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The new engine power plant can run on natural gas and 25 vol% hydrogen blends. (Image source: Wartsila)

Industry

Addressing the just transition ideology of Africa, technology group Wärtsilä has introduced a purely hydrogen-ready engine power plant

Guided by the IEA World Energy Outlook 2023 that predicts hydrogen consumption to reach 51 mt by 2050, Wärtsilä's launch establishes the importance of an energy mix. Sustainable fuels like hydrogen and natural gas are significant to balance the fluctuating renewable energy sources. 

Wartsila has been working towards ensuring energy mix since the last few years, when it announced the conversion of the heavy fuel-operated Bel-Air power plant in Dakar to LNG

The new engine power plant can run on natural gas and 25 vol% hydrogen blends.

Addressing energy security

Anders Lindberg, president, Wärtsilä Energy, said, “We will not meet global climate goals or fully decarbonise our power systems without flexible, zero-carbon power generation, which can quickly ramp up and down to support intermittent wind and solar.

“We must be realistic that natural gas will play a part in our power systems for years to come. Our fuel flexible engines can use natural gas today to provide flexibility and balancing, enabling renewable power to thrive. They can then be converted to run on hydrogen when it becomes readily available: future-proofing the journey to net zero.

“This is a major milestone for us as a company, and the energy transition more generally, as our hydrogen-ready engines will enable the 100% renewable power systems of tomorrow.”

The Wärtsilä 31 engine platform that is the driving force behind the hydrogen-ready power plant is designed for instant operation, synchronising with the grid within 30 seconds from start command.

Having completed more than 1 million running hours, with over 1,000 MW installed capacity globally, the platform offers unparalleled load following capabilities and high part load efficiency. Its fuel flexibility is hence capable of meeting present challenges of energy security. 

With hydrogen catching up at a rapid pace in Africa, the Wärtsilä 31 engine is all set to hit the markets next year, followed by delivery services from 2026. 

TGS plans to reprocess approximately 15,616 sq kms of legacy 3D seismic data in the Liberia Basin. (Image source: TGS)

Geology & Geophysics

Energy data and intelligence provider TGS has collaborated with the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) to expand data access offshore Liberia

TGS will work to rejuvenate the existing legacy 2D and 3D datasets in Liberia's prospective Liberia and Harper Basins, aspiring to reach high subsurface clarity. 

This will help build a unified velocity model in depth, utilising cutting-edge imaging algorithms to produce the final migrated seismic data, which can prove crucial for prospectivity studies in Liberia's offshores.

The company has initiated this campaign since 2022, after the Liberia Petroleum Regulatory Authority (LPRA), in cooperation with NOCAL, opened direct exploration licensing negotiations for all offshore blocks over the Harper and Liberia basins in 2021. An already reprocessed 2D legacy seismic of approximately 12,097 kms is available for industry licensing.

Benefitting exploration

"At TGS, we are proud of our longstanding and successful partnership with Liberia, which we believe presents considerable offshore hydrocarbon opportunities. This high-quality 2D seismic data will be essential in promoting future licensing rounds offshore Liberia under a direct negotiation approach. It also allows E&P companies to further evaluate exploration opportunities in an under-explored but proven petroleum system adjacent to prolific hydrocarbon provinces," said David Hajovsky, executive vice-president of global multi-client at TGS.

Since Liberia's Petroleum Law came into effect in 2019, investment conditions were relaxed and more time frame for exploration was allowed. The reprocessed products by TGS add to the exploration prospects in the region with its consistent, continuous data set of several vintages, providing uninterrupted seismic attributes of higher confidence at target levels across the entire margin.

TGS has now taken on to the second phase to reprocess an additional 12,675 line kms over the Liberia and Harper Basins, bringing the total to over 24,700 kms.

Additionally, the company plans to reprocess approximately 15,616 sq kms of legacy 3D seismic data in the Liberia Basin. 

DeepOcean's scope of work will include project management, engineering, and execution of subsea services, among others. (Image source: DeepOcean)

Technology

Driven by a framework agreement signed with Woodside Energy (Senegal) BV, ocean services provider DeepOcean will be supervising subsea inspection, maintenance, and repair (IMR) services for the Sangomar field offshore Senegal, West Africa

“We have extensive experience from similar IMR operations offshore West Africa, but this is our first project offshore Senegal and with Woodside. We look forward to being Woodside’s subsea IMR supplier here over the coming years and to demonstrate our competence and extensive pool of specialist subsea tools and underwater assets,” said Øyvind Mikaelsen, CEO of DeepOcean.

With a permanently moored floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), the Sangomar deepwater oil field 100 kms south of Dakar has just begun production. The repurposed FPSO started sail from Singapore last December to travel 12,000 nautical miles.

Extensive offshore infrastructure

Driven by 24 subsea wells and associated subsea systems that comprises of wellheads and subsea trees, in-line tees, manifolds, flowlines and risers, flowline-end terminals, and umbilicals, the project demands long-drawn services from DeepOcean. Its scope of work will include project management, engineering, and execution of subsea services such as inspection, survey, intervention, and maintenance, as well as additional services such as underwater inspection of FPSO (UWILD) and standalone ROV operations. The Norway-based provider will be supported by a Senegalese service company called Teranga Oil and Gas Services SARL.

“Sangomar is a large and impressive field development, with extensive subsea infrastructure. Our aim is always to inspect and maintain it as effectively as possible, thereby keeping costs and operational disturbances to a minimum for Woodside,” said Mikaelsen. 

A project of strategic importance, the Sangomar oil field is supported by investments from the Africa Finance Corporation

The FPSO vessel is currently being moored at the site 40km offshore in a water depth of 120m. (Image source: bp)

Gas

The floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, a key component of the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) Phase 1 LNG development, has arrived at its final location offshore on the maritime border of Mauritania and Senegal

The FPSO vessel is currently being moored at the site 40km offshore in a water depth of 120m. It will be operated by bp, on behalf of the project’s partners: bp, Kosmos Energy, PETROSEN and SMH. The project will produce gas from reservoirs in deep water, approximately 120km offshore, through a subsea system.

Following completion of its construction at the COSCO Qidong Shipyard, China, the FPSO has travelled more than 12,000 nautical miles to the GTA site.

“bp is investing in today’s energy system - and tomorrow’s too, and GTA Phase 1 represents this investment in action,” said Dave Campbell, bp’s senior vice president, Mauritania and Senegal.

“And this is a huge landmark step for the project, an innovative LNG development that is leading the way in unlocking gas resources for Mauritania and Senegal. The FPSO vessel has travelled halfway around the globe and its safe arrival and installation is testament to the resilience, skills, teamwork and huge effort of all the partners involved. We are now entirely focused on safe completion of the project as we continue to work towards first gas.”

The GTA Phase 1 development is expected to produce around 2.3 million tonnes of LNG annually for more than 20 years. It is the first gas development in this new basin offshore Mauritania and Senegal. With wells located in water depths of up to 2,850m, the GTA Phase 1 development has the deepest subsea infrastructure in Africa. The multibillion-dollar investment has been granted the status of National Project of Strategic Importance by the Presidents of both Mauritania and Senegal.

The FPSO will have up to 140 people on board during normal operation. With an area equivalent to two football fields and 10-storeys in height, the FPSO is made of more than 81,000 tonnes of steel, 37,000m of pipe spools and 1.52 million meters of cable.

The FPSO is expected to process over 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. It will remove water, condensate and impurities from the gas before transferring it via pipeline to the Floating Liquified Natural Gas (FLNG) vessel at the Hub Terminal approximately 10km offshore. At the FLNG vessel, the gas will be cryogenically cooled, liquefied and stored before being transferred to LNG carriers for export, while some is allocated to help meet growing demand in the two host countries.

Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria will acquire diesel at US$0.96 per l. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Downstream

The US$20bn, 650,000-bpd Dangote Refinery in Nigeria has completed its first shipment of diesel and jet fuel to the local market since it started production in January 

Egbert Faibille Jnr, CEO, Petroleum Commission, Ghana. (Image source: WAES)

Event News

Following major offshore discoveries such as Calao, Ivory Coast, and Pecan, Ghana, among others, the region is all set to get its first energy summit this year – West African Energy Summit (WAES) 2024

Organised by OGV Group in partnership with the Ministry of Energy for Ghana, the summit will take place from 3-5 September 2024 in Accra, Ghana. 

With spotlight on Offshore West Africa as a preferred investment hub for global operators, industry stakeholders can expect prospective upstream deals, besides deal-making sessions on project development and capital raising. Facilitating discussions on the balance and integration of oil, gas and renewables, energy players can network, collaborate and advance the energy transformation narrative and economic development in West Africa. 

From fleet renovation campaign by Bourbon Mobility or conversion upgrades by Argeo Venture to subsea construction transport and installation by DOF, the region is currently a hotbed of deepwater activities. In a latest development, Amplus VGE and Carbon Cycle have collaborated to launch innovative solutions for easier acces to the lucrative marginal fields of West AfricaAmplus VGE and Carbon Cycle have collaborated to launch innovative solutions for easier acces to the lucrative marginal fields of West Africa

These examples will surely come up in the specially curated sessions of the summit – New Ventures Forum, National Showcase, Petroleum Data Workshop, and Skills and Training Workshop. 

Exchanges on the fundamentality of education in the energy sector to practice responsible resource management and energy independence will be dealt with in discussions led by the Scottish Africa Business Association. SABA will look into region-specific skills training as well. 

Attracting investments, driving sustainability 

Egbert Faibille Jnr, CEO of Petroleum Commission of the Republic of Ghana, said, “The West African Energy Summit for me is a groundbreaking event for the energy sector in the region. Within the framework of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), there have been several understandings and several efforts to ensure a certain convergence towards the exploitation and use of West African energy resources. To that extent, the event couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Dan Hyland, operations director of OGV Group, said, “West Africa's energy sector is poised for significant growth, and the West African Energy Summit provides a key platform for industry stakeholders to explore new opportunities and develop strategic partnerships. We believe in the region's potential to attract investment and drive sustainable development, and we are excited to assist discussions that will shape the future of energy in West Africa.” 

 

 

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