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Egypt Hands Out Acreages For Gas, Oil Exploration


gyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, EGAS, the Egyptian state hydrocarbon company in charge of gas assets, has concluded its 10 month long 2012 International bid round, with the award of acreages to Italian giant ENI, Canada listed Sea Dragon Energy, and UAE based Dana Gas AND Italian minor, Edison International ENI won the 3,765km² deepwater Shorouk Offshore exploration Block (Block 9) in the Eastern Mediterranean, through its wholly-owned subsidiary IEOC. Sea Dragon Energy was awarded the 1,275 km² South Disouq concession. Dana Gas walked home with the 2,980km² North El Arish deepwater Block (Block 6), located offshore the Nile Delta. All the winners have 100% equity of the blocks. ENI's Shorouk Block is spread on an area of 3,765km² and is situated in water depths ranging from 1,400m to 1,800m. Dana Gas' North El Arish is in water depths of about 1,000m. It will be Sea Dragon's first operated asset in the country(it's currently involved in other assets as a non operator). The company says the “South Disouq concession is on trend with the prolific Abu Madi accumulations to the north which contain both the giant Abu Madi gas field, with over 3TCF of original gas in place, and the offshore Mediterranean Baltim fields”. It is “also in the same area of the Nile Delta where there had previous success discovering the

large El Wastani field with over 500BCF of original gas in place”. Edison International was the successful bidder for two blocks, North Thekah and South Idku. North Thekah (Block 7) is located offshore the Nile Delta and potentially contains an extension of the Levantine Basin exploration play which has already yielded some giant discoveries in the region. Edison is to operate North Thekah with 50%. Its partner is Irish company Petroceltic, which has a 50 percent non-operated interest. The lease is for an initial three year term extendable up to a maximum duration of eight years. The firm work programme commitment in the initial term comprises the acquisition of 1,500 square kilometres of 3D seismic data.

South Idku (Block 1) is located onshore the Nile Delta, and while Edison is also involved in this, it will be the non-operating minority partner to Petroceltic, which has a 75 percent operated interest. The licence also has an initial three year term, which, in this case, can be extended up to a maximum of six years, and a firm work commitment comprising the acquisition of 2D/3D seismic, and two exploration wells. It is expected that the new licences will be formally awarded in late 2013 following ratification and finalisation of the Production Sharing Contracts. 15 Exploration blocks in the Mediterranean Sea and Nile Delta Basins were put on auction on June 4th 2012. Bid round closing date was February 13, 2013, at 12.Noon.

Angola Prepares Onshore Licensing Round


he guidelines for a planned bidding round have been approved by the government of Angola. The blocks to be put on offer are located onshore in the Kwanza and Lower Congo basins. The government said in a statement that it has asked parliament to

approve the plan and Sonangol is in charge of awarding licenses. In February Sonangol board member Sebastiao Martins said that the company was awaiting government approval for plans to launch the 10block licensing round.

ExxonMobil Gets A Place In The West African Margin


hree years after a spectacular failure to buy out Kosmos Energy from deepwater Ghana, ExxonMobil has secured an operating space in the West African Transform Margin. ExxonMobil acquired, in April 2013, an 80% operating stake in the Liberian offshore Block LB-13. The American major acquired the stake from Canadian Overseas Petroleum (Bermuda) Ltd. (COPL). The block spreads over 625,000 acres offshore Liberia in water depths ranging



75 to 3,000 metres. COPL now has a 20% interest in LB-13. Kosmos' discovery of the >500MMBO Jubilee Field in 2007 unlocked the vast trove of cretaceous deposits in deepwater sequence from offshore Ghana, westwards to Sierra Leone. The field was put on production in December 2010. The Ghanaian successful discovery sparked an investor's rush for hydrocarbon treasure offshore Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone and

Liberia. One of the most popular stories about the rush was ExxonMobil's $4Billion offer to buy Kosmos Energy. The two sides dropped the idea, when the Ghanaian Government and the media started citing, as inappropriate, Kosmos' release of data to ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil Exploration received final approval of the transaction from the Liberia national legislature and Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The transaction closed on April 5, 2013.



Calabar And Ihovbor Power Plants (IPPs) In Completion Phase


igeria's Niger Delta Power Holding C o m p a ny ( N D P H C ) s a i d i t wa s completing, as we went to press, two more out of the 10 Power Plants under its National Integrated Power Project, NIPP. The company says that the Ihovbor IPP, near Benin, in the country's Midwest and the Calabar IPP, in Ikot Nyong, in the south east, will commence power generating operations, by mid

2013. At least some of their units would be fired. What may delay full inauguration of all the turbines in these power plants is the availability of the gas to fire the plants. Construction of the 563-megawatt station project with five gas turbines of about 112.5 megawatts each, in Ikot Nyong, Calabar started in

2006. Technical and bureaucratic challenges have bogged the delivery of these plants. The NDPHC says that gas would be sourced from United Cement Company, UNICEM, in Calabar in order to inaugurate the facility before the end of the second quarter of 2013 NPHDC has negotiated offtake of one hundred and fifty million standard cubic feet per day (150MMscf/d) of gas with Frontier Oil, which has built a gas processing plant in Eket, but a gas pipeline needs to be completed to transport the gas to the plant. NDPHC officials were also certain of the commissioning of Ihovbor IPP, by the end of April 2013. As of the time we were going to press on April 30, 2013, it hadn't happened. There's less certainty, however, of the readiness of the 21km pipeline to ferry gas from the nearby Oredo Field Gas Processing Plant. The construction didn't start on time because certain influential militants in the region insisted on their share of the contracts. But NDPHC officials don't address such issues with the press. “The power plant is about 98 per cent completed”, says James Olotu, the company's CEO. “Hopefully by April, the first unit of the power plant will come on stream to give us about 125 mega watts. The power plant has four units, it is our hope that in the next one month, one unit will come into the system from April. So by June-July, all the units should have been ready.”

East African Power Pool Gets An Incentive


he African Development Bank has signed a loan agreement with the government of Kenya to finance a electricity highway between the two countries that will transfer power from hydro facilities. The $115 million loan will finance the construction of about 1,068 km of highvoltage direct current (HVDC) 500 kV transmission line and AC/DC converter stations. The line will have a power transfer

capacity of up to 2,000 MW and is due to be commissioned in November 2017. The loan agreement was signed by Gabriel Negatu, AFDB's East Africa Regional Director, and Kenya's Finance Minister Robinson Githae. Negatu says the “Energy Super Highway … will facilitate energy trading within the East Africa region. It is also the first step to enabling affordable energy from the region to be traded through the East Africa Power Pool, as far north

as Egypt and as far south as SADC [Southern African Development Community] countries.” AfDB says electricity demand in East Africa has risen, leading to severe power shortages. Integration of the system of the East Africa Power Pool will enable development of Ethiopia's large hydro resources, to be exported and address power shortages.

Sudan Completes Expansion of 1,800 MW Roseiris


$441.5 million expansion of Sudan's Roseiris project is complete, the country's Dams Implementation Unit (DIU) announced. The four-year project – which added 10 meters to the dam's height and extended its length from 13 km to 25 km – increases Roseiris' capacity 50% to 1,800 MW and expands the reservoir's storage capacity from 3 billion m3 to


nearly 7.5 billion m . “The Sudanese have waited for this project for 42 years, and now the time has come to gain the fruits of our patience and dedicated work,” DIU General Director Mohamed Hassan Al Hadari said at a recent inauguration ceremony. According to Sudanese officials, the dam's reservoir is now capable of providing yearround irrigation for more than 5 million acres

of farmland and will also help improve production at the 1,250 MW Merowe project, which is located downstream along the Blue Nile River. The project was executed by the China International Water & Electric Corporation with backing from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

ECB Gives Liberia A Chance To Rehabilitate


he Liberian government has secured a$65 million concessional loan from the European Central Bank to help finance rehabilitation of the 64 MW Mount Coffee



hydroelectric project. Mount Coffee was destroyed during a period of civil war in the early 1990, and the cost of repairs and upgrades is about $230 million.

Work on the project was expected to begin in January 2013 after Liberia declared its electricity deficit to be a national emergency.


Africa Oil+Gas Report (Vol 14, No 3, March/April 2013)  

The Africa Oil+Gas Report is a monthly journal which interprets trends in the continent’s Petroleum Industry to a diverse audience