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New African finds, projects and prospects

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TotalEnergies (50%, operator) and APA Corporation (50%) have made a significant new oil and associated gas discovery at the Krabdagu-1 well, in the central area of block 58, offshore Suriname. This follows previous discoveries at Maka, Sapakara, Kwaskwasi and Keskesi, and the successfully tested Sapakara South-1 appraisal well.

According to Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President, Exploration at TotalEnergies, the company now plans to continue its exploration and appraisal strategy of block 58 in order to identify sufficient resources by year-end 2022 for a first oil development. Drilling and logging operations will continue, using the
Maersk Valiant drillship, with at least three further exploration and appraisal wells planned this year on the block.  

TotalEnergies has also reported a significant discovery of light oil with associated gas on the Venus prospect, located in block 2913B in the Orange Basin, offshore southern Namibia. 

The company is operator, holding a 40% working interest, alongside QatarEnergy (30%), Impact Oil and Gas (20%) and Namcor (10%).

Eni starts new production offshore Angola
Offshore Angola, Eni has commenced production from the Ndungu early production (EP) project in the Western area of deepwater block 15/06, via the Ngoma floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Ndungu is expected to produce some 20,000 b/d of oil. According to Eni, the EP project will sustain plateau of the 100,000 b/d zero-discharge and zero-process flaring FPSO, which was upgraded in 2021 to minimise emissions in line with Eni’s net zero decarbonisation strategy.

Ndungu EP is the third start-up by Eni in block 15/06 in the last seven months, after the Cuica EP project and Cabaca North development. Block 15/06 is operated by Eni Angola with a 36.84% share, partnered by Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção (36.84%) and SSI Fifteen (26.32%).

Sub-Saharan gas production set to soar
Gas output from sub-Saharan Africa is set to double to 2.7mn boe/d by 2030, driven by deepwater developments, according to the latest analysis from Rystad Energy.

While deepwater developments have played a crucial role in the region’s liquids output to date, averaging about 50% of annual production, gas output from such fields has been minimal, reports the market analyst. However, that is expected to change as gas production from deepwater developments is forecast to climb from 120,000 boe/d in 2021, 9% of total output including shelf and land production, to 1mn boe/d accounting for 38% of total output.

As global demand for gas continues to rise and importing countries suffer supply headaches, the production outlook for the region is promising, says Rystad Energy. Deepwater production is projected to grow further in the 2030s, with gas output more than doubling in five years to 2.1mn boe/d by 2035. Gas from shelf and land reserves will increase by 2035 and will contribute about 46% of the expected 4mn boe/d of total gas output from the region, based on estimated recoverable reserves, development timelines and plans.

Natural gas production in sub-Saharan Africa has been historically low, but that looks set to change due to significant undeveloped deepwater finds in countries including Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritania, says Rystad Energy. Deepwater reservoirs tagged to TotalEnergies’ Area 4 LNG project in Mozambique, where trains 1 and 2 are expected to start production in 2028, hold an estimated 2.3bn boe in gas reserves. South Africa’s Brulpadda field – also operated by the French major – holds 715mn boe, while the BP-operated Greater Tortue Ahmeyim floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) development straddling the maritime boundary of Mauritania and Senegal has an estimated 300mn boe.

On the flip side, sub-Saharan African liquids production is expected to drop below 4mn b/d for the first time in more than 20 years but will recover by 2028 and return to 2020 levels of around 4.4mn b/d by the end of the decade, forecasts the market analyst. Liquids output is projected to grow in the 2030s, too, with total production of approximately 5mn b/d in 2035.

However, deepwater projects in sub-Saharan Africa are risky and can be delayed or unsanctioned due to high development costs, challenges accessing financing, issues with fiscal regimes and other above-ground risks. With majors continuing to rein in upstream spending and ploughing a course on the energy transition to help lower emissions, many deepwater schemes could face challenges getting off the drawing board. Rystad Energy notes that European banks are tightening regulations for funding high-emission hydrocarbon projects, and African banks could struggle to provide the necessary financing. This leaves Asian banks – mainly Chinese – with comparatively less strict regulations on funding fossil fuel developments, it says.

Maersk Valiant will drill and log at least three further exploration and appraisal wells on block 58 offshore Suriname this year
Photo: Maersk Drilling

News Item details

Journal title: Petroleum Review

Countries: Angola - Africa - Namibia - Suriname -

Organisation: ENI|TotalEnergies

Subjects: Oil, Exploration and production, Gas, Forecasting,

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