Exclusives

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.

Kosmos Energy, BP, offshore, Senegal, Mauritania, Yakaar-1, discovery, gas, Tortue

The gas find, located west of the Teranga discovery and south of Tortue, is estimated to hold 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

North Africa Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Algeria, oil, Sid-Ali Betata, Anadarko, Sonatrach

Technology and investment opportunities were among the topics discussed during the conference.

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

The Snoek well, southeast of the Liza discovery, hit high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs, the company 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

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.

In 2015, the Miskar and Hasdrubal gas fields produced 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to BG Group's annual report of the same year, Reuters said.

Uganda has also been pursuing a tender for developing a $2.5 billion refinery to process part of the crude from its oil fields, Reuters reported.

The well has proven oil charge across a significant part of the Greater Etom structure, Tullow said.

Total and Mauritania have signed an E&P contract to perform exploration works on Block C7, which covers an area of 7,300 sq km (2,819 sq miles), the company said in a news release.

Production

Congo Republic, whose oil sector was ravaged by a dip in prices and production since 2014, has been rejuvenated by new projects scheduled to boost output by 25% to 350,000 bbl/d next year and help an ailing economy hobbled by huge debt, civil unrest and deep-rooted corruption.

Sharara had been producing nearly 270,000 bbl/d before employees went on strike on June 7 over a lack of medical treatment for a colleague who died in a swimming pool accident at the field.

Fortuna FLNG will be Africa’s first deepwater floating liquefaction facility, with production capacity of 2.2 million tonnes per year and an estimated start-up in 2020.

East Africa’s only mature oil producer, South Sudan has been courting new investment to revitalize an oil sector where output has been curbed to 130,000 bbl/d amid security challenges.

Attacks in the Niger Delta had pushed production to just over 1 MMbbl/d at certain points in 2016, which was the lowest in decades, but attacks have abated since the start of 2017, Reuters reported.

Subsea Engineering

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.

Nigeria’s senate will debate a long-awaited oil industry reform bill after receiving the draft law on April 6, the latest step in efforts to overhaul the energy sector in Africa’s largest economy.

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.

Technology

NOC said the arrangement would allow an immediate resumption of production at Wintershall's concession areas in eastern Libya, as well as connected fields where production has been blocked.

Egypt has reduced arrears owed to foreign oil companies to $2.3 billion, the Egyptian oil ministry said in a statement on June 8.

Saipem received other offshore drilling contracts for work in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, the press release said.  The total value of these new contracts is $230 million.

The deal was not part of the 2016 licensing round, whose winning bidders are expected to be announced later on June 5, according to Gabriel Obiang Lima, the minister of mines and hydrocarbons, Reuters reported.

The 1,445-km pipeline will start in landlocked Uganda's western region, where crude reserves were discovered in 2006, and terminate at Tanzania's Indian Ocean seaport of Tanga, Reuters reported.