Exclusives

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.

Stratas Advisors outlined regional relationships’ link to energy production in a recent webinar, as the Trump administration marks its first month. 

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.

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

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

A joint investigation by BuzzFeed News and Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on April 9 claims to show transactions worth $1.3 billion made in 2010-2011 that Shell and Eni paid to acquire an exploration license for an offshore oil block known as OPL 245.

Drilled to a total depth of 2,981 m (9,780 ft) in a water depth of 150 m (492 ft), well B1 16/3 hit gas and condensates in the Metlaoui Group of Eocene age, Eni said.

Impact Oil & Gas AGC Ltd. has reached an agreement with CNOOC UK Ltd. regarding the farm-out of a 65% participating interest in a production-sharing contract (PSC) and associated joint operating agreement in the AGC Profond Block offshore the joint development zone between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, according to a news release.

The Qattameya Shallow-1 exploration well, drilled using the El Qaher II jackup rig, struck 37 m (121 ft) of net gas pay in high quality Pliocene sandstones, the company said.

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.

Production

The reopening would allow Mellitah to restore production of about 450 million cubic feet of gas, 9,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil, and 7,500 bbl/d of condensate, Libya’s National Oil Corp. said.

Angola's state-run Sonangol has taken two cargoes out of its planned May exports in a move to boost its compliance with an OPEC deal to curb production, an oil trader familiar with Angolan loading plans said on March 27.

Libya's output remains well below the 1.6 MMbbl/dthe North African country had been pumping before a 2011 uprising. Libya, along with Nigeria, is exempt from recent production cuts agreed upon by OPEC, Reuters reported.

TechnipFMC has been awarded a contract by ENI Ghana E&P Ltd., a subsidiary of ENI, GNPC and Vitol, for the onshore part of the OCTP development of the Sankofa Field offshore Ghana.

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.

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

The House of Representatives mandated the committee to “conduct a thorough examination of the process and circumstances surrounding OPL 245 and identify culpability of any persons, groups or organizations,” committee chairman Razak Atunwa said in an emailed statement.

Any move to amend its law—criticized by some oil companies as too tough—would be a major shift as Algeria looks to boost production. But changing the law may face resistance from the country’s political old guard wary of ending more nationalist policies.

Shell spokesman Andy Norman said the group had known the Nigerian government “would compensate Malabu to settle its claim on the block.” Shell previously had said only that its payments from the 2011 deal went to the Nigerian government.

Production at Libya's Sharara oil field has been halted after an unknown group blocked a pipeline just one week after a previous shutdown, a Libyan oil source and a field engineer told Reuters on April 10.

The document outlining the new model frankly admitted the country’s reliance on energy, which accounts for 60% of its budget, and put forward an ambitious program for developing its non-oil sector through 2030.