Saudi Arabia - joining the dots

A series of blog entries exploring Saudi Arabia's role in the oil markets with a brief look at the history of the royal family and politics that dictate and influence the Kingdom's oil policy

AIM - Assets In Market

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Iran negotiations - is the end nigh?

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Yemen: The Islamic Chessboard?

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Acquisition Criteria

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Valuation Series

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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Aker Energy buys Hess’ Ghana business


Aker Energy, a 50-50 JV between Aker and TRG, has acquired Hess’ 40% interest in Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points, offshore Ghana for USD100 million, with USD25 million payable at close and a further USD75 million payable on PDO approval.

The block lies south of the Jubilee and TEN blocks operated by Tullow and covers over c.2,100km2 with a 2C resource estimate of ~550mmbbl. Aker will present a development plan for the block later this year with the first phase targeting c.400mmbbl using a FPSO with a subsea production system. First oil is anticipated in 2021.

The ultra-deepwater block (~2,000-2,500m depth) contains seven discoveries. Hess declared commerciality on four of the fields in March 2016 with Pecan identified as the development hub. However, with the fields straddling the Ghanaian / Cote d'Ivoire border and the ongoing dispute at the time, the partners were unable to apply for a development licence. With the border dispute now settled, the development can now go ahead.

Post transaction, the ownership of the block will be Aker Energy (40%), Lukoil (50%) and GNPC (10%) The development helps Ghana develop its hydrocarbon resources beyond TEN and Jubilee which currently produce c.200mboe/d.

Hess: Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points drilling results (2015)


Monday, 19 February 2018

OVL to bid for South Azadegan oil development in Iran

Indian oil giant ONGC Videsh Limited ("OVL") will bid for the development rights of the giant South Azadegan in Iran. There is strong competition with the likes of Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft, Shell, Total, Eni Petronas, Inpex, Sinopec and CNPC. of Malaysia and Russia’s Gazprom. OVL is one of 34 companies that pre-qualified last year for development of the field which is estimated to contain 6bnboe recoverable and currently produces 80mbbl/d - with the right investment, this could reach 320mbbl/d.

The National Iranian Oil Co ("NIOC") will issue a tender for the development shortly.

Separately, OVL will also rework the Farzad B gas field at a cost of USD6.2 billion, which it had discovered a decade ago and is trying to get Iran to award rights of the field to it. Sources say that OVL had last year made its ‘best’ offer to invest USD11 billion in developing the Farzad-B field and building export infrastructure but Iran has deterred awarding the rights of the field to OVL owing to differences over pricing of the fuel. OVL has now instead offered to do just the upstream part of bringing the field to production while leaving the marketing of the fuel to Iran, which will cost USD6.2 billion.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Kurdistan players receive payment for November exports

Genel Energy and DNO have received payment from the KRG for November oil sales.

DNO received USD54.73 million for crude oil deliveries to the export market from the Tawke. The funds will be shared by DNO and Genel pro-rata to the companies' interests in the licence (75% DNO/25% Genel). Separately, a payment of USD4.7 million was received by DNO, representing 3% of gross Tawke licence revenues during November, as provided for under receivables settlement agreement from August 2017.

The Taq Taq partners have received a gross payment of USD11.05 million, with Genel's share of the payments being USD6.08 million.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Dragon Oil increases stake in Block 9 to 45% from Kuwait Energy

Kuwait Energy has farmed out a 15% interest in Block 9, Iraq to Dragon Oil. Kuwait Energy will reduce its interest to 45% and Dragon Oil will increase its stake to 45%.

The 15% will be made up of the following:

  • 8.57% for USD100 million cash;
  • 6.43% in settlement of a dispute in favour of Dragon Oil

Full press release by Kuwait Energy follows:
Kuwait Energy Company is pleased to announce the signing of the Block 9, Iraq Farm-out Agreement with Dragon Oil Plc (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emirates National Oil Company Ltd, the national oil company of Dubai).

As per the Farm-out Agreement, Kuwait Energy will assign a 15% participating interest in the Block 9, Iraq service contract comprised of 8.57% participating interest in Block 9, Iraq to Dragon Oil in consideration for USD 100m in cash; and 6.43% participating interest in Block 9, Iraq to Dragon Oil in settlement of a dispute with Dragon Oil in relation to a non-controlling interest in Block 9, Iraq.

The agreement was signed on 11 February 2018 by Ali Rashid al Jarwan, Dragon Oil Chief Executive Officer (CEO); and Abby Badwi, the CEO of Kuwait Energy.

Abby Badawi, Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Energy, said: "This is a great moment for Kuwait Energy and Dragon Oil. The extension of our Block 9 partnership with Dragon Oil has meant that both Companies can work as equal equity partners on the concession allowing us to best utilise our joint technical expertise in delivering the submission of the Block 9 full field development plan to the Iraqi government. The reduction in future Block 9 capital expenditure exposure coupled with the material cash injection strengthens Kuwait Energy liquidity position going forward."

The assignment of the 15% participating interest in Block 9, Iraq from Kuwait Energy to Dragon Oil remains subject to Iraqi government and partner approval. Post granting of these approvals, Kuwait Energy will remain the operator with a reduction in participating interest from 60%-45%, Dragon Oil participating interest will increase from 30%-45% with the remaining 10% participating interest being held by Egyptian General Petroleum Company.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Tortue unitisation across Mauritania and Senegal


The governments of Mauritania and Senegal have signed an Inter-Governmental Cooperation Agreement in another step forward for the Tortue gas development which straddles the border of the two countries. The field will now be unitised with an initial split of resources 50:50 and a mechanism for future equity redeterminations based on actual production and other technical data.

FID of the field remains on track, targeting year end 2018 with first gas in 2021. The BP-led joint venture is looking at a near-shore FLNG concept which will reduce costs significantly.

The unitised ownership will be BP 61% operator, Kosmos 29%, and government partners retaining the remaining 10%.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Kenya goes alone with first oil targeting 2021 - plays catch-up with Uganda


Kenya was left at the pipeline “altar” in 2016 when Uganda decided to export its crude via a Tanzanian pipeline instead. The years of work around a joint Ugandan-Kenyan pipeline went to waste as the two countries could not agree on the development with security as well as political factors hindering co-operation between the two countries.



Kenyan oil discoveries in the Lokichar Basin had been left in limbo with no export plan in sight. However, over the course of 2017, Kenya realised it had to go it alone and started evaluating plans for a standalone export pipeline. In October 2017 the Lokichar owners, Tullow, Africa Oil and Maersk, initiated a study including FEED for the proposed pipeline. The ministry announced at the time that it was planning for an 820km pipeline between Lokichar and Lamu at a cost of USD2.1 billion to be completed in 2021.

The pipeline is expected to be FID-ed in 2019 and it has been reported that significant work has been carried out on the routing which has to deal with the complications of security risk, avoiding nature reserves, population displacement, elevation as well as cost.

Tullow’s commitment to the pipeline was followed by a commitment by Total in January 2018, which appears to have been part of the deal to obtain approval for taking over Blocks 10BA, 10BB and 13T from Maersk as part of the Maersk Oil acquisition.

On 7th February, Tullow announced that it progressing Kenya further with plans for an initial small scale development of 210mmbbl with peak production of 60-80mbopd. This would be the first phase of a wider development which originally had a 560mmbbl 2C resource number and peak production of 100mbopd+.



The Tullow-led JV will develop the Amosing and Ngamia fields as an initial 210mmbbl “Foundation Stage” which will include the export pipeline to Lamu, allowing for earlier FID than a full scale project. Foundation Stage upstream capex is estimated at USD1.8 billion and pipeline capex is estimated at USD1.1 billion – this is significantly below the USD2.1 billion estimate announced last year and the USD2.7-3.0 billion a few years ago (for the Kenyan leg only).

This export infrastructure is critical for monetising the discoveries in the Lokichar and also unlock remaining exploration potential in Kenya along the pipeline route. Tullow is targeting an FID in 2019 with first oil in 2021/22.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Kosmos' end of a winning streak with dry well at Requin Tigre

Kosmos Requin Tigre prospect was announced dry this morning. This was a "make it" well that had the potential to add 60bcf of gas in the Senegal/Mauritania trend and would have increased total gas discovered in the basin to over 100tcf. However, this dry well constrains Kosmos' growth in the basin with no further exploration drilling in area for now. The drillship will now proceed to test two oil prospects offshore Suriname commencing in early Q2 2018.

With three dry wells in a row, Requin Tigre, Hippocampe and Lamantin (the last two targeting liquids), Kosmos shine as an exploration company is now wearing off. It now follows in the footsteps of other E&Ps such as Tullow, which was once an exploration-led company but increasingly focussed on delivering on its projects and commercialising an inventory of discoveries.

For now, it appears that Kosmos' West African story if finished.