New West Africa Column
In response to the numerous requests and the growing importance of West Africa to the offshore petroleum industry, this West Africa page, written by Fred Akanni, a Nigerian petroleum explorationist working in Lagos, Nigeria, will appear in these pages monthly from this date forward. Please let us have your comments about this addition to Offshore Magazine.
Mobil's Zafiro extended
by yet another discovery
Mobil continues its winning streak in deepwater offshore Equatorial Guinea with the recent discovery Topacio-1, located in 520 meters of water, three km south (seaward) of the Zafiro-1 discovery. Topacio-1 flowed 11,000 b/d oil in intra Qua Ibo sands situated on the southwestern down dip flank of a regional anticline of which crest the Zafiro Field is located. The Atwood Eagle semi is scheduled for an 18 month drilling program on the prospect.
Deepwater campaign benefits
Congo, Equatorial Guinea
The current West African deep offshore campaign, which has promoted Equatorial Guinea from a mere gas producer to a putative oil exporter, has also benefited Congo as a producing country. While operator Mobil is working full steam to develop the Zafiro Field, discovered last year in 200 meters water depth offshore Equatorial Guinea, the Elf-operated N'Kossa Field (170-350 meter WD) is expected to reach its peak of 11,000 b/d oil in 1998 and to lift Congo's output to a new peak of nearly 27,000 b/d the same year. Meanwhile, appraisal of the new Elf Congo discovery Moho-1 (in 800 meters water) is expected to start in midyear; the well, located in the same Haute Mer Permit which holds the N'Kossa Field, yielded cumulative flow rates of 5,700 b/d oil on a 28/64-inch choke.
Exxon setting records in
Nigerian deepwater program
Exxon may be setting two records in its first deepwater well offshore Nigeria. First, it is drilling at a location in water depth (1,458 meters), a record for the Gulf of Guinea. Second, the proposed TD is 18,372'MD, which, if achieved, will be the deepest well in Nigeria. Exxon is drilling with the semisubmersible Sedco 709, which recently completed drilling Bonga-1, the Shell deepwater well. The Exxon well is sited on the largest prospect on their OPL209.
Shell's Bonga-1 discovery
boosts deepwater prospectivity
With more than 300 ft of oil in at least five sands, Shell's Bonga-1, (WD, 1,100 meters), is the most significant find in the deepwater campaign offshore Nigeria. The well was tested in three zones between 2,500-3,000 meters and although Shell is putting a lid on information, sources said that the flow rate has convinced Shell to start working up a development program.
The Shell discovery has boosted deepwater prospectivity offshore Nigeria. Two other wells that were either drilled before or at the time of Bonga-1 were plugged and abandoned. Although the Allied Petroleum well Oyo-1 (drilled by Statoil) was a discovery, the pay was too marginal (165 ft of oil in no certain lateral continuity) to be produced. The Agip well Abo-1 was plugged for lack of commercial hydrocarbon.
UMC has hired Global Marine's Adriatic X for new drilling
The jackup Adriatic X has been contracted by United Meridian to drill three wells and two optional wells on its acreage off the C"te d'Ivoire. The program will start in late July, after the rig is released from its current contract with Total in Angola.
CanOxy takes over Nigeria's Ejulebe development
Canadian Occidental (CanOxy) will fund the development of the Ejulebe Field (OPL 75) as a turnkey in return for a service contract fee. In equity terms, the contract fee comes to 7.5% of the profit from the field. OPL 75 is held by the domestic Nigerian company Atlas Petroleum, who shares a working 70:30 equity with the American independent oil company Summit International. But Summit's equity in Ejulebe is 22.5%, as it is not providing the funds for development. Ejulebe, located in 13 meters of water northwest of Chevron's Mefa Field, was discovered in December 1994. The discovery well Ejulebe-1 flowed at 3,800 b/d oil on a 28/64-inch choke.
And the Canadians rush in
The arrival of CanOxy in Nigeria to participate in the production of the 40-million bbl Ejulebe Field underscores the keen interest that Canadian companies have been showing in the Nigerian oil patch lately. In three years, Canadian E&P as well as oil service contractors have been all over Lagos looking for new leases, asking to farm-into new or relinquished leases with indigenous holders.
They are essentially scouting in areas which are considered either too marginal for the big multinational American companies or those leases that the state oil field monitoring agency, the DPR, has forced pioneering companies to give up after years of neglect.
Chauvco of Calgary has looked at data in OPL 229, and queued in the bid for state-owned NPDC's Okpoho Field in OPL 91, adjoining Mobil's least explored southeastern lease OPL 94. They have also talked to Cavendish about possible farm-in into OPL 453.
While Chauvco has not been successful, Abacan has drilled five wells in the Ngo Field (OPL 469) and the straddle field Ima (OPL 237) on behalf of the leaseholder Amni Production, with which it has a 40:60 equity. Abacan claims that the partners tested 20,000 b/d oil in Ima-2 last summer.
In the oil service sector, the seismic processing company Pulsonic has been garnering high ratings in the industry, and it has only shown up in the last three years. It is collecting contracts in areas which hitherto have been the exclusive purview of companies like CGG and Western Geophysical.
Gabon to host first Offshore
West Africa conference & exhibition
November 5-7 of this year, Libreville, Gabon will be the site of West Africa's first truly regional offshore oil and gas conference and exhibition. Most major oil companies and the leading ministries of petroleum and African state oil companies will be there to celebrate the present boom and present their views and their products and services. More information can be had by contacting Offshore West Africa '96, c/o PennWell Conferences & Exhibitions, Houston (Fax: 713-963-6284), London (Fax: 44-181-744-9932) or Paris (Fax: 33-1-39 14 70 14).
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