Tanzania: UK firm to start Tanga gas exploration

Mar 03, 2014 12:00 AM

UK-based oil and gas firm, Afrem International will in April begin exploring for natural gas in the Tanga Region, bordering Kenya.

Afrem which acquired 74% interest in the Tanga Block, located offshore and onshore northeast Tanzania had not started exploration since announcing the acquisition of the block in 2011.

This has caused complaints from the residents of Mkinga and Tanga Districts who were relocated to pave way for the project to start. But the Tanga Regional Commissioner, Chiku Galawa said exploration was initially scheduled to start last month (January), but was delayed to give more time for the firm to make adequate logistical arrangements.

"Please understand that the oil and gas exploration is a capital intensive undertaking that needs plenty of money, facilities and expertise, " she said last week.

According to the website of the oil and gas firm, some recent discoveries in Tanzania include Pweza-1 (gas) and Chewa-1 well (gas). And its currently gas fields in the country, include Killiwani north 1 which has 40 mmcfd, Mkuranga 1 with 19.2 mmcfd, Songo Songo with capacity of 1+tcf and its condensate in wells # 1, 3, 7, 9 and ss10.

On March 24, 2011, Afren announced that it has acquired a 74% operated working interest in the Tanga Block, located offshore Tanzania, from Petrodel who will retain a 26% interest in the block.

The Tanga Block which is located offshore and onshore north-east Tanzania lies south of, and is contiguous with, Afren's 100% owned and operated Blocks L17 and L18 in Kenya. It contains a southerly extension of the same coastal high and basin trough plays allowing us to leverage our regional expertise and knowledge.

Interpretation of previously acquired 900 km 2D seismic data reinforced the Partners' views that the prospectivity in the deeper water parts of the acreage represents a potentially lower geological risk exploration opportunity.

The Tanga block is well located in that it lies across a deep basin with a very thick sedimentary section that has the potential of hosting several source rock intervals and multiple reservoir/seal pairings.

Petroleum plays recognised to date are Lower Cretaceous sands deposited in deltaic to shallow marine environments, Upper Cretaceous submarine fans, Eocene shelf sands and Miocene fluvial and deltaic sands. There are structures, chiefly fault blocks, particularly along the western side of the basin, which are interpreted to form viable traps. Some of these lie in shallow water and could present relatively inexpensive drilling targets, the company said.

The Tanga block is also a possible source of charge into the southern parts of the adjacent Kenya block L17 and L18. Oil seeps and shows encountered in previous wells drilled on the nearby Pemba Island attest to the oil potential of the block and surrounding area.

In consideration for the acquisition of the interest, Afren has agreed to reimburse Petrodel a percentage of the back costs in relation to the block.

Afren will also fund all costs associated with the acquisition, processing and interpretation of an agreed seismic survey over the block amounting to 900 km of shallow and deeper water 2D coverage, after which, when supported by the seismic, Afren will carry Petrodel through the drilling of one shallow water exploration well subject to a cumulative cap on gross costs of $40 million.

Following completion of a 620 km2 3D seismic survey in January 2013, Afren received final processing of the dataset in early July and subsequently initiated seismic interpretation, AVO analysis and rock property studies.

Afren and its Partners have been simultaneously working up both a shallow-water (Chungwa-1, previously Orpheus) and deeper water prospect (Mkonge-1, previously Calliope).

EIA surveys and drilling prognosis have been have completed for both the Chungwa-1 and Mkonge-1 wells and are in ready-to-drill status.

The Partners are now in the process of securing a suitable rig for the shallow water Chungwa-1 prospect, which will be the first of the two wells to be drilled commencing early 2014.

The Chungwa-1 well will test Tertiary, Cretaceous and Jurassic reservoirs, targeting P50 resources of 210 mmbbls of oil.

It's portfolio of 10 East African assets cover an extensive surface area of 110,995 km2 on a gross basis, and are all located in basins with strong evidence of working hydrocarbon systems being present.

Afren East Africa Exploration is focused on Cretaceous, Jurassic and Tertiary rift basins which are geological settings that have yielded significant discoveries in Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, Madagascar, Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, Sierra Leone and Brazil.

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