Wednesday, May 18, 2011

List of West African Oil Discoveries in 2010 - 2011.

Ok.., here it is.. One of the most definitive lists of discoveries in West Africa for 2010-2011 so far. There is increasing excitement about the vast potential in West Africa's offshore basins and I thought it would be worthwhile to list them out. The material has been sourced from Derrick Petroleum's exhaustive data on exploration and deals. For the record, I consider Angola part of West Africa here, although to be more precise, it is located in South-West-Central Africa. 

For more information of discoveries and exploration plans for the following West African countries in 2011, click on the following links. Cote D’ivoireGhana discoveriesGhana Exploration in 2011Exploration in Mauritania, Benin & TogoAngolaSierra LeoneSengalLiberia; Cameroon.

Table 1: List of Discoveries in 2010 - 2011. Source Derrick Petroleum Services

Map of West Africa - Source: USGS

Sierra Leone
The Mercury-1 well was announced as a discovery in Nov 2010 with approximately 135 net feet of oil pay in two Cretaceous-age fan systems. Anadarko operates block SL-07B-10 with a 65-percent working interest. Co-owners in the block include Repsol (25%) and Tullow (10%). This was the second well drilled on the block, the first being the Venus-B well on the Venus prospect drilled in August 2009 which encountered 14 m of hydrocarbons.

Source: Anadarko Corp

The Dzata - 1 well was drilled in May 2009 in the Cape Three Points Deep Water Block by the Aban Abraham drillship and struck hydrocarbons over 94 m, including a 25-m net section of layered oil and gas pay. The well is temporarily plugged and abandoned for future appraisal activities. Vanco Energy (28.34%) is operator of the block and other partners are Lukoil (56.66%) and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (15%). 

Source: Hess Corp

In March 2009, Kosmos announced that the Tweneboa-1 well drilled in the Deep Water Tano Licence discovered a light hydrocarbon accumulation with 21 m net pay in a single, good-quality sandstone reservoir similar in age to those found in the Jubilee Field. The Tweneboa-1 well was the seventh consecutive successful well Kosmos and its partners drilled on the West Cape Three Points and Deepwater Tano blocks, including three previous exploration wells that found oil on the West Cape Three Points Block since mid-2007. The Mahogany-1 exploration well discovered the Jubilee Field, which was announced in June 2007; the Odum-1 exploration well discovered the Odum Field, which was announced in February 2008; and the Mahogany-3 well discovered the Mahogany Deep Field which was announced in January 2009.

The Owo prospect in the Deep Water Tano Licence was drilled in early June 2010 and encountered a significant light oil accumulation . The Enyenra-2A appraisal well on this discovery intersected 32 m in 2 channels. Tullow operates the block, holding a 49.95% interest; Kosmos Energy holds 18%; Anadarko Petroleum holds 18%; Sabre Oil and Gas holds 4.05%; and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation holds a 10% carried interest.  

The Teak-1 exploration well in the West Cape Three Points Block was spud in Q4 2010 and discovered oil. On Mar 28, 2011, the Teak-2 exploration well encountered approximately 90 net feet of high-quality oil, condensate and natural gas pay in stacked Campanian- and Turonian-age reservoirs. Kosmos Energy (30.875%) is the operator of the Block. Other partners are Anadarko (30.875%) Tullow Oil (22.896%), KG Group (3.5%), Sabre Oil and Gas ( 1.854%) and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) which has a 10% carried interest.

To find out which companies are drilling in Ghana in 2011, click here

On June 24, 2010, Total announced that the Agge-3B.T1 well in the OML 136 licence in water depths of 140 m discovered several gas bearing reservoirs totalling a gross thickness in excess of 150 m. A production test performed over the lower intervals yielded a production of 21 million cubic feet of gas per day on a 36/64’’ choke. Conoil Producing Limited (60%) is the operator of the licence and Total (40%) is partner.

Source: Total

On 12 July 2010, Sinopec announced that the UDELE-3 well in Block 137, in the Niger Delta, struck an oil layer of 45.9 m and test yields showed an oil flow of 3,365 barrels of oil and 28,300 cubic metres of gas a day. Sinopec is the owner and operator of the licence after acquiring the Swiss firm Addax Petroleum.

The Pegi-1 discovery well encountered 165 net feet (50.3 m) of rich gas condensate. The well was drilled in 315 ft (96 m water depth to a total depth of 11,407 feet (3,477 m) beneath the Awawa field. Analysis of recovered samples indicated an API gravity of ~41 degrees. ExxonMobil is the operator of the block with a 40 percent working interest, with the NNPC holding the remaining 60 percent. 

Bowleven, the West Africa focused oil and gas exploration group traded on AIM, announced that the Sapele-1 exploration well drilling in the Douala Basin, offshore Cameroon was drilled to a total depth (TD) of 4,733 m. Based on an analysis of a major steep change in pressure encountered and the interpretation of the seismic, Bowleven interpreted that the well may have encountered a significant hydrocarbon column in the Cretaceous. Further studies are ongoing. The well was drilled on the MHLP-5 block on Sept 14 2010. The MHLP-5, MLHP-6 and MLHP-7 blocks are located in the Etinde Permit Area and the blocks are operated by Bowleven (75%) and the partner is Vitol Group (25%).

Source: Bowleven

Drilling in the Onal licence area yielded the Maroc Nord OMOC-N-1 discovery which identified a 111-metre column of oil. Pump tests established a flow of 1,700 bpd of oil (flow limited by the pump’s maximum capacity) with an API of 33.4. Maurel &  Prom (85%) operates the Onal production licence and is partnered by Tullow (7.5%) and AIC-Petrofi (7.5%).

The Southeast Etame No. 1 (“ETSEM-1”) exploration well completed drilling to a total depth of 9,045 feet (2,757 m) offshore Gabon and encountered approximately sixteen feet (five m) of oil saturated Gamba sandstone. Valco Energy (28.07%) operates the Etame Marin Permit in which this discovery was made with the other partners being Addax Petroleum (31.36%), Sasol Petroleum (27.75%), Sojitz Etame Limited (2.98%), PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (2.34%) and Tullow Oil Gabon SA (7.5%).

The Castanha-1 well was spud in Nov 2009 and struck 15 m of hydrocarbons in pre-salt sediments at a depth between 2,214 and 2,229 m. The Castanha-4 appraisal well encountered a gross hydrocarbon column of approx. 15 m in the Chela Formation. Production testing of the Castanha-2, Castanha-3 and Castanha-4 appraisal wells is planned to commence following which the consortium will take a decision as to its commerciality. Participating Interests in the Cabinda Onshore South Block in which the discovery was made are: Pluspetrol Angola Corporation (Operator) 45%; Force Petroleum de Angola 20%; Sonangol P&P 20%; Lacula Oil Company (ROC) 10%; Cuba Petroleo 5%.

Source: Roc Oil

The Nzanza-1 and Cinguvu-1 wells, both located in Block 15/06 some 350 km North-West of Luanda, were drilled in a water depth of 1,400 m and reached a total depth of respectively 3,008 m and 3,023 m in April 2010. Both wells encountered oil pay in sands of Lower Miocene age with good reservoir characteristics. During production tests, Nzanza-1 well produced an 18° API oil at rates above 1,600 barrels per day (b/d). Total, one of the partners in the block, indicates that a potential for future production wells in excess of 5,000 b/d per well, when associated to artificial lift, exists. At the Cinguvu-1 well, the production test, limited by surface facilities, reached a flow of 6,400 b/d of a 23° API oil. Eni (35%) is the operator of the block, and the other partners are Sonangol (20%), Sinopec Corp (15%), Total (15%), Falcon Oil SA (5%), Petrobras (5%) and Statoil (5%).

Source: ENI

Drilled in waters measuring 453 m deep, the Begonia-1 discovery well is located on the northeastern section of Angola's Block 17/06. This was the second discovery on the block; the first was the Gardenia-1 well.  Production tests of the discovery well, Begonia-1, flowed high-quality, 36-degree API oil at a rate of more than 6,000 barrels per day from the Miocene formation. Sonangol is the concessionaire of the block, and Total serves as the operator of Block 17/06 with 30 percent interest. Partners on the block include Sonangol Pesquisa e Producao with 30%, Sonangol Sinopec International Seventeen Limited with 27.5%, ACREP Bloco 17 with 5%, Falcon Oil Holding Angola with 5%, and PARTEX Oil and Gas with the remaining 2.5%.

On the same Block 17/06, the Canna-1 well, drilled in a water depth of 445 m, in the north-eastern area of the deep offshore block 17/06, discovered hydrocarbons in a reservoir of Miocene age and produced more than 5,000 barrels per day of high quality oil (33° API) during a production test.

An exploration well on the Cabaca South East prospect in Block 15/06 was drilled in 2010 and discovered oil in it. The Cabaca South East-1 well, located at a depth of 470 m, at a distance of 100 km from the coast, successfully reached its multi-target objective in the deepest levels of Miocene age, where oil bearing reservoirs, with a total of 450 m of gross thickness, was proven. During production tests, the well flowed high quality 34° API degrees oil at rates of about 7,000 barrels/day. The rates were constrained by the limited capacity of the surface facilities. Eni has a 35% working interest and is the Operator in Block 15/06, while Sonangol E&P is the Concessionaire. The other partners in the JV  are Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção (15%), SSI Fifteen Limited (20%), Total (15%), Falcon Oil Holding Angola SA (5%), Petrobras International Braspetro B.V. (5%) and Statoil Angola Block 15/06 Award AS (5%).

On the same block (15/06), the Mpungi-1 well, 120 km from the Angolan shoreline in 1,050 m of water, was drilled to a total depth of 2,300 m and encountered oil pay in both the Upper and the Middle Miocene sand reservoirs. During the production test of the main pool, the well flowed light oil at rates in excess of 6,000 barrels per day.


  1. They discovered oil off the west coast of Ireland yesterday, unfortunately it was from Macondo in the Gulf of Mexico......

  2. Excellent and valuable compilation.

  3. Excellent and valuable compilation.



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