Technology Africa Exclusives

Sonatrach, Algeria oil and gas, digital, technology, Abdelmoumene Ould Kaddour

The company is intensifying efforts to deploy technologies at brownfields and greenfields in an effort to raise stagnant oil and gas production, according to its CEO.

 Pascal Houangni Ambouroue, Gabon energy minister, Gabon hydrocarbon law, Gabon oil and gas

Pascal Houangni Ambouroue, the Gabonese minister of petroleum, spoke to Hart Energy about the country’s focus on encouraging investment in Gabon’s unexplored offshore reserves.

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.

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.

Sonatrach, Algeria, strategy, oil and gas, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour

The CEO of the state-owned company says he wants to change the way the company does business and set clear objectives and implementation plans.

Contracts Africa

Sonangol EP and ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) on Dec. 14 signed a memorandum of understanding defining the intention of signing the risks with service contracts , for Blocks 30, 44 and 45 of the Namibe Basin.

Woodside and Cairn Energy awarded FEED contracts for Senegal’s first oil project, a key step before a final investment decision expected in mid-2019, Woodside said on Dec. 17.

TechnipFMC (NYSE: FTI) has been awarded a contract by an affiliate of ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) for the engineering of the subsea system for the proposed Liza Phase 2 project, the company said on Oct. 23.

The government said last week it expects to hit peak oil output of 350,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) by mid-2019 as production ramps up at oil fields that were offline due to the violence.

The deal was signed in Beijing on the margins of the ongoing China-Africa forum on cooperation, which is being attended by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni.

Equipment Africa

Atwood said one of its subsidiaries agreed to a one-well contract with Kosmos for operations offshore Northwest Africa. The day rate was not disclosed.

The Pacific Bora, a sixth-generational double-hulled drillship, is currently in Nigeria. It should be mobilized to the Oyo Field and on site in June, and can be used for drilling and well completion, the press release said.

VAALCO Energy, Inc. announced that it has executed an agreement with Transocean Ltd. regarding the remaining contract term associated with the Constellation II rig.

Kaombo is a development at Block 32 about 260 km offshore Angola; there are six fields that will be tied back to two converted FPSOs in water up to 2,000 m.

The 340-m long production vessel, named after late Ghanaian president Prof John Evans Atta Mills, was converted in Singapore from a very large crude carrier (VLCC) super-tanker and is expected to set sail this weekend to Ghana, where it is scheduled to gradually ramp up production from the TEN deepwater oilfield from July/August this year, the company’s COO Paul McDade said on Jan. 21.

Operations Africa

A spokesman for a group of tribesmen, who took over the 315,000-barrel-per-day (bbl/d) field with state guards on Dec 8, said the government had agreed to implement their demands within a week from Dec 22.

The NOC on Dec. 10 declared force majeure on exports from the 315,000-barrels-per-day (bbl/d) oil field located in the south of the country. The field was seized during the weekend by a local militia group.

The Nigerian government filed a $1.1 billion lawsuit against Shell and Eni in a commercial court in London on Dec. 13 in relation to a 2011 oilfield deal involving block OPL 245.

Qatar Petroleum agreed to buy a 10% participating interest in three of Exxon Mobil's offshore exploration blocks in Mozambique's Angoche and Zambezi basins.

Shell, the largest foreign investor in Nigeria, said in a statement to Reuters that it had completed an internal review of the OML 42 sale process and other deals Peter Robinson, a former vice president for sub-Saharan Africa, was involved in, and it concluded his only violation was related to OML 42.

People Africa

Staff at state oil firm NOC told Reuters that small protests had erupted at nine oil and gas fields and some ports in recent months, mainly among workers left waiting for promised pay rises as inflation and a weak currency erode living standards.

Government spokesman Iyad Dahmani said the sacked were accused of allowing a Tunisian investor to explore the Halk Manzel oil field—one of the country’s most important sites—without having to go through a licensing round.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo replaced his sacked energy minister on Aug. 9 in a reshuffle that still maintained the West African country's high number of ministers—110 in total.

Press reports said Agyarko was removed because Akufo-Addo was unhappy with his handling of an agreement to extend an existing five-year deal with United Arab Emirates-based AMERI Energy to operate a 300MW emergency power plant.

PENGASSAN, whose members are mostly managers in the upstream oil industry, began industrial action Dec. 18 over layoffs made by a Nigerian oil and gas company.

Regulations Africa

Companies expected to invest include ExxonMobil, Kosmos Energy, Marathon Oil Corp. and Noble Energy.

The move is part of crackdown by the African country to enforce local content laws that have been in place since 2014 and which has already grounded CHC Helicopter.

The creation of a National Agency of Petroleum and Gas to manage and sell oil blocks reduces the near total grip state energy firm Sonangol has over the sector.

Protesters demanding more security in Turkana began blocking trucks carrying oil from Tullow’s fields in July.

Cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana said the companies could now go ahead with mining operations to tap offshore oil reserves that experts say are enough to supply energy to Britain, France, Germany and Italy for over 20 years.