Home / News / West Africa development forges ahead, despite downturn

 Economic crisis notwithstanding, activity in West Africa forges ahead. Recently, both BP and Anadarko announced discoveries, while TOTAL revealed the early startup on its Akpo deepwater development offshore Nigeria.

BP and its partner, Angolan national oil company Sonangol, announced the Leda discovery in ultra-deepwater Block 31, its 17th discovery in the block, located in its central northern portion, roughly 415 km northwest of Luanda and 12 km southwest of the Marte field.

The discovery well was drilled by the Transocean Explorer in 2,070 m (6,790 ft) of water and reached a TD of 5,907 m (19,381 ft). BP said that Leda is the fifth discovery in Block 31 where the exploration well was drilled through salt to access the oil-bearing sandstone. The well tested at 5,040 bbl/day through a 36/64ths choke, according to the company.

West Africa development forges ahead, despite downturn

Meanwhile, Anadarko announced the Tweneboa-1 discovery well offshore Ghana encountered approximately 70 ft of net pay. The well discovered a light hydrocarbon accumulation in similar-age sands as the nearby but separate Jubilee field. Anadarko celebrates a series of recent discoveries and successes. (See the March/April 2009 edition of Drilling Contractor, to be published in late March.)

"Tweneboa is an outstanding discovery and continues our success in Ghana," said Bob Daniels, Anadarko senior vice president, worldwide exploration, in a news release. "The Tweneboa well was positioned to target multiple objectives, including the edge of this large Turonian fan. We believe there is significant additional upside as we conduct appraisal activity closer to the perceived core of this stratigraphic trap where a thicker reservoir section is mapped. The success of this well also continues to demonstrate the value of our expanding position in this emerging Cretaceous fan play offshore West Africa."

The Tweneboa-1 well, located on the Deepwater Tano License, was drilled, logged and cased to a depth of approximately 11,790 ft (3,590 m) in water depths of approximately 3,770 ft (1,150 m). The operator is currently deepening the well to assess additional hydrocarbon-bearing zones. Ocean Rig’s deepwater semisubmersible Eirik Raude drilled the well, sited approximately 16 miles west of the Jubilee field.

Following completion of drilling at Tweneboa-1, the partnership expects to move the rig to the Jubilee field. Anadarko also plans to continue an active program offshore Ghana with initial appraisals of three recent discoveries at Odum and Mahogany Deep on the West Cape Three Points Block and Tweneboa on the adjacent Deepwater Tano License. In addition, the partnership expects to continue its exploration program with the Teak prospect on the West Cape Three Points Block and Onyina on the Deepwater Tano License.

Finally, TOTAL has started production from its Akpo deepwater development the OML 130 block offshore Nigeria, ahead of the planned start-up date, which was slated for later this year. With proved and probable reserves estimated at 620 millions barrels of condensate (around 50° API), and more than 1 Tcf of gas, Akpo is one of the largest deep offshore projects ever undertaken and will be the largest brought on stream in 2009, according to TOTAL.

TOTAL reports that Akpo’s design complies with the Nigerian government’s “flare out” regulation and is in line with the company’s strategy of reducing flaring. Also, to optimize gas utilization, Akpo has been designed as a hybrid development capable of handling up to 530 MMscf/d of high-pressure gas. 185 MMscf/d will be reinjected into the reservoir to maximize hydrocarbon recovery. The remaining 320 MMscf will be exported by pipeline. TOTAL says that Akpo will stand as an important contributor to the operator’s growth strategy in the gas industry, enabling additional supply to the domestic market and to the NLNG gas liquefaction plant.

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