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Two recent discoveries point to increased West Africa exploration


Tullow announced that the Tweneboa-3 appraisal well in the Deepwater Tano license offshore Ghana has cut34 net meters of gas condensate pay in two high quality stacked reservoir sands. Some 700 miles to the east in Cameroon, Bowleven drilled Sapete-1 in the Doula basin. The discovery tested Miocene and Cretaceous zones encountering net pay in three  zones. This well proves the concept of Cretaceous pay in the offshore Doula basin. The “Deep Omicron” play could hold up to 430 million bbl of OOIP.


 The above are extracts from Tullow and Bowleven announcements as reported by the Rigzone Newsletter of January 10. Deep water Nigeria is already an established crude oil province of great productivity. Further to the southeast, Equatorial Guinea is equally prospective. Crude runs in 2009 averaged over 250,000 bbl/day  from 7 offshore fields.  Hess, Marathon and ExxonMobil are the chief operators. Equatorial Guinea production is up slightly, about 255,000 bbl/day recently. Cameroon has been an oil province since1972 but fields have been relatively small. Cameroon production in 229 was 73,000 bbl/day. Today production has declined to 60,000 bbl/day thus the Bowleven discovery brings good news to the region. Further south, both Angola and Gabon are well established producers in both shallow and deep water.We are seeing with this recent activity that prospects across this extremely wide region are improving. This means greater opportunity for employment of both deep water rigs and jackups in the shallower parts of the West African shelf. With the uncertainty hovering over the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa should shortly become a new home for idle Gulf of Mexico equipment now estimated to be 33 rigs.

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