Exclusives

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.

Kosmos Energy, TEN, production, Jubilee, offshore, Ghana, Inglis, Tullow Oil

TEN is one of the main developments offshore Ghana that the company is depending on to help it sustain and grow cash flow as it also moves forward on exploration.

Noble Energy, David Stover, Gulf of Mexico, shale, unconventional, Leviathan, production, sell, volumes, second quarter

Enhanced completions onshore and subsea tiebacks offshore are contributing to production gains, but low commodity prices are taking away profit potential.

Cobalt International, Angola, sale, Sonangol, gas, Block 20, Block 21, oil, Gulf of Mexico, Timothy Cutt

The company is focusing on selling Angola assets, addressing liquidity and moving discovered resources into production by 2021.

Hopes are momentum generated will keep the country on companies’ radars despite today’s market conditions.

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

Mozambique officials expect more than $30 billion will be invested initially in the natural gas sector, Reuters reported.

James Phillips, president and CEO of Africa Energy, said that PEL 37 contains a series of extensive base-of-slope fan prospects with significant combined resource potential. The fans directly overlie a mature oil-prone source rock of Aptian age, he said. 

The company, founded by Australian businessman Frank Timis, has equity interests in eight remaining licenses in Senegal, Gambia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone, Reuters reported.

Overall reserves discovered in Mozambique's Rovuma Basin in recent years amount to about 85 Tcf, with enough gas to supply Germany, the U.K., France and Italy for nearly two decades, Reuters reported.

Uganda launched the round in February 2015 for six exploration blocks, covering a total of 3,000 square kilometers (1,150 square miles). Bidding documents were given to 16 oil firms but only seven submitted bids.

Production

Mozambique’s National Hydrocarbons Co. (ENH) said on Nov. 23 it had approved its investment plan for the Coral South gas project, offshore Mozambique, being led by Italian energy company Eni.

Nigeria, Africa's largest economy and top oil producer, is in its worst crisis in more than 20 years, brought on by low oil prices that have slashed government revenues, hammered the currency and caused chronic dollar shortages, Reuters reported.

Full-scale projection requires a 890-kilometer (560-mile) pipeline, costing about $2.1 billion. The government said in October it aimed to sign a joint development deal for the pipeline soon, Reuters reported.

Ophir said it would have a 33.8% stake in the joint operating company, while OneLNG—a JV between units of Golar LNG and Schlumberger—would own the rest.

Exports of the Amna grade, usually out of Ras Lanuf, will be rerouted to the port of Zueitina to be exported along with the Zueitina and Bu Attifel grades, Reuters reported.

Subsea Engineering

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.”

Italian oil firm Eni has wrapped up long-running talks to sell a multibillion-dollar stake in its planned Mozambique LNG development to Exxon Mobil, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

OneSubsea has been awarded a $170 million engineering, procurement and construction contract from Petrobel for the first stage of the Zohr gas field, located in the Shorouk Concession, offshore Egypt. 

Technology

The Sonatrach-Cepsa contract for Ourhoud was due to expire in 2019, the statement said. The agreement was signed by Sonatrach chief Amine Mazouzi and Cepsa CEO Pedro Miro Roig.

On Nov. 1, Nigeria's president met leaders from the region for the first time since the attacks began. They gave him a list of 16 demands including the withdrawal of the army from the region, Reuters reported.

Abu Tifl was shut for two years because of protests by local residents and blockades at eastern ports that were recently lifted.

Nigeria has reached an “outline settlement” worth $5 billion with five oil majors to cover outstanding payments for joint exploration and production, the Financial Times said on Nov. 8.

Already, claims of corruption and opacity in the government's managing of the nascent sector have raised concerns in Senegal, one of West Africa's rare, relatively stable democracies, Reuters reported.