Exclusives

Egypt Offshore Demarcation

Egypt is speeding up negotiations with neighboring countries to finalize the demarcation of borders in the Mediterranean, which proved to hold huge reserve of natural gas compared to the Red Sea.

Egypt, natural gas, production, Mediterranean

Egypt still needs to import natural gas from neighboring countries to satisfy domestic consumption, so Egypt’s government has agreed to pay a higher price to the foreign operators and encourage them to develop new natural gas discoveries.

Mozambique, Eni, Coral South, FLNG, offshore

The FLNG development will be the first offshore Africa and the world’s third.

Sonatrach, Algeria oil and gas, exploration and production, E&P

While the country does not have any major crude oil projects scheduled to come onstream, Sonatrach is exploring new frontiers, including offshore and in north Algeria.

Vast gas resources offshore Mauritania and Senegal will benefit the two African countries and spur exploration, the CEO of Kosmos said.

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

Drilled to a total depth of 2,837 m (9,308 ft), the well hit a 24-m (79-ft) gross hydrocarbon column across three intervals, about 11 m (36 ft) net of condensate and gas in the primary objective and about 4 m (13 ft) net of oil in the deeper secondary objective, the company said.

The blocks, which could contain more than 3 billion barrels of oil, are adjacent to ones in Senegal where large discoveries have been made.

Located in a water depth of about 2,175 m (7,136 ft)  in the Sangomar Deep Offshore Block, the well was drilled by the Stena DrillMAX drillship about 30 km (19 miles) southwest of the FAN-1 exploration well.

The project was due to start production as early as 2021 but has faced delays due to the ongoing ownership dispute between the FAR Ltd. and Woodside Petroleum.

Woodside said on June 8 that minority stakeholder FAR Ltd. had advised that it would not support arrangements for Woodside to take over as operator from Britain’s Cairn Energy Plc.

Production

Egypt has been seeking to speed up gas production from recently discovered fields, with an eye to halting imports by 2019. Once an energy exporter, it has become an importer after domestic output failed to keep pace with rising demand.

The Sankofa Field forms the first phase of the $7.9 billion Offshore Cape Three Points project (OCTP), which is expected to also deliver up to 180 million cubic feet of natural gas per day by the end of next year, more than doubling domestic gas supply.

NNPC said it had a tripartite agreement with local Nigerian energy firm and international oil services company Schlumberger to develop the Anyala and Madu fields.

State-owned National Oil Corp. had targeted reaching 1 MMbbl/d by the end of July. Output has been helped by an interim deal with Germany’s Wintershall to resume production amid a contract dispute.

The law is expected to be in place by late September when a new senate and national assembly convene after August elections.

Subsea Engineering

Egypt is speeding up negotiations with neighboring countries to finalize the demarcation of borders in the Mediterranean, which holds huge natural gas reserves compared to the Red Sea.

Tullow Oil reported a deeper-than-expected operating loss for the first half as lower oil price expectations forced it to book hefty impairment charges, but the market welcomed news it had raised a cost-saving target by $150 million.

Stavanger, Norway-based Ocean Installer has landed a subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines project in the Al Jurf oil field offshore Libya, the company said on June 20.

Equatorial Guinea has short-listed Royal Dutch Shell and oil traders Gunvor and Vitol for an offtake agreement at its Fortuna floating LNG export terminal and expects to make a final decision by August, its oil minister said June 5.

Overcoming difficult market conditions, Eni signed contracts and inked regulatory and financial agreements June 1 to pave a clear path toward development of the Coral South floating LNG project offshore Mozambique.

Technology

The NOC gave no reason for the protest in Zawiya, which began on Aug. 6, forcing oil workers to gradually reduce production from Sharara which is located in Libya's south west.

Croatia's CROSCO, part of energy group INA, said on Aug. 3 it had won deals worth €47 million (US$56 million) to drill 12 wells in Ukraine.

Members of an oil prospecting team were kidnapped in the northeast’s restive Lake Chad Basin region on July 25, prompting a rescue bid that left at least 37 dead including members of the team, rescuers from the military and vigilantes, officials say.

Halliburton will pay $29.2 million to settle civil charges it violated federal anti-bribery rules related to books, record-keeping and internal accounting controls while doing business in Angola.

Shares in Oslo-listed African Petroleum plunged some 40% on July 5, their second daily fall in a row, as Gambian Oil Minister Fafa Sanyang confirmed that his country had ended talks to extend exploration rights for two offshore areas.