West Africa

Fred Akani Lagos UMC's Lion Field in Block CI-11 off Cote d'Ivoire. Elf has discovered oil in Girosol 1 in Block 17 (1,365 metres water depth). Total depth of 3,130 meters has been reached. The well was tested and flowed about 3,000 b/d oil in an undisclosed choke size in one of the reservoirs.


Fred Akani


UMC's Lion Field in Block CI-11 off Cote d'Ivoire.

Elf has discovered another major Angolan Field

Elf has discovered oil in Girosol 1 in Block 17 (1,365 metres water depth). Total depth of 3,130 meters has been reached. The well was tested and flowed about 3,000 b/d oil in an undisclosed choke size in one of the reservoirs.

Production is set for Chevron's Areas Bk and C fields

Production from Chevron's North N'Dola/South Sanha oil field in Area C will commence by the end of the first quarter of 1997. And the joint south Nemba/Lomba Field in Area B will come onstream in early 1998, after on-going construction work is completed. These projejcts follow on the heels of earlly production from the South Nemba Field, which commenced in January from an FPSO. Together they are expected to boost Chevron's worldwide earnings by ultimate net far in excess of US$400 million.

Chevron's first deepwater well will be in Cabinda Block 14

Chevron's first deepwater well anywhere in West Africa will be spudded in Block 14 offshore Cabinda. Of the majors, Chevron has been most tentative in operating any lease in deepwater West Africa. In Nigeria, where the company is an influential industry leader, producing oil in excess of 180,000 b/d, the company did not participate in the 1990-91 bidding rounds for the deepwater blocks and only entered into partnership with Elf in Blocks 222 and 223 in 1993.

Exxon is doing 3D over its deepwater Angola tract

Exxon has commenced a 1,285 sq km 3D survey in its lease 15 in deepwater off Angola. Shell may have completed drilling M'Bridge 1 in Block 16.

Nigeria's Ukpokita Field due onstream early next year

Conoco proposes to put the Ukpokiti Field, in OPL 74 off the Western Niger Delta, onstream by the first quarter of 1997. The field was discovered in 1993, some seven km to the west (seaward) of Chevron's prolific Meren Field (which flows 55,000 b/d oil). The development plan calls for drilling three directional wells in addition to completion of two of the three existing fields, which are Ukpokiti-1 and 2. Ukpokiti-3 did not find oil. OPL 74 is held by Express, a domestic Nigerian company. Conoco has a 40% equity and is the technical partner.

Mobil has spudded its first deepwater Nigeria well

Mobil will spud Adaka 1in OPL 221 this month. It is their first well in deepwater offshore Nigeria. They are using the drillship Glomar Robert F. Bauer.

Marathon's Gabon 2D survey sparked by Tchitamba-1 find

Marathon has commenced a 2,500 km 2D survey in its Kowe permit offshore Gabon. The company is encouraged by the shallow water discovery at Tchitamba Marine-1, discovered in the same lease and which ended a string of dry holes in the country (including two dry deepwater wells by Occidental) last year. Tchitamba-1 flowed 4,545 b/d of 46° API oil. Marathon will appraise this discovery with Tchitamba-2.

Ghana grants Hunt Oil Cape Three Points lease

Ghana has recently awarded Hunt Oil a PSC on its Cape Three Points lease, 4,300 sq km east of the Tano North and South Fields. The Ganian government is still seeking investors for PSCs with state GNPC for development of the gas-prone Tano North and gas rich Tano South Fields.

Côte d'Ivoire drawing deepwater blocks to let

Deepwater blocks are being delineated in Cte d'Ivoire and terms are being drawn up to attract potential participants. State oil company Petroci is reaching out to investors for Jvs in the B-3X gas condensate discovery (387 meters water depth) in CI-24. On offer are five blocks CI-31-35, much of which lies at depths over 200 meters.

Namibia's Kudo holds much greater reserves

The Kudu Field off Namibia is now believed to hold considerably more gas reserves than was initially thought. NAMCOR, the state oil company, estimated the reserves at 4.5 tcf, but latest evaluations of the reserves indicate they could be as much as 14 tcf. Shell and Engen, the South African independent, are co-holders of the Kudu license.

South Africa's Engen forms new company

Energy Africa has been spawned by South Africa's independent oil company Engen, to handle all its upstream interests, leaving Engen a domestic downstream operator. Energy Africa begins with holdings in the North Sea and offshore Oman, as well as interests in Congo's N'Kossa Field, South Africa's E-BT Field, and Namibia's Kudu Field. Future efforts will be focused on Angola, Congo, Gabon, and Namibia.

Gabon set to quit OPEC

Gabon is expected to formally relinquish membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at this month's ministerial meeting. It has been long in coming. For more than a year and a half, Gabon has tried to resign the cartel due to almost $2 million a year in membership dues, despite the fact that its views are rarely heard, according to Gabonese sources. Its proposal to make dues proportional were also rejected by the remaining 11 members. (Ecuador resigned from OPEC in 1992.)

Rigs being sought by operators

Chevron has called for bids for a 250 ft cantilever jackup for a two-year plus two one-year options to work in Angola's Cabinda offshore enclave beginning in September, and for another jackup beginning this December, for two-years plus options developing the South Sanha Field off Angola proper. The Santa Fe rig Compact Driller, currently working in Albania, is believed to be the front-runner for the contract.

Agip is also seeking bids for a semisubmersible to work off Nigeria in up to 3,000 ft water depth beginning in July of next year. It's a firm two-years plus one year option.

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