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E & P News

2017

May 2017: The Azurite FDPSO, the world’s first and only floating drilling unit is set to be deployed to to the Dussafu field. The FDPSO has a storage capacity of 1.3 mm bbls of oil and  capability to process 40,000 bbls per day and can be used for drilling and completing wells. The operator, BW Offshore, expects first oil in the second half of 2018.

2016

Apr 2016: Gabon wants to rejoin OPEC. If it returned, it would be the smallest producer. Gabon joined OPEC in 1975 and left in 1995 over the exporter group's refusal to grant its request for reduced annual contributions in line with the country's small production.

Mar 2016: The bid submission deadline for the 11th Gabon Deep Water Licensing round has been extended to April 2016. The 11th Round focuses on 5 blocks in the South Gabon Salt Basin.

2015

Dec 2015: VAALCO announced that North Tchibala 2-H, the second development well in the offshore North Tchibala field, has been brought online at a rate of 500 bbls of oil per day. North Tchibala 1-H was brought online in September.

Oct 2015: The Petroleum and Hydrocarbons Minister launched a new 2016 offshore bid round offering 5 deepwater blocks; E12, E14, F12, F14, G14.  E14 is entirely in water depths over 3000m. It is expected that bidding will be finalised by mid-2016.

Sep 2015: Oil shipments have been disrupted by leaks on the pipeline from Maurel and Prom’s Ezanga PSA (operator, 80%) to the Rabi Nord pipeline. Production is now at 22,000 bbls per day and is expected to increase to 29,000 bbls per day after repairs.  

Apr 2015: VAALCO announced first oil from Etame 12-H drilled from the Etame platform to target an untapped lobe of the Gamba reservoir. It was brought online at 2,000 bbls per day. The jack up rig will now drill development wells from the SE Etame/N. Tchibala (SEENT) platform.

Jan 2015: VAALCO announced first production from Etame 10-H, the second development well drilled from the offshore Etame platform in the Etame Marin block. The horizontal well intersecting over 180m of reservoir within an oil-bearing portion of the Gamba Sand. The well is being produced at a rate of 3,000 bbls of oil per day.

2014

Oct 2014: Shell (operator, 75%) and CNOOC (25%) have encountered a column with 200m of net gas pay in a pre-salt reservoir in the Leopard-1 exploration well in the South Gabon salt basin. The well is located 145 kms off the coast, west of Gamba in license BCD10 and was drilled in 2,110m of water. An appraisal program is planned.

Oct 2014: Vaalco Energy announced the start of a 6-well development drilling campaign with a jackup rig on its Etame Marin block following installation of the Etame and SE Etame/North Tchibala platforms. First oil production from the first well (Etame 8-H) is due in Dec 2014.

Oct 2014: The Development and Production Plan (FDP) for the Ruche fields has been approved. These are Ruche A (Ruche), Ruche B (Tortue), Ruche C (Moubenga) and Ruche D (Walt Whitman). A central FPSO will be tied into subsea wells with production starting by 2017. Partners are Harvest Dussafu (operator, 66.66%) and Panoro (33.33%).

Aug 2014: Petronas has signed a PSC for Block F14 in the south Gabon in water depths ranging from 2 to 3,000m. It may hold pre-salt prospects. Petronas will operate with 80% in partnership with the Government (20%).

Aug 2014: Marathon (100%) has signed a PSC for offshore Block G13 (Tchicuate). The block has water depths  from  1000m to 2500m and lies near shallow water, pre-salt oil discoveries. Marathon also holds 21.25% in the Total-operated Diaba License G4-223 where the Diaman-1B discovery was made in 2013.

Jul 2014: Eni (100%) has made a gas/condensate discovery in the Nyonie Deep exploration well in Block D4, 13 kms from the coast in 28m of water. The well encountered a 320m hydrocarbon section in the pre-salt Aptian clastic sequence. Eni has exploration activities in 4 licenses  in Gabon; 2 offshore (D3 and D4) and 2 onshore (E2 and F3).

Jul 2014: Harvest (operator, 66.667%) and Panoro (33.333%) have  signed a Declaration of Commerciality covering 4 oilfields in the Ruche area, comprising the pre-salt Ruche, Tortue, Moubenga and Walt Whitman discoveries, in the Dussafu Marin offshore license which has been upgraded to an Exclusive Exploitation Authorization (EEA).

2013

Dec 2013: Gabon will apply a new oil law in 2015. The country earlier said that parliament would pass the law by the end of 2013. Gabon seeks tougher terms for foreign oil companies. The newly-created Gabon Oil Company will be entitled to a stake of up to 15%. It hopes for a revival in production following Total’s deep water pre-salt discovery in August.

Oct 2013: Gabon has awarded 13 blocks to 11 companies as part of a deepwater licensing round. The government is aiming for 500,000 bbls a day of production once these blocks are operational. Ophir Energy won 4 blocks with Exxon Mobil, Eni, Repsol and Marathon also successful.

Aug 2013: Marathon Oil (21.25%) has reported that operator, Total (42.5%) has made a deep water pre-salt discovery. The Diaman-1B well found net pay with gas and condensate. The well was drilled in 1729m of water. In January Harvest Natural Resources made a shallow water pre-salt discovery in the Tortue field.

Jul 2013: Gabon will hold a licensing round for offshore oil blocks later in 2013 and will adopt a new hydrocarbon code which would provide a basis for the new bid round. The newly-created Gabon Oil Company is entitled to a stake ot mf up to 15% in oil blocks owned by other companies. The country wants to rejoin the candidate list for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global standard for government revenues from natural resources.

Apr 2013: Phase 3 of Total’s Anguille redevelopment project continues with 4 wells drilled by the Setty rig from the new AGMN platform and installation of 3 subsea flowlines tied back to the central complex.

Jan 2013: Harvest  announced it has encountered oil in offshore well Dussafu Tortue Marin-1 (DTM-1) drilled in the Dussafu Marin PSC. The well was drilled to test the potential of the pre-salt Gamba and Dentale Formations with the Saipem Scarabeo 3 semi-submersible rig in 116 metres of water. Additional technical evaluation will be required to appraise this discovery.

2012

Dec 2012: Gabon plans to launch a deep water licensing round in June 2013.

Nov 2012: VAALCO Energy announced that the N'Gongui exploration well onshore Gabon in the Mutamba Iroru concession near the coast has encountered hydrocarbons in the Gamba sandstone. The discovery is located 10 kms south of the producing Atora field operated by Total. Future development plans will investigate connecting into the export pipeline of Atora. VAALCO, as operator, and Total each have a 50% interest in the concession.

Oct 2012: Maurel & Prom report that production on the onshore Omoueyi permit (Onal, Omko, Omgw, Ombg and Omoc fields) is 18,500 bbls per day. In total, 8 production wells and 4 injection wells are being brought into service, plus another two injection wells in December. Water injection capacity will have doubled by the end of 2012 from 25,000 to 50,000 bbls per day to produce a gradual increase in oil output over 2013.

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