Esgian Week 21 Report: Tender Opportunities Emerging in Africa

© @renatopmeireles / Adobe Stock
© @renatopmeireles / Adobe Stock

Esgian provides an update on new commitments confirmed for Odfjell Drilling and Borr Drilling rigs and new tender opportunities emerging in Africa in its Week 21 Rig Analytics Market Roundup.

Report Summary


Equinor has exercised an option to extend the use of Odfjell Drilling’s 10,000-ft Deepsea Aberdeen for a batch of eight wells on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. With this, Odfjell Drilling’s owned fleet of four semisubs has a firm backlog until at least mid-2026.

Borr Drilling has confirmed new work for its 400-ft jackup Prospector 1 in the UK and the Netherlands, which will keep the rig busy into early 2025.

Borr Drilling has secured a contract extension for the 400-ft jackup Norve with BW Energy offshore Gabon from August to mid-October 2024, throwing the timing of a previously announced contract with Tower Resources offshore Cameroon in doubt.

Following its April 2024 announcement of a binding letter of award (LOA) for a 480-day campaign for one of its jackups, Borr Drilling has confirmed that this work will take place in Africa and that it has also secured a binding LOA for a term of around 180 days with another jackup in Africa.

Drilling Activity and Discoveries

Malaysian oil and gas company Hibiscus Petroleum has shared the preliminary size estimate of the recently discovered Bunga Aster-1 well. The company plans to drill an appraisal well in 2025 to confirm the full extent of the discovery located in the Malaysia-Vietnam PM3 Commercial Arrangement Area (CAA) PSC.

BW Energy announced a 'substantial' oil discovery in the Dussafu licence offshore Gabon on Monday.

Oil company Perenco has announced that its subsidiary, MIOC, has made the first offshore exploration discovery in the Democratic Republic of Congo in almost 30 years.

Following the consideration of appeals, South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFEE) has confirmed the Environmental Authorisation for TotalEnergies to conduct exploration drilling on Block Deep Water Orange Basin (DWOB) off the west coast of South Africa.

Equinor has made an oil discovery in well 25/11-H-1 H at the Svalin field in the North Sea off Norway.

The Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NOD) has granted Aker BP a drilling permit for an exploration well in the North Sea off Norway.

The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) has given Equinor consent for exploration drilling in block 35/10 in the North Sea off Norway.
Energean plans to spud the Anchois appraisal well offshore Morocco in August 2024.


The FEED study for the TotalEnergies-operated Preowei development on OML 130 offshore Nigeria is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2024, with a final investment decision (FID) taken in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to partner Africa Oil Corp.

Chevron has released a tender opportunity for a deepwater rig with an ROV unit to work at the Agbami unit (OML 127/128).

TotalEnergies has released a tender opportunity to a jackup to work offshore Nigeria, beginning in the first quarter of 2025.

Mobilisation/Rig Moves

The Aban Offshore-owned 250-ft jackup Aban II is being towed to Mumbai Anchorage in India.

Dolphin Drilling’s 1,500-ft semisub Borgland Dolphin is en route to Las Palmas, where it will undergo reactivation and special periodic survey (SPS) ahead of a contract in the UK North Sea scheduled for Q2 2025.

The 400-ft jackup Admarine 502, owned by Advanced Drilling Services (ADES), is being towed to Bahrain's Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Company (ASRY).

The COSL-owned 300-ft jackup HAIYANGSHIYOU 936 and the COSL-managed 375-ft jackup SinoOcean Wisdom arrived at Ras Tanura anchorage in Saudi Arabia following the suspension of their contracts with Saudi Aramco.

ExxonMobil has moved the 10,000-ft drillship Stena DrillMAX to EL 1169 in the Orphan Basin offshore Newfoundland, Canada to begin drilling the Persephone C-54 exploration well in around 9,842 ft (3,000 m) of water.

Valaris-owned 350-ft jackup Valaris 143 is being towed to Hamriyah Shipyard in Sharjah, UAE.

Arabian Drilling-managed 400-ft jackup ArabDrill 70 has arrived at Ras Tanura anchorage in Saudi Arabia.

Other News

Brazilian regulatory agency Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (ANP) has approved geological studies relating to four offshore exploratory blocks in the pre-salt area of the Santos Basin and has forwarded the blocks to the Ministry of Mines and Energy for evaluation of possible inclusion in future bidding rounds.

Serica Energy has received final approval from the UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) to develop the 100% owned and operated Belinda field located in the UK North Sea.

TotalEnergies has announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) of the Block 20/11 development offshore Angola.

Nigerian courts have directed that an existing interim injunction to maintain status quo continue in force pending orders by the arbitrator in the disagreement between Dolphin Drilling and General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL) regarding the drilling contract for the 6,000-ft semisubmersible Blackford Dolphin.

Criterium Energy has signed a binding sale and purchase agreement (SPA) for the divestment of its 42.5% non-operated working interest in the Bulu Production Sharing Contract, offshore Indonesia.

Brazilian independent oil companies 3R Petroleum and Enauta have reached an agreement to merge, and create one independent company operating in Latin America.

ADNOC has agreed to acquire Galp’s 10% interest in the Area 4 concession of the Rovuma basin off Mozambique.

Orcadian Energy has agreed to a non-binding Heads of Agreement (HoA) with a potential farm-in partner on its recently awarded Southern North Sea licence.

Borr Drilling’s net income nearly halved in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the last quarter of 2023, despite an increase in revenues.

Afentra has completed the acquisition of a 12% non-operating interest in Block 3/05 and a 16% non-operating interest in Block 3/05A offshore Angola.

Malaysia-based Velesto's drilling services business recorded an increase in profit before tax and revenue for the quarter that ended 31 March 2024, driven by higher rig utilisation and dayrates.

The UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) ran a call for evidence on the potential principles, design, and timing of a possible future levy on UK carbon storage licences.

Chinese oil company CNOOC Limited has signed petroleum exploration and production concession contracts (EPCCs) with Mozambique's Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME) and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) for five offshore blocks in Mozambique.

Equinor and the Troll partners have decided to invest just over NOK 12 billion ($1.1 billion) to further develop the gas infrastructure in the Troll West gas province in the North Sea.

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