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E & P News

2016

Dec 2016: ExxonMobil’s Mesurado-1 well, on Block LB-13 in 2,500m of water and drilled by the West Saturn drillship, is dry. The well targeted a sequence of Late Cretaceous sands.

Nov 2016: ExxonMobil (operator) and Canadian Overseas Petroleum (17%) has commenced drilling the Mesurado-1 exploration well using the Drillship Seadrill West Saturn in Block LB-13 in 2,500m of water. The well is targeting oil in Late Cretaceous sands.

Nov 2016: African Petroleum announced that the PSCs for blocks LB-08 and LB-09 have expired and will not be extended after the company was unable to attract a farm-in partner.  It drilled 3 exploration wells on LB-09, including the non-commercial oil discovery at Narina-1 in 2012.  

2015

Sep 2015: ExxonMobil will drill the Mesurado-1 deep water well under the 2nd Exploration Phase of Block LB-13 in early 2017 at an estimated cost of US$120mm. The Ebola crisis has had a significant impact on the LB-13 operational schedule.

Aug 2015: The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) will cut its work force by 2-thirds due to companies reassessing their exploration strategies. Oil companies have so far drilled 9 offshore exploration wells at a cost of US$1 bn but many of the blocks have now been vacated.

Jun 2015: ExxonMobil (operator, 80%) and Canadian Overseas Petroleum (20%) remain committed to completing their offshore work program in Block 13 in water depths up to 3,000m. Under the PSA there 3 years are available to drill an exploration well. The Ebola outbreak had hampered drilling plans but the government will extend the exploration period if necessary.

2014

Nov 2014: The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has announced the closing of the Liberia Basin bid round comprising 4 undrilled offshore blocks (LB-6, LB-7, LB-16 and LB-17). Completion of bid evaluation is expected on 24 November.

Oct 2014: The Ebola virus is delaying ExxonMobil’s offshore drilling plans due to lack of shore-based support. ExxonMobil last year bought 80% of Block LB-13 in water depths ranging from 75 to 3,000m and has 3 years to drill an exploration well. Liberia has the highest cumulative number of reported Ebola cases and deaths.

Aug 2014: The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) announced the opening of the Liberia Basin Bid Round 2014. Acreage on offer includes 4 undrilled offshore exploration Blocks (LB-6, LB-7, LB-16 and LB-17). Due date for the bids is end October 2014.

Feb 2014: African Petroleum has received approval from the Board of Directors of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) for a two year extension to the second exploration period for the LB-08 and LB-09 blocks until mid 2016. The LB-08 second exploration period two well commitment has been moved to the third exploration period.

2013

Jul 2013: Seadrill has signed a contract with Chevron for the newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship West Tellus. The contract commences in China and then relocates to Liberia. The West Tellus is a 6th generation drillship under construction in South Korea, with expected delivery in September 2013.

Apr 2013: ExxonMobil has acquired an 80% interest in Liberia Block 13 (LB-13) 30 kms off the central coast in water depths ranging from 75 to 3,000m.  Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) retains a 20% interest.

Feb 2013: African Petroleum has an oil discovery at Bee Eater in Block LB-09 northwest of the Narina oil discovery although reservoir permeabilities over the hydrocarbon bearing section are lower than anticipated.

Jan 2013: TGS has started acquisition of a 3D multi-client survey called Sunfish in the Harper basin off Liberia with data available prior to the Liberia 2013 Bid Round. The round likely will include 13 deep water tracts. The National Oil Co. of Liberia (NOCAL) reports that there are now 17 blocks offshore, 12 of them either under contract or in contract review.

Jan 2013: African Petroleum began drilling the Bee Eater-1 well in Block LB-09 using the semisub, Erik Raude. Bee Eater is located 10 kms northwest of the 2012 Narina well which discovered oil in Turonian reservoirs. Prospective resources for the Bee Eater/Narina fan system are estimated at 840 mm bbls of oil. A second exploration well will be drilled after completion of Bee Eater.

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