Exclusives

The project will initially develop the Tortue discovery; however, there are several other smaller discoveries and more than a dozen prospects nearby that could add upside to this Atlantic Margin presalt play.

The ship is scheduled for integration of its six topsides at Tarkwa Bay in Lagos, Nigeria. Failing to reach an agreement with the NPA would reduce Nigerian content in the project and erode confidence about its viability.

Countries like Senegal are gearing up for the next wave of development.

Africa, BP, oil, exploration, Jasper Peijs

Jasper Peijs, vice president of exploration in Africa for BP, shared insight on the company’s operations across the continent.

Discovering new resources is essential for oil firms to grow and to offset natural decline of fields. But deepwater exploration requires money, time, expertise and luck.

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

Democratic Republic of Congo’s oil minister on Feb. 15 defended the country’s right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve.

At the core of the case is a $1.3 billion payment from Shell and Eni to secure the block from Malabu Oil and Gas, allegedly controlled by former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete.

Egyptian oil minister Tarek El Molla said on Feb. 12 an agreement with an international company was made to conduct a seismic survey of the Gulf of Suez to attract exploration investment in the area.

Erin Energy Corp. said on Jan. 31 it has completed the drilling of the Oyo-NW well and discovered hydrocarbons in the Miocene Formation.

The lack of progress in the negotiations and an unfavorable business environment prompted Statoil's decision, Statoil spokesman Erik Haaland said.

Production

Kosmos said on Feb. 12 it expected to make a final investment decision (FID) on the project in 2018, with first gas expected in 2021. BP had previously indicated it expected to reach an FID on the project towards the end of this year.

BP (NYSE: BP) has begun gas production from the Atoll Phase One project, offshore Egypt, the company said on Feb. 12.

Bowleven Plc said Feb. 1 it has hit a key milestone in the appraisal drilling campaign of its Etinde asset, in which the company holds a 25% offshore interest.

For a second month, a Reuters survey showed no sign of big OPEC producers boosting output significantly to cash in on rallying prices or to replace a decline in Venezuela.

BP (NYSE: BP) and Kosmos Energy (NYSE: KOS) have won exploration rights to two offshore oil blocks in Sao Tome and Principe’s exclusive economic zone, the national oil agency said on Jan. 23.

Subsea Engineering

Nigeria has moved closer to turning an oil industry bill into law after a 17-year struggle to complete the legislation that aims to increase transparency and stimulate growth in the country’s oil industry.

BP is moving closer toward its goal of starting up seven major projects this year, with news Aug. 14 of two more projects—Juniper offshore Trinidad and Tobago as well as the Woodside-operated Persephone offshore Australia—coming online.

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.

Technology

Aberdeen-based Enpro Subsea has been awarded a frame agreement contract to support Tullow Oil as part of the operator’s strategic activities in Ghana, the company said on Feb. 9.

Portugal’s Galp Energia said Jan. 31 it will farm-down a 40% participating interest in the Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) 82 in Namibia to an ExxonMobil subsidiary.

Tanzania’s national oil company TPDC ordered Swala Oil and Gas on Jan. 19 to delay its acquisition of up to 40% in PAE PanAfrican Energy Corp. pending a more detailed assessment of the deal.

Nigeria’s lower house of parliament has passed a version of the bill which is the same as one approved by the Senate last year. This is the first time both houses have approved the same version of the bill. It still needs the president's signature to become law.

Ivory Coast awarded Tullow Oil Plc two new oil and gas blocks on Jan. 17, including one along the maritime boundary with Ghana, government spokesman Bruno Kone said.