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WestAfrica'soilpotentialamongbestintheworld

WestAfrica'soilpotentialamongbestinthe
world
Thursday,16July201506:22

TheoilandgaspotentialoftheWestAfricaregionis
amongthebestintheworld,accordingtosomeexpertsin
thesectorwhoadvocateoptimalexploitationand
deploymentofadvancedtechnologiesintheregion
KeithMillheim,adirectoratAtlantisOffshore,saidthatsmall
offshoreoilfieldsinWestAfrica,ifexploitedproperly,could
becomethenextbigeconomicalplay,addingthatallittakes
isoneadventurouscompanytosettheballrolling.
DrawingacomparisonwiththeNorthSea,hesaid,
EntrepreneurssuchastheUSbasedHamiltonBrothers
learnedhowtomakesmallfieldsintheNorthSeaeconomical
WestAfrica'ssmalloilfieldsaregoodforsmall,independent
inthemid1970s,specificallytheArgylefieldoffthecoastof
andindigenouscompanies,saysSunnyOputa,CEOofEnergy
&CorporateAfrica.(Imagesource:simonmorris/FreeImages) ScotlandthatbroughtGreatBritainitsfirstoil.Thecompanys
gamechangingtechnologywasthefirstfloatingproduction
storageandoffloadingvesseldeployedforoilproduction.Itchangedtheoffshoreindustryforever.Millheimadded
thatwithitssmalloffshoreoilfields,WestAfricacouldbethenextNorthSeascenario.
Millheimalsothinksthatthetotalreservesinthesmalloilfieldscouldbemorethanthereservesinthelargeoilfields.
Manyfieldsarecapableofproducing8,000to20,000barrelsofoiladay.Ifyoucandoiteconomically,itsacompany
maker,hesaid.
Accordingtohim,countriesinAfricaarewelcominginternationalinvestorsasmostofthemhavedonelittletoinvestin
thetechnologyneededtoextracttheirownhydrocarbons.HebelievesthatWestAfricassmalloilfieldsarearich
resourcethatonlyneedsinvestorswillingtopursueandexploitit.
SunnyOputa,CEOofEnergy&CorporateAfrica,aHouston,USbasedconsultancy,saidthatthethresholdformany
majoroperatorsisroughly200300mnbarrelsofrecoverableoilandthathasledmanyoperators,includingRoyal
DutchShellandChevronCorporationtoabandonoilfieldsinAfricathattheyconsideredsmallormarginal.
TheywerenotworththeeconomicinvestmenttoShellorChevronbutyouknowwhattheysay:Onemansmeatis
anothermanspoison,saidOputa.Thesesmallfieldsaregoodforsmall,independentandindigenouscompanies.
Somewellscouldproducefor10to15years.Theywillmakemoney,hesaid.
InvestorsintriguedbyAfricassmalloffshorefieldsareoftenwaryoftwothings.Oneisthecostandavailabilityof
innovativetechnologythatcanmakeexploitingsmallfieldscommerciallyunviableandtheotheristhefactthatmany
smallfieldsarelocatedindeepwaters.

MARKETPRICEINDEX

BrentCrudeOil

$44.66

0.48

1.07%

2015.11.21endofday

However,unconventionaltypesoftechnologycanbesuccessfullyappliedtodevelopingsmall,conventional
deepwateroilfields,Millheimexplained.Thereareservicecompaniesandprovidersthatcandoitall.
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22.11.2015

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