After Congo, Woodside Energy seeks to enter Namibian exploration license

Woodside Energy has entered into an exclusive Option Deed to enter into PEL 87 offshore Namibia, a deep-water block located north of recent discoveries made by TotalEnergies and Shell in the Orange Basin offshore Namibia.

Map: Pancontinental Energy

The License was awarded to Australian junior Pancontinental Energy in 2018. Since then, the company mapped a very large Saturn Turbidite Complex that may host several large internal hydrocarbon traps, some of which it has already mapped on 2D seismic.

The deal reached with Woodside Energy provides for Woodside Energy to fund a $35m 3D seismic campaign over 5,000 km2 in addition to a cash payment of $1.5m to Pancontinental. In return, Woodside Energy has an exclusive option to become operator of PEL 87 with a 56% interest. Shall the company decide to exercise its farm-in option, it will drill the first exploration well and carry Pancontinental at 20% interest.

Exploration activity is growing offshore Namibia where both Shell and TotalEnergies have rigs mobilized there for exploratory and appraisal drilling this year. Last October, Chevron entered PEL 90 just adjacent to PEL 87 and north of TotalEnergies’ Venus-1 discovery.

The deal gives Woodside Energy the opportunity to grow its exploration portfolio in Africa after it entered Congo-Brazzaville in 2018. The operator is also in the process of commissioning the Sangomar Offshore Oil Project in Senegal with a projected peak production of 100,000 bopd.

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DP World and Somaliland Government open new Berbera Economic Zone

Dubai’s DP World and the Government of Somaliland have inaugurated this week the first phase of the new Berbera Economic Zone (BEZ) located next to Port of Berbera where a container terminal opened in June 2021. The BEZ is located along the Berbera Corridor that connects Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa and has access to a rapidly growing region with a population of over 140 million people. Its initial phase notably offers 10,000 square metres of pre-built warehouses, build-to-suit facilities, open yard storage, and a common user warehouse. “DP World has already signed an agreement with IFFCO, a major UAE-based food company, to develop a 300,000 square feet edible oil packing plant in the BEZ and a dozen more companies operating across various sectors have already registered,” DP World said in a statement. The event was also attended by British International Investment (BII), which partnered with DP World in 2021 to invest $1bn into the African ports of Dakar (Senegal), Sokhna (Egypt) and Berbera (Somaliland). The United Arab Emirates has become a significant investor into Somaliland’s infrastructure. At the end of 2021, Dubai-based Transport Infrastructure Services Limited (TISL) notably completed the renovation of the Berbera International Airport.

Angola: $7.8bn of contracts awarded for Agogo West Hub Project

Azule Energy has awarded several contracts worth some $7.8bn to international services companies for the development of its Agogo West Hub Integrated Project offshore Angola. The company is owned by bp and Eni. The project comprises 36 new wells producing via a 120,000 bopd FPSO vessel with a gas injection capacity of 230 MMscf/d and water injection capacity of 120,000 bpd. It will develop the Agogo and Ndungu fields, located on the West Hub of Block 15/06 where Eni already operates two FPSO units: N’Goma on the West Hub and Olombendo on the East Hub. The N’Goma FPSO will also be utilized to produce from both fields, enabling a production peak of 175,000 bpd by 2026. Agogo is significant for Angola as it marks the first major greenfield project awarded in the country since TotalEnergies’ Kaombo FPSO was commissioned on Block 32 in 2018. All market activity since then has focused on brownfield projects, including subsea tie-back schemes maximizing the use of existing FPSO units. As per the contracts signed this week, Yinson will be supplying the Agogo FPSO along with field operations & maintenance services, under a 15-year contract worth some $5.3bn. The contract includes an extension option of five years and represents Yinson’s first offshore production project in Angola. “FPSO Agogo is expected to commence operations in Q4 2025,” Yinson said in a statement. In December last year, Yinson awarded a $127m contract to WS Engineering & Fabrication, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Wah Seong Corporation, for the FPSO’s topside modules. Baker Hughes was awarded a contract to provide subsea equipment and services, including 23 standard subsea trees, 11 Aptara manifolds, StemStar5 fibre optic controls and the related system scope of supply. “A significant portion of the equipment will be manufactured, assembled and tested in Angola,” the company said in a statement. Subsea7 was awarded a contract worth between $300-500m covering the transport and installation of approximately 98 km of flexible pipes, 30 km of umbilicals, and associated subsea structures. Fabrication will take place locally at the Sonamet yard in Lobito.   Aker Solutions was awarded a contract worth between $50-145m (NOK 500m-1bn) for the engineering, manufacturing and delivery of 36km of dynamic and static subsea production control umbilicals, including spares, ancillary equipment and services. Manufacturing will be done in Norway. Aker Solutions already delivered a similar order in the early 2010s for the N’Goma West Hub Development, data from the Hawilti+ Research Terminal shows. Finally, Saipem was awarded a contract for the supply, transport and installation of rigid flowlines and subsea structure; while TechnipFMC was selected for the engineering, procurement, and supply of jumpers, flowlines, risers, and all associated ancillary equipment under a contract worth $250-500m. Both companies are familiar with Block 15/06 and have already executed several contracts on the development of the West and East hubs with the FPSOs N’Goma and Olombendo, according to the contractors information on Block 15/06 provided by Hawilti+.