From Aker BP making a discovery in the North Sea to Energean divesting assets in the Mediterranean, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space.

Activity headlines

TotalEnergies, NNPC make FID on Nigerian gas project

TotalEnergies and Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. have made a final investment decision for the development of the Ubeta gas field in Nigeria, the companies announced June 20.

Located 80 km northwest of Port Harcourt in the OML 58 license, the Ubeta gas condensate field will be developed with a new six-well cluster. OML 58 gas production is processed in the Obite treatment center and supplied to both the Nigerian domestic gas market and Nigerian LNG plants. The Ubeta field will be connected to the existing Obite treatment center through an 11-km pipeline.

Production startup is expected in 2027, with a plateau of 300 MMcf/d. Gas from Ubeta will be supplied to NLNG, a liquefaction plant at Bonny Island in which Total holds 15% interest. It’s capacity is currently being expanded from 22 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 30 mtpa.

The OML 58 license contains the currently-producing Obagi oil field and Ibewa gas and condensate field. TotalEnergies operates the OML 58 onshore license in Nigeria with a 40% interest, while Nigerian National Petroleum holds the remaining 60%.

Wintershall Dea makes gas condensate discovery in Norway’s North Sea

Wintershall Dea and partners Petoro and DNO announced a gas condensate discovery at the Cuvette prospect offshore Norway on June 19. 

Preliminary estimates suggest recoverable volumes between 9 MMboe and 22 MMboe in the primary Middle Jurassic target and between 7 MMboe and 16 MMboe in the shallower Upper Jurassic target.

The license partners are now exploring the possibility of expediting production by leveraging the existing Vega/Gjøa area infrastructure.

Wintershall Dea manages the Vega and Nova subsea fields and holds several exploration licenses in the North Sea. Additionally, the company is a shareholder in the Gjøa platform, serving as an export hub for the region.

Wintershall Dea used Transocean Norge’s rig to drill the Cuvette well. 

Aker BP and partners find gas in Barents Sea

Aker BP and its license partners have made a gas discovery at the Ferdinand Nord prospect in the Barents Sea offshore Norway.

As per the preliminary estimates, the discovery holds between 520,000 scm and 750,000 scm of recoverable oil equivalent, which translates to between 3.3 MMboe and 4.7 MMboe.

The discovery, announced June 20, was made in exploration well 7324/6-2 located in production license 1170, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said. The exploration well 7324/6-2 has been drilled to a vertical depth of 4,087 ft below sea level using Saipem’s Scarabeo 8 rig.

Following drilling, the well identified a 40-ft gas column in the Stø Formation across two sandstone layers, with a combined thickness of 35 ft. Additionally, a 20-ft gas column was discovered in the Snadd Formation, although the gas/water contact was not reached.

The licensees are currently evaluating the discovery alongside other finds and prospects in the vicinity to consider potential development strategies. Aker BP owns a 35% stake in production license 1170. Equinor also holds 35%, with Petoro holding 20% and Inpex Idemitsu Norge holding 10%.

Contracts and company news

Chevron signs PSCs for two blocks offshore Equatorial Guinea

Chevron and Equatorial Guinea’s state-owned GEPetrol have signed production-sharing contracts (PSCs) for offshore blocks EG06 and EG11, the African Energy Chamber announced June 21. The contracts represent a $2 billion investment.

Blocks EG-06 and EG-11, situated near the producing Block B which houses the Zafiro field, are considered highly prospective. Block EG-11 covers approximately 1,242 sq km, while Block EG-06 features an oil discovery at the Acestruz-1 well, drilled in 2017.

The new PSCs outline clear development plans for the assets, including provisions on minimum investments, exploration programs, sustainable development and state benefits. The contracts also signify Chevron and GEPetrol’s intent to launch a new E&P campaign at these blocks, which were previously held by Exxon Mobil.

“Despite a proven track record of production, declines in mature fields and lack of investment in undeveloped assets has seen national oil output in Equatorial Guinea fall in recent years,” the African Energy Chamber said in a press release. “To reverse this trend, the government is incentivizing investment in offshore exploration and the recent contract with Chevron and GEPetrol represents a notable step towards making a new discovery.”

Oceaneering nabs GoM umbilical contract worth $50MM

Houston-based Oceaneering has been contracted to supply electro-hydraulic, steel tube dynamic umbilical totaling approximately 17 miles in length for a domestic independent energy client in the Gulf of Mexico, the company announced June 20.

Manufacturing for the Panama City, Florida facility is slated to begin in 2025 with final delivery in the second quarter of 2026.

Anticipated revenue from the contract is approximately $50 million.

Energean to divest oil and gas assets in Egypt, Italy, Croatia

Energean agreed to divest its oil and gas assets in Egypt, Italy and Croatia to an entity controlled by Carlyle International Energy Partners.

The deal is worth up to $945 million, of which $820 million is firm, Energean announced June 20.

Energean will sell gas-weighted assets with an expected production equivalent to 47,000 bbl/d and significant operations in the three countries. Included in the portfolio are stakes in the Cassiopea gas field in Italy and Abu Qir gas production hub in Egypt. These assets were originally acquired by Energean as part of the purchase of Edison's oil and gas portfolio in 2020.

The sale forms part of Energean’s strategy to streamline its portfolio and concentrate on gas developments, particularly the Karish Field in Israel and the Anchois field in Morocco. Post-sale, Energean aims to expand its presence in the Mediterranean and explore opportunities in the broader Europe, Middle East and Africa regions.

Proceeds from the sale will be used by Energean to distribute a special dividend of $200 million and fully repay a $450 million corporate bond.

arlyle International Energy Partners plans to set up a new company to pursue additional acquisitions in the Mediterranean region. The new entity will be spearheaded by former BP CEO Tony Hayward.