Nigeria: Century Group consolidates position in offshore oil & gas market

The Century Group, the only Nigeria-owned company to own and operate floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels in Africa, is consolidating its market presence on the country’s offshore oil & gas market.

On March 24th, it signed an agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria (SHIN) for the renovation of its FPSO Tamara Nanaye. The vessel, previously known as FPSO Front Puffin, previously served as the production hub for the Aje Field on OML 113. As technical partner to the OML 113 operator, Century successfully kept the Aje field operational, productive and profitable from 2014 to 2021.

Century Group has now selected SHIN to carry out a de-bottlenecking upgrade to maintain and upgrade the FPSO ahead of its redeployment offshore Nigeria later this year. Hawilti previously reported that the FPSO Tamara Nanaye had been selected to support the redevelopment of the Kalaekule Field on OML 72, operated by West Africa E&P, a joint-venture of Dangote Exploration Assets Ltd and First E&P.

“The FPSO Tamara Nanaye is undergoing renovations such as adding topside production facilities, altering flaring capacity, change mooring system to spread mooring and adding a riser porch structure to increase the production capacity of the FPSO,” Century Group said in a post last week.

The upgrade of the FPSO locally in Nigeria will allow a shorter renovation timeline than sending the vessel for maintenance overseas, and will reduce the input cost.

Managing Director of SHIN, Mr. Jongseok Kim, and Group Executive Director of Century Group of Companies, Mr. Alaba Owoyemi at the signing ceremony for the FPSO Tamara Nanaye renovation in March 2023.

On April 3rd, Century Energy Group announced another deal to complete, operate and maintain the ELI Akaso floating, storage and offloading (FSO) vessel of Energy Link Infrastructure (ELI). The FSO serves as a new evacuation route to onshore OML 18 and neighbouring fields where production has been severely curtailed by the unavailability of the main evacuation pipeline, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL).

Map of ELI’s Alternative Crude Oil Evacuation System (ACOES). Source: San Leon Energy

Under a Risk Service Contract (RSC), Century Group has already deployed its personnel, infrastructure and expertise to finish the spread mooring of the FSO, which is expects to complete on April 10th, 2023. With a storage capacity of 2 million barrels of oil, the FSO can offer a reliable export route for onshore fields seeking access to the export market. The evacuation system includes a 47km undersea pipeline with a targeted throughput capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) once operational.

With both deals, Century Group continues to build local content within segments of the value-chain that are traditionally reserved for international players.

Read more

JUWI South Africa reaches financial close of major wind project amid increasing push for renewables

South African subsidiary of leading renewable energy project developer JUWI has begun construction of the 84MW Wolf Wind project after reaching financial close, as an energy crisis pushes more demand for alternative sources of power in one of Africa’s biggest economies. The facility is projected to begin generating electricity for the South African grid by Q1 2024. “The Wolf Wind Project will be generating more than 360 GWh of clean electricity for the South African grid per year,” Red Rocket Chief Executive Officer, Matteo Brambilla, said in a statement. The renewable energy company won the bid for the project in Round 5 of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REI4P). The initiative aims to bring more megawatts into the country’s electricity system through private investments in renewable energy sources. “We’re proud to have partnered with JUWI on this project and pleased to have started construction on this and other large wind projects.” The Wolf Wind Project, located two hours from the city of Gqeberha, is the second wind project developed by JUWI under REI4P. The first — the 138 MW Garob Wind Project — began commercial operation in 2021. Tackling an energy crisis with renewable energy “JUWI is committed to developing projects that help South Africa address the energy crisis and achieve the clean energy transition, and so the progress in rolling out REI4P projects is very encouraging,” said Richard Doyle, Managing Director, JUWI South Africa. South Africa is facing an energy crisis caused partly by aging coal plants in need of constant maintenance. This has led to load-shedding implemented through a series of rolling blackouts, which has become part of the country’s power grid since 2007. Last year, the country experienced 3,773 hours of loadshedding according to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – or over 157 days. According to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, South Africa’s total domestic electricity generation capacity stands at 58,095 megawatts. But most of it—around 80%—comes from coal-fired power plants. President Ramaphosa wants South Africa to begin phasing out some coal-fired generation by 2050. Under its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2019), the country wants to install over 25GW of renewable energy capacity and 3GW of energy storage by 2030 via its REI4P auctions. JUWI South Africa (JUWI Renewable Energies Pty. Ltd) says it is supporting a mix of clean energy projects, including over 1.5 GW of wind, 2 GW of solar and 5OO MW of hybrid projects for various clients. To support growing demand from private and public energy users, Richard Doyle says JUWI plans to develop a further combined 1 GW of wind, solar and hybrid projects in 2023.

Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea agree on offshore cross-border gas cooperation

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea and President Paul Biya of Cameroon have signed a cooperation agreement on the development of oil & gas reserves at their maritime border in the Gulf of Guinea. The agreement was signed in Yaoundé on the sideline of the 15th Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) on March 17th. While details on the agreement have not been revealed, it is expected to facilitate the development of gas discoveries on both side of the maritime border between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. An Offshore Gas Megahub in the Making Equatorial Guinea already produces oil and gas from Alen on Block O and Aseng on Block I, both operated by Chevron Energy since its acquisition of Noble Energy in 2020. The blocks contain the undeveloped Felicita and Yolanda gas discoveries. Last year, Chevron produced some 56,000 bpd of oil equivalent (net) from Equatorial Guinea, including 12,000 bopd of oil, 7,000 bpd of natural gas liquids and 223 MMscf/d of natural gas. Just across the maritime border, Chevron also operates the YoYo Block in Cameroon’s Douala Basin which contains the undeveloped YoYo gas discovery. The development of the Yolanda and YoYo gas discoveries could be easily executed by utilizing Equatorial Guinea’s existing infrastructure and processing gas on Punta Europa, where Equatorial Guinea has gas processing infrastructure, including an LNG terminal, a methanol plant, and an LPG plant. The country has long ambitioned to position its gas infrastructure as a processing hub for stranded gas fields and discoveries in the Gulf of Guinea. In 2021, it completed the Alen Gas Monetisation project that enabled the production of gas from the Alen unit and its transportation by pipeline to Punta Europa where it serves as feedstock for EG LNG and the Alba LPG plant. Future monetization plans include the processing of stranded gas both from Cameroon and Nigeria’s offshore fields. A Regional Gas Future? Unlocking the potential of regional gas cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea requires several multi-party, multi-governmental commercial and legal agreements that have so far delayed projects. While the deal signed in Yaounde this week sends positive signals, its nature remains unknown.   In addition, the joint-development of Yolanda and YoYo would require additional agreements with the operator Chevron. The long-term presence of the major in the region remains uncertain. In December 2021, Chevron signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for exploration block EG-09, just south of its Blocks O and I. But a few months later, Reuters reported that the major had hired investment bank Jefferies to sell its assets in the country. Meanwhile, other operators in Cameroon could seek to use Equatorial Guinea’s processing infrastructure for their own ventures. This is the case of partners on the Etinde Gas Project offshore Cameroon, who are exploring the option of sending wet gas from the undeveloped Etinde field to Punta Europa before reimporting dry gas into Cameroon via a new 50km pipeline linking both countries.