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Africa Offshore Basins expanding from West Africa to East Africa


New works done by experts on exploration of Tanzania Offshore frontier basins has given light that Africa offshore frontiers is expanding from West Africa to East Africa. This is good news to the continent and the investment community. It means that the West African and East African regions will start to experience immense exploration and production activities in the offshore sector. This would evidently stimulate economic growth and create enormous business opportunities as a result of the revenue which production of millions of recoverable oil and gas buried under the depth of waters in the region would bring.


Offshore exploration and production is becoming more attractive to investors, even though it is more capital intensive than onshore operations. Lou Gragliardi, writing for Energy voices on The Christian Science Monitor, stated that, “ oil and gas drilling is moving further offshore and deeper underwater as energy companies seek to find sources of production in low risk-areas.”Major offshore oil and gas activities in West Africa which is part of the Golden Triangle for Deep water operations (Brazil, Gulf of Guinea, and West Africa) take place in Nigeria and Angola. Both countries are the frontline oil and gas producers in the region and they account for 78% of the offshore production in West Africa. Ghana is gradually becoming a significant offshore producing nation in the region through the productions going on in Jubilee Field. It is expected that Liberia and Sierra Leone would soon make offshore breakthroughs.


West African offshore production has continued to grow up to 78.3% in 2011 from the 58.9% level it was in 2001. Production of oil and gas in offshore West Africa increased from 847.3 MMboe in 2001 to 1564.2MMboe in 2011. This growth is expected to reach 2201.6MMboe in 2020.As the parameters for E & P in Africa is going beyond onshore and furthering into the deep waters, East Africa is basking in a new glory. The major discoveries of gas in offshore Tanzania and Mozambique showcased the region in the radar and as a new frontier of promise. According to a Deloitte report, “every potential hydrocarbon basin across East Africa is a subject of intensive interest.”


A major work done by Ching Tu, Nora Herbst, Duplo Kornpihl, Malcom Francis and Graham Milne, all of Schlumberger, Eastern Hemisphere, PetroTechnical Service is throwing more light on the potentials of offshore basins in Tanzania. An abstract of the work explains that with the significant growth in interest in the East African transform margin, multiclient seismic datasets were reprocessed, and a new 3D scaling velocity approach was applied to enhance 2D data images. The improved seismic images allowed further study of the regional geology, potential play concepts, and basin-scale petroleum system modelling. Traps, including depositional lobes and channels that, in some cases, pinch out the updip, were also imaged. The East Africa Rifting System (EARS) has influenced reservoir geometry and migration pathways along the East Africa offshore basins. Moreover, the highly successful exploration rates along the Sea Gap fracture zone are attracting more attention toward the northern Tanzania offshore basin.


With this high-quality data, more detailed amplitude-versus-offset attribute analysis can be studied to confirm that the Class III direct hydrocarbon indicators (DHIs) are adequate to indicate gas, as confirmed by recent drilling success. Similar bright amplitudes produced by gas sands from those of volcanic rocks can also be differentiated. Offshore Tanzania continues to have great opportunities in frontier basin exploration.


This work will be presented in details by Ching Tu, a Geoscientist and one of the authors at the 7th Annual Sub-Saharan Africa Oil & Gas Conference scheduled for May 1 -2, 2014 at the Marriott West chase, Houston, USA.


A one day training course on Offshore Marginal Field Development will also be held on April 30th, 2014 at Marriott Westchase, Houston as a prelude to the conference. The impressive faculty for the training course include: Dr. Keith Millheim, an established expert in deep water drilling technology, Gabriel Delgado – a proven naval architecture and expert in offshore vessels, Chuck Yemington – an engineer with more than 30 years experience and well known for innovative works in riser technology and project management, Tosan Omatsola – a geologist with 20 years of experience . Tosan has deep understanding of seismic and subsurface geology related to shallow and deepwater environments, specifically in complex, sub-salt and offshore turbidite environments, and Natalie Regoli – a partner at Baker & McKenzie .Ms. Regoli concentrates her legal practice on LNG / gas matters and has experience throughout the entire life cycle of oil and gas project finance, LNG / gas projects, petrochemical facilities, and other major capital projects. Ms. Regoli focuses on the development, financing, EPC, and claims / dispute resolution of major capital projects.


About Ching Tu - Presenter of: The Exploration of Tanzania Offshore Frontier Basins.”


Ching was trained as a geologist and obtained MS degree, concentrated in structural geology and tectonics, and BS degree in geology from University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Ching accepted offer and started off her career with CGG (then CGGVeritas: Hampson-Russell) in Feb. 2009 as an Interpretation Geophysicist, a member of Interpretation Service group. Ching got opportunity to work with Prestack Depth Migration (PSDM) team in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico for two and half years. Ching has worked on N. and S Gulf of Mexico and Brazil (Santos Basin) 3D data. Ching is exposed to wide range of data algorithms, including P-/S- wave, RTM, Beam, Kirchhoff, etc. Ching also was granted opportunities to join different project beyond interpretation, including 3D-ray trace, PSDM Iso-/VTI-/TTI-processing, velocity model building, etc. In March 2012, Ching Joined Schlumberger PTS Multiclient Eastern Hemisphere (then WesternGeco-EAF), and granted to support Tanzania licensing bid. Ching has presented on behalf of Schlumberger in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in Oct., 2013. Currently, Ching is based in Houston office. She is currently working on several projects, including Eastern Africa: Tanzania, Western Africa: Angola, Northern-Western Africa: Ivory Coast. Ching is member of the Geological Society of America (GSA), America Association of Petroleum Geology (AAPG), and Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB).



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West Africa major focus on E & P


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