Tullow Encounters Delays Offshore Ghana

By Shem Oirere
Thursday, June 27, 2019

UK-based oil & gas company Tullow Oil Plc’s subsidiary Tullow Oil Ghana, has announced the pushing back completion of drilling of the Enyenra-14 production well in Deepwater Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) field development following revision of 2019 projection figures for this offshore project.

“The completion of the Enyenra-14 production well is taking longer than anticipated and consequently will be onstream later than planned,” Tullow said in its trading statement and operational update early this week.

“This delay has been reflected in a small revision to full year guidance for TEN which has been adjusted to around 71,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) gross, from 73,000 bopd,” the company explained.

Although Tullow and its partners in the search and production of oil and gas in Ghana have experienced delays previously in their offshore drilling program, the unforeseen disruptive factors have not deterred the company from achieving satisfactory success in its subsequent TEN fields’ development phases.

In fact, drilling of the $6 billion offshore TEN field, which from the initial phases resulted in encouraging oil, condensate and gas yields, was suspended in early part of the second quarter of 2015 by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) awaiting determination of a maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

By the time ITLOS suspended the TEN drilling program, Tullow and partners Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Kosmos Energy, Anadarko and PetroSA had drilled 11 of the planned 24 wells.

However, after more than two years of shifting through arguments and shifting through documentary evidence, ITLOS gave a verdict on the disputed maritime boundary but which did not affect the TEN field.

Findings by the Tribunal confirmed Ghana had not violated the maritime boundary it shares with Cote d’Ivoire contrary allegations by the latter and also re-affirmed the stability of Ghana’s coastal lines.

Probably in an attempt to recover from the lost period, Tullow, which in the first half of 2019 expects to report company revenues of around $900 million and gross profit of around $500 million, unveiled in 2018 an immediate multi-year drilling program after Ghanaian authorities notified the company it was free to proceed with the search for hydrocarbons in the TEN fields located in the offshore Deepwater Tano license.

Tullow said the multi-year drilling plan was meant to “ramp up production from TEN fields to utilize full capacity of the FPSO (Floating production storage and offloading) and sustain this over a number of years.” Tullow’s first oil flow from TEN was in August 2016 to the Singapore-build FPSO Prof John Evans Atta Mills, that is moored around 60km offshore west of Ghana at water depths averaging 1,500m and with capacity to process 80,000 bopd,180 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and has a storage capacity of about 1,700,000 barrels of crude oil.

But even as the TEN partners progress with the offshore oil field development, they have also confirmed the exit of Stena Forth drillship from Ghana with Tullow saying it vessel has proceeded to Guyana where it will commence drilling of what is expected to be the Jethro prospect, the first of two wells planned on the offshore Orinduik block.

In Ghana, Tullow said Maersk Venturer drillship, which has been working in tandem with Stena Forth resulting especially in the drilling of four wells and completion of three others, will remain in Ghana to complete the delayed Enyenra-14 production well, a Jubilee producer and an Enyenra water-injector, before switching to drilling operations for the remainder of the year.

Projections of Tullow’s performance in Ghana look quite good according to the company’s production figures. In fact, the Tullow says it has recorded strong performance from its Jubilee operations that has forced it to adjust the 2019 production guidance to around 95,000 bopd gross, up from 93,000 bopd projected previously. Net production from Ghana’s operations is expected to rise to 100,000 bopd “as additional Ghana wells come on stream” according to Tullow.

This performance is would be better than the below expectation figure of 84,600 bopd that the company achieved in the first quarter of this year which Tullow attributed to “technical issues, (that are) now resolved.”

For Tullow Oil Plc, the success of the Ghana projects’ drilling campaign and now the projected increase in oil output volumes could turn out to be the company’s major plank in sustaining the steady progress it says it achieved overall across the business in the first six months of 2019.

Categories: Drilling Activity Africa

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