million, joining other oil majors in increasing bets on the growing gas market.

Somalia looks more likely to strike oil than gas in its long pursuit of offshore riches, making it easier for the African state to exploit any windfall but also potentially upsetting the fragile recovery led by its Western-backed government.

Continued exploration efforts, undeterred by a crippling downturn, have led Exxon Mobil Corp. to potential recoverable resources of up to 1 Bbbl of oil offshore Nigeria nearly 3 km (2 miles) below the seafloor.

An issue with the turret bearing of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah that is operating on the Tullow Oil-operated Jubilee oil field development offshore Ghana “has resulted in the need to implement new operating and offtake procedures.”

Technology

Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach has replaced CEO Amine Mazouzi after less than two years on the job, naming Abdelmoumen Ould Kadour to replace him, the energy ministry said in a statement March 20.

Abed Ezz el-Regal will replace Tarek al-Hadidi, appointed in April 2016, as head of EGPC, while Osama Al Bakly will take over from Mohamed al-Masry as head of EGAS, Reuters reported.

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Co. (SNEPCo) halted production at Nigeria's Bonga oil field on March 4 for maintenance that will last at least a month.

Algeria's total oil output was previously estimated at 1.1 Mbbl/d, but it has cut production by 50 Mbbl to adhere to an agreement by OPEC members to trim output, Reuters reported.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as “Farmajo,” named Hassan Ali Khaire as prime minister, state radio website Radio Muqdisho.net said.