FAR Ltd to withdraw from Guinea-Bissau exploration blocks

Australian independent Far has commenced steps to withdraw from its interests in the Esperanca Blocks 4A & 5A and Sinapa Block 2 offshore Guinea Bissau, the company said today.

The licenses are operated by PetroNor E&P with a 78.57% interest while FAR holds the remaining 21.43%.

In October 2020, the current exploration phases for the blocks were extended for 3 years and are now valid until October 2023, with an obligation to drill an exploration well. Since 2021, PetroNor and FAR had been undertaking a full review of a potential well location for the 2023 program. The Atum Propsect is believed to be the key drill target and is mapped to contain Best Estimate Prospective Resource of 471m barrels (unrisked P50).

FAR’s exit from Guinea-Bissau follows its exit from the Sangomar Offshore Oil Project offshore Senegal last year after being in default of payment.

However, FAR continues to be present offshore The Gambia, where it is operator with a 50% interest of Blocks A2 & A5. While the results of its Bambo-1 well on Block A2 were unsuccessful, FAR did not throw the towel and has highgraded three of the four mapped prospects for potential drilling: Panthera in Block A2, and Jatto and Malo in Block A5. The company’s best estimate (P50) for these three prospects is of 1.5 billion barrels of prospective resource volumes.

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Eraskon Nigeria breaks ground on new industrial manufacturing complex

During a grand ceremony held in Yenagoa earlier today, Eraskon Nigeria has officially broken ground on its 64,000 litres per day lubricants blending plant at Gbarain in Bayelsa State. The groundbreaking was preceded by a ceremony marking the launch of the company’s new ERASKO GOLD lubricants products line. Both functions were attended by key Nigerian officials, including former President Dr. Goodluck E. Jonathan and Engr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB). Eraskon Nigeria is the company executing the project as a joint-venture between ERASKORP Nigeria and the NCDMB. The facility is expected to be commissioned in December 2022 and will help in meeting increasing domestic demand for high quality lubricants, engine oil, transmission fuels, engine coolers and specialty products such as waxes. “Nigeria consumes 800 million litres of engine oil and lubricants every year and its consumption continues to grow by 5% per annum,” said Engr. Simbi Wabote during the ceremony in Yenagoa. “Nigeria’s in-country blending capacity stands at only 150 million litres so we have a huge gap that remains met by imports,” he added. “Eraskon Nigeria’s project will result in the building of a world-class facility producing a range of high-quality lubricants for the Nigerian market,” declared Maxwell Oko, Vice Chairman and CEO at ERASKORP. “This plant is the first step in realizing our vision to build an industrial conglomerate in the Niger Delta,” he added. The lubricants blending plant is being built on 8ha of land, out of a total 50ha acquired around Shell’s Gbarain gas hub. The company envisions to further integrate its operations in the future by producing drilling and production chemicals, turbine oil and house products such as detergents and aerosols. Gbrain is increasingly emerging as a local content hub housing some of Nigeria’s newest energy infrastructure. The 12,000 barrels per day (bpd) Azikel Refinery is currently nearing completion at the same location, while Rungas expects to commission its LPG composite cylinder manufacturing unit there as well this year.

Meet Azule Energy, Angola’s newest and biggest upstream player

Following their announcement last year that they were in negotiations to combine their Angolan businesses, bp and Eni have officially signed an agreement to form a new 50/50 independent company in the country, Azule Energy. Azule Energy, a bp and Eni Company, combines both majors’ businesses in Angola with over 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) of net production and 2 billion barrels equivalent of net resources. Azule Energy is a new and independent international energy company that will hold both companies’ stakes in 16 licenses in Angola along with their participation in Angola LNG and Eni’s stake in the Solenova solar company. Currently Eni is operator of Blocks 15/06, Cabinda North, Cabinda Centro, Block 1/14, Block 28 and soon the Natural Gas Consortium. In addition, the Italian major has a stake in the non-operated Blocks 0 (Cabinda), 3/05, 3/05A, 14, 14 K/A-IMI, 15 and in Angola LNG. On its side, bp is operator of Blocks 18 and 31 offshore Angola, and has non-operated stakes in blocks 15, 17, 20 and 29. bp also has non-operated interests in the Natural Gas Consortium and in Angola LNG. “Azule Energy will continue to develop the full potential of the country’s upstream sector, while also positioning itself to capture new opportunities from the energy transition with the growing role of gas and renewables in its portfolio,” Eni said in a statement yesterday. Two FPSO hubs in the making Two of the key assets operated by the new company are Block 15/06 (Eni) and Block 31 (bp). On Block 15/06, Azule Energy will notably be executing the full field development of Agogo. Tenders were issued by Eni in July 2021 for a project targeting a peak production of 120,000 bopd via the installation of a third FPSO unit on the block. On Block 31, it will be in charge of the development of the Palas, Astraea and Juno (PAJ) fields. In July 2019, an Executive Decree approved their status as marginal to make their development economically viable, in line with Presidential Legislative No. 6/18 of 18 May 2018. As a result, the PAJ project is expected to develop about 135 million barrels using a new leased FPSO. A critical gas player Azule Energy will also become a critical player in the development of Angola’s natural gas industry. At the end of 2019, bp and Eni had joined Chevron, TotalEnergies and Sonangol in forming the New Gas Consortium, a new joint venture that will explore and produce gas in Angola and represents the country’s first upstream natural gas partnership. Eni holds 25.6% in the joint-venture while bp Angola holds another 11.8%. The New Gas Consortium will supply gas to Angola LNG by developing several new assets, starting with the Eni-operated Quiluma and Maboqueiro fields in Block 2.