West Africa

The Ocean Liberator, drilling in the FA and EM Fields in South Africa's Mossel Bay Bredasdorp Basin. Angola's deepwater blocks to be awarded and up for bid. Global Industries' combination barge Cheyenne lifting a 400-ton jacket from a material barge for installation at the Cabinda Kungulo Field.

South Africa entering the offshore arena

South Africa's state gas producer, Mossgas, is set to boost output from its FA and EM Fields in Mossel Bay's Bredasdorp Basin, using the Ocean Liberator. Development drilling has already begun. State oil company Soekor concurrently is trying to revive the EBT Field 100 km southwest of the FA Field. The country's first well is set to go on production this year on the Oribi Field off the south coast. It will be produced to the Orca semisubmersible FPSO in Mossel Bay, with production estimated at 20,000 b/d oil. Elsewhere, Soekor has granted Phillips exclusive rights to evaluate oil and gas potential in its Blocks 17 and 18 along the east coast of South Africa, some 15 million acres in the Indian Ocean.

United Meridian's Kudu another coup for Cote d'Ivoire

UMC's Kudu Field in Cote d'Ivoire's Block CI-01 shows all signs of being a very viable prospect. Its Kudu-1 well came in at 27.7 MMcf/d gas and 740 b/d condensate, and indicates that the field extends another 1.5 miles or more northeast of the original 39 MMcf/d, 1,200 b/d oil well drilled ten years ago. UMC predicts an open-flow potential of 255 MMcf/d. Another three wells will likely be drilled on the block this year.

This latest gas find in the vicinity of CI-01 gives the go-ahead to UMC and partners to develop the area to provide gas feedstock for onshore power generation in both the Cote d'Ivoire and neighboring Ghana.

Angolan deepwater awards due this month

By the time this report reaches print, Sonangol will most likely have announced which operators will be awarded its prime Blocks 19, 21, and 22, and will have offered another three blocks up for bid, 23, 24, and 25.

Angola's oil production has risen dramatically since the end of its civil war. Last year's production was 760,000 b/d, up 200,000 b/d from 1995. But the government is determined to push production ever higher, and Elf's discovery of the giant Girassol prospect in deepwater Block 17 has brought about a change of heart about these deepwater blocks - until now, only offered near the Cabinda enclave - and has led to these southwest concessions being offered.

All the blocks at issue have had excellent prospectivity, but Block 22 was especially hard fought. Contenders for these blocks were BHP, Petrobras, and Texaco.

Amoco acquiring 3D data over most of Angola's Block 18

Amoco has commenced acquisition of a proposed 7,300 sq km of 3D seismic data in the deep offshore tract Block 18 in Angola. It is the largest in the world and it would carpet most of the lease. The survey is being carried out by the Norwegian company PGS. Meanwhile, to the northwest Exxon proposes to commence acquisition of 885 sq km of 3D data before the end of March.

Cabinda rebels warn foreign companies to Leave

In a detailed statement delivered at a news conference in Brazzaville, Congo, the petroleum industry operators in Cabinda - Agip, Chevron, Elf, and Sonangol - were warned to leave the enclave immediately else they would be attacked. A former Portuguese colony, Cabinda became a province of Angola in 1975, and has since seen sporadic outbreaks by local inhabitants seeking independence. Rebel leader Henriques Tiago N'Zita stated that all oil companies protected by the Angolan military would be targeted.

Chevron's Kungulo Pinda development ongoing

Chevron's Cabinda Pinda fast-track project is ahead of schedule. Global Industries recently completed a major contract to fabricate, transport and install the Kungulo A platform and 17.3 miles of associated submarine pipelines for the project, which lies in Area A of the Cabinda Enclave offshore Angola.

Congo activity continues at a fast pace

CMS Nomeco will increase production in the Yombo Field, in Block Marine I, to 23,000 b/d. In Marine X, Elf has completed acquisition of 750 sq km of 3D seismic data. Exxon has finally signed for 100% operatorship of the Mer Profund Nord, located in water depths between 600ft to 6,000 ft, but Occidental is looking for partners to farm in to half of Marine XI and XII.

Nigeria's spending cut vexes JV partners

The Nigerian government's new budget calls for a 39% reduction in capital spending projects, which National Petroleum Corp.'s joint venture partners are protesting, since they consider the 1996 level, to which spending has been held, not capable of financing the government's target increase of oil production to 2.5 million b/d and reserves to 25 billion bbl by 2000.

Nigeria's Obe Field to be developed

Nigeria's Obe Field on OML 110, held by Allied Petroleum and Tuskar Resources, is about to see development drilling. A 3D seismic survey over the field was completed at yearend 1996, preparing the way for this year's drilling program. Tenders are out for contractors at this time.

Equatorial Guinea's Zafiro development

Two semis are hard at work on the Zafiro Field carrying out developmental drilling - Oceanic's Atwood Eagle and Santa Fe's Aleutian Key. Production is now ranging around 35,000 b/d to the FPSO Zafiro Producer, but phase two of the development project is kicking off this month with installation of the subsea equipment. Mobil intends to do several exploratory wells later this year, and partner United Meridian is exploring adjacent Block D. where seismic says excellent possibilities lie.

Copyright 1997 Oil & Gas Journal. All Rights Reserved.

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