VAALCO Energy starts 4-well drilling campaign offshore Gabon

VAALCO Energy has spudded the Etame 8H-ST well offshore Gabon, the first of four wells that will be completed in 2022 at the company’s flagship project in Central Africa. Etame 8H-ST is a sidetrack of an existing well and is targeting existing Gamba hydrocarbons in the Etame field.

This marks the beginning of a new drilling campaign in Gabon, executed by an affiliate of Borr Drilling. Upon completion in 2022, VAALCO Energy expects a production uplift of 7,000 to 8,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). Etame produced an average of 15,650 bopd last year.

Source: VAALCO Energy, Inc.

The Etame Marin permit has been continuously producing for almost two decades in Gabon via the floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel Petróleo Nautipa. It represents on average 10% of the country’s daily production of hydrocarbons. Earlier this year, VAALCO Energy consolidated its operated interest in the field following the closing of the acquisition of Sasol Gabon S.A.’s 27.8% working interest.

Despite two decades of production that have seen over 121m barrels produced, the field is still estimated to have reserves and resources of about 113 million barrels. A recent extension until 2028 has notably paved the way for additional investment and drilling to maintain output.

The contract for FPSO Petróleo Nautipa will expire in September 2022, after which the vessel will be replaced by a floating, storage and offloading (FSO) unit provided by World Carrier Offshore Services Corp.

VAALCO Energy is also betting on additional exploration potential around Etame and provisionally secured a 37.5% non-operated interest in blocks G12-13 and H12-13 during Gabon’s 12th Licensing Bid Round that concluded in 2021. Both blocks’ areas surround the Etame complex and are now operated by BW Energy.

Details on the development of the Etame Marin Permit are available in the “Projects” section within your Hawilti+ research terminal.

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After TotalEnergies, Shell spuds its own high impact deep-water well in Namibia’s Orange Basin

The Valaris DS-10 drillship has spudded the Graff-1 well within Block 2013A (Petroleum Exploration License 39) offshore Namibia. Shell Namibia Upstream BV is operator with a 45% along with partners Qatar Petroleum (40%) and national oil company NAMCOR (10%). Namibia’s PEL 39 has been owned by Shell since 2014 when it acquired Signet Petroleum’s interests in both blocks 2913A and 2914B. It covers about 12,000 km2 on the Namibian/South African maritime border, within the Orange Basin, and remains one of the most prospective acreage in Southwestern Africa. Just two weeks ago, TotalEnergies spudded the Venus-1 well in its block 2913b, also located in the deep-waters of the Orange Basin. Both wells, if successful, could open up a brand-new hydrocarbons province offshore Namibia. Once the Valaris DS-10 completes Graff-1, it is expected to be deployed in the Gulf of Guinea to drill the Jaca-1 exploratory well. The well is located in the Galp-operated Block 6 offshore São Tomé-e-Principe, where Shell is a technical partner. It will be first well to be drilled in the deep-water Rio Muni Basin.

Mainstream Energy Solutions selects contractor for an additional 300 MW at Kainji hydropower plant in Nigeria

Mainstream Energy Solutions (MESL) signed a contract yesterday in Abuja with Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation for rehabilitation works at its Kainji hydroelectric facility in Nigeria. MESL has been operator of the 760 MW Kainji hydropower plant and the 578.4 MW Jebba hydropower plant in Nigeria since their privatization in 2013.   The contract signed yesterday covers the rehabilitation of the Unit 1G9 (80 MW) and the installation of units 1G3 and 1G4 (110 MW each) at Kainji.   Rehabilitating Nigeria’s First and Oldest Hydropower Facility Kainji can accommodate a total of 12 turbine-generator units but originally consisted in only eight of them, numbered from 5 to 12. Combined, these are able to support 760 MW of generation capacity. The first of those units were commissioned in 1968, making the facility Nigeria’s first and oldest hydropower plant. When MESL acquired the station in 2013 and became its private concessionaire, Kainji’s available capacity was at 0 MW. Since privatisation, five units were successfully rehabilitated (units 5, 6, 7, 11 and 12) and the plant currently operates with 520 MW of capacity connected to the grid. Unit 7 was the last one to be rehabilitated and was connected to the Nigerian grid in Q4 2021. The contract signed yesterday with Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation will notably focus on rehabilitating a sixth turbine-generator (unit 9) to bring back another 80 MW online. This will eventually leave only two of the original eight units to be recovered and rehabilitated: unit 8 and unit 10. Expansion from New Units While the facility is already widely seen as a true success story of Nigeria’s power privatisation programme, more can be done. The project with Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation will indeed see the installation of two new units of 110 MW each. In doing so, MESL is going back to the original design of the power plant which provided for the accommodation of units 1 to 4. These never materialized, but the required civil structure and open pits are still in place to do so.   The two new turbine-generator units will represent the initial unit 3 and unit 4 and add another 220 MW of generation capacity to the complex. The agreement signed yesterday is significant and will eventually see Kainji’s available generation capacity increase from 520 MW today to 820 MW in the near future. Moving forward, MESL still has the opportunity to recover units 8 and 10, representing a combined 160 MW, and install units 1 and 2 to add another 220 MW. In total, the Kainji facility could ultimately support up to 1.2 GW of clean power generation for the Nigerian grid. Details on the Kainji and Jebba hydropower plants in Nigeria can be found in the “Projects” section within your Hawilti+ research terminal.