Market report: Maersk Drilling secures deepwater drilling contract offshore Ghana
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Total and OML 130 partners (Sapetro, Cnooc & Petrobras) launched the Egina crude grade during the week of the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC), in Singapore.
Alhaji Mele Kyari, Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, NNPC represented the Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru attended the launch of the new Egina crude grade. The crude has an API gravity of 27.3 degrees and has a sulfur content of 0.165 percent. According to the crude assay, the grade is said to have a higher yield of gasoil and vacuum distillates compared with other crude grades.
It was announced that Nigeria plans to increase its crude output by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) with production at the Egina ultra deepwater field, which is expected to start in December 2018. The Egina Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading unit sailed to the Egina oilfield in Oil Mining Lease 130, which is located about 150km offshore the Niger Delta. The Egina field will add 200,000 bpd of crude oil to Nigeria’s daily output when it comes onstream.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the Federal Government will from 2019 commence the revocation of the licences of oil companies that fail to stop gas flaring in their operations in Nigeria. Kachikwu stressed that the quest to discourage gas flaring has led the Federal Government to initiate the gas flare commercialization program. He said that future renewals of oil and gas licences would involve the assessments of the gas components and gas flare rate of each company seeking renewals.
Maersk Drilling has signed a contract with Aker Energy for Maersk Viking, an ultra deepwater drillship to drill the Pecan-4A appraisal well offshore Ghana. The contract covers one firm well with an expected duration of between 30 and 35 days, with options for additional wells.
The contract is expected to commence in Q4 2018. Maersk Viking will perform the drilling at an ultra deepwater depth of 2,674m in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block. Aker Energy CEO Mr. Jan Arve Haugan said: “We are pleased to achieve this key milestone that will enable us to commence drilling of the important Pecan-4A appraisal well. The main objective of the well will be to test the extension of the Pecan Field. This will give valuable and important input when optimizing the plan of development for the field and in understanding the wider appraisal potential of the block”.
Aker Energy was awarded the contract on behalf of the license group and is the operator of the DWT/CTP block. Aker Energy owns a 50 percent participating interest, LUKOIL (38 percent), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (10 percent) and Fueltrade (2 percent).
On Thursday 27 September, oil prices surged higher amid looming supply crunch, with sanctions set to be reimposed on major producer Iran on November 4.
The New York Mercantile Exchange Crude Futures for November delivery traded 1.2 percent higher at $72.40 a barrel at 12:15 AM ET (04:15 GMT), while ICE Brent Oil Futures for December delivery gained 0.9 percent to trade at $81.52 a barrel.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration weekly report for Wednesday 26 September showed an increase in crude oil inventories by 1.852 million barrels for the week ending September 21. Market analysts had expected a decline of 1.279 million barrels.