Production West Africa

On 5 November 2018, cumulative production from Baobab reached 100 million barrels of oil. This still only represents around 10 per cent of the oil in place, so expectations are high for many prosperous years to come.

 

Ivory Coast

27.39% interest in Block CI-40, Baobab

In 1997, Svenska farmed-in to the Espoir Field, Block CI-26, located north of the Baobab field, entering a partnership with Addax Petroleum, Ranger Oil, Tullow and the national oil company Petroci.

When oil prices plummeted in 1998, Svenska left the licence for financial reasons, but stayed with the partnership in the newly formed CI-40 exploration licence, covering the Baobab prospect. Tullow and Addax decided to leave the partnership. Ranger was acquired by, and incorporated with, Canadian National Resources (CNR).

The first well was drilled in 2001 and the theory of oil migration paths into the reservoir was confirmed. An appraisal well was drilled in 2002, and in 2005, only three years later, production from the Baobab field commenced.

In November 2018 production reached 100 million barrels of oil. 

The reservoir is located in water depths of 1500 metres. Production from the field commenced in August 2005 from ten horizontal wells aided by three water injectors. The produced fluids were co-mingled and transported via flow lines to an FPSO moored in 900 metres water depth

Partnership

Svenska, with a 27.39 per cent interest, is joined by operator Canadian
Natural Resources International (CNR), with 57.61 per cent, and the national oil company Petroci, with
15 per cent interest.

Drilling for Preservation

There have always been challenges with drilling in Baobab due to the relatively thin overburden and the unconsolidated state of the reservoir. However, the fourth and most recent drilling campaign, lessons learned from the previous campaigns have been implemented and any problems encountered have been overcome. This was confirmed by drilling the longest horizontal reservoir section of nearly 1,500 metres in 2018. There has also been a development in completion technologies which ensures complete screen-out in these long horizontal wells.

Increased production level

Production from the new wells has met expectations and increased the daily oil production from approximately 20,000 bbl/day to 30,000 bbl/day. With the final Phase 4 well that came production in early 2019, sustained production at this level is expected for most of 2019. In the longer term the new water injectors should also contribute to an extended period of relatively high production.

Development for the Future

We see a further development of Baobab, and new draining philosophies and technologies will be applied to exploit this resource to its maximum extent. A conceptual scenario for Phase 5 is taking shape. Assuming this will be a six-well campaign we believe that the Estimated Ultimate Recoverable Reserves (EUR) will be increased by another 50+ mmboe to reach a recovery factor of more than 30 per cent. We further believe that there is still room for increase and the partnership is working towards a target in excess of 40 per cent by the time the licence reaches relinquishment.

The Baobab production licence expires in 2028, but can be extended. 

Heavy Oil with a Cool Advantage

Crude oil from the Baobab reservoir is comparatively heavy, but still attractive on the world market. It stays in liquid form down to -40°C, which is a big handling advantage for refineries in the northern hemisphere during winter conditions.

Baobab crude oil is marketed and sold worldwide. Traded oil is transferred from the FPSO to shuttle tankers for further shipment to refineries. 

The FPSO’s large storage capacity is an advantage in price negotiations, since we almost always can guarantee that a one million barrel cargo will be available when the buyer’s tanker is approaching.

The FPSO is owned and operated by Modec International Inc., a Japanese international supplier and operator of FPSOs

Further reading