West Africa

Aug. 1, 1996
Nigeria's outer deepwater leases on offer. [91637 bytes]

Nigeria's Ejulebe and Aje Fields in development

Atlas Petroleum an independent Nigerian oil company, hopes to be able to produce up to 10,000 b/d oil from its Ejulebe Field, adjacent to Chevron's Mefa Field. It hopes to produce through Chevron facilities at Mefa, but Chevron sources say Atlas hasn't come up with a proposal yet. Atlas missed a scheduled June 1 date to spud Ejulebe-3, its third well in the 30 million bbl oil accumulation located three km NW of Chevron's Mefa Field in 80 ft water depths. The mat floor jackup rig D.K. Macintosh, which was under contract to do the job, along with some other well west of Ejulebe-3, broke a leg on tow from Singapore and could not make it to Nigerian waters. The rig was towed to South Africa for repairs. Ejulebe-3 will be spudded this month, as a consequence.

The indigenous license holder Yinka Folawiyo and its partner Abacan Resources, may have ended drilling the Aje-1 in Nigeria's Block 309, near the border with Benin Republic. The well is situated approximately 30 km offshore at a water depth of 100 meters. It was spudded in late March and has been drilled under a tight information status.

The well's objectives are lower Cretaceous reservoirs that have the same origins as those being produced in the nearby Seme oil field. Aje-1 was slated to drill directionally to a TD of 12,500 ft true vertical depth. The host Block 309 covers 413,00 acres and extends from the coast into water up to 300 meters deep. This is Abacan's first well in the Benin Basin. The company is also developing the Ngo Field in the eastern Niger Delta offshore area in partnership with indigenous license holder Amni Production.

West African deepwater rig demand at highest

Deepwater rig utilization was 100% in May in West Africa; by end of June there would be 13, up by one from the 12 semisubmersibles in the area in May, and all were engaged. Jackup demand in May was 93%.

Major deepwater 3D survey completed on Angola Block 17

Elf has completed a two-month seismic coverage of Block 17, acquiring some 1,300 sq km of 3D seismic data and 300 line km of 2D data. All of the acquisitions were in the area in which the deepwater discovery well Girasol-1 was completed earlier in the year.

Addax to reactivate fields in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire

The Geneva-based oil trading company Addax is active in the re-development of two spent fields on two key fronts offshore Gulf of Guinea. In Benin Republic, it wants to re-develop the Seme Field, the country's only producing oil field, whose reservoir performance has severely declined in recent times. Seme produced about 20 million bbl oil in the last 13 years, and now produces 75% water, with a net 1,800 b/d oil. Addax is also looking to explore Block 1, which is farther into the deepwater zone (100-3,000 meter water depths) with Oligo-Miocene sediments observed on 2D profiles which have been vaguely interpreted by Beninois geologists.

In Côte d'Ivoire, Addax is farming out a 10-40% stake in offshore Abidjan Basin Block CI-26. Addax was awarded 90% stake in CI-26, which includes the deepwater (shut-in) Espoir Field. The farm-in excludes Espoir, however, which is being primed for re-development. The first deepwater discovery offshore Gulf of Guinea, it was discovered in 1980 by Phillips, with Espoir A-01X drilled in 363 meters of water. After two more successful wells and one dry hole, the field was put onstream in 1982 but abandoned in 1988 without secondary recovery mechanism, after delivering 31 million bbl of 31 API oil and 82 bcf of gas. Addax intends to use cutting edge technology with horizontal wells to squeeze 100 million bbl more oil in a span of 15 years. The first horizontal well is scheduled for spud in the first quarter 1997.

Elf acquires more Congo deepwater acreage

Just as the Elf-operated N'Kossa Field in Haute Mer Block prepared for production takeoff last June, the news came that the company had been awarded the Marine Profound South, carved out of the Marine Profound lease and located entirely in waters in excess of 1,500 meters depth. The new lease is 32 km west of N'Kossa and perches NW of Chevron's Block 14.

Nigeria has released six "Outer Deepwater" blocks

Encouraged by Shell's and Exxon's deepwater campaigns in water depths beyond 1000 meters, the Department of Petroleum Resources is urging transnational oil companies to take up the six newly carved out leases, located south and west of the present 20 blocks. The leases, numbered OPLs 242,243,244, 245, 246, and 247 generally lie within 1,200-2,500 meters of water depth, in an area already christened Outer Deepwater. Their sizes are constrained by the water depth and the maximum area that the department specifies for a lease, which is 2,500 sq km.

Spain's Nomaco to drill five Equatorial Guinea wells

Following the success of a Mobil/United Meridian joint venture in the Zafiro/Topacio/Opalo complex located eight km eastwards of the Alba offshore block A12/13 and B12/13, the Spanish company CMS Nomaco has decided to expand its 1996-97 work program from two to five wells on the lease. The program commences in September.

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