Trident Energy celebrates half a decade in Equatorial Guinea
It has been five years since we took over our first assets - the Okume Complex and Ceiba Field - in Equatorial Guinea. We are proud of how much we have been able to achieve and want to share our story with you.
In November 2017, we closed the acquisition of Hess Equatorial Guinea. This was a joint venture with our partner Kosmos Energy on a 50-50 basis. Under the terms of the agreement, Kosmos was primarily responsible for exploration and subsurface evaluation while we were primarily responsible for production operations and optimization.
As it stands, we are the operator of the Block G producing fields, while Kosmos operates the surrounding exploration acreage: Block S, Block W and Block EG-21. We have two other partners Panoro Energy and GE Petrol.
Bringing new life to Okume and Ceiba
The Ceiba field and Okume complex are located in the Gulf of Guinea, in water depths ranging from 50m to 800m.
The Okume Complex comprises five oil-producing fields: Okume, Elon, Oveng, Akom North and Ebano.
The Ceiba field is located on the present-day continental slope. The field is a series of stacked deep-water channel complexes which sit within a NE-SW trending belt of salt-cored structural highs, interpreted as base-of-slope compressional features (also known as a ‘toe-thrust’).
Since the takeover, we have increased production by 41% compared to the previous operator’s no-investment case, that’s an increase of 18 million barrels of oil.
We have achieved this through a series of improvements including:
- Eight workover conversions which saw the first electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) installed in Equatorial Guinea - 1.5 million barrels of oil were gained from this.
- Three mud acid campaigns where 15 wells have been treated with a total gain of 3,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd).
- The replacement of a G-19 flowline riser which increased production by 3,000 bopd.
- Our first deep offshore hot tapping operation was conducted on our CEIBA field at a water depth of 780m, which allowed for the creation of new gas injection points on two subsea production jumpers where there were none before.
- The completion of the first phase of heavy infrastructure investment on the Okume block: the upgrade of the Okume Central Production Facility and the electrification of the two Tension Leg Platform’s (TLPs), and 5km of new trunkline for the G-19 well. On the Ceiba block we installed 70km of new pipes and umbilicals and completely replaced the gas lift distribution unit. All these projects were initiated during the beginning of the pandemic, and we made the decision to maintain these integrity investments despite the oil price drop. By investing in key infrastructure, we guarantee availability and reliability for many years to come.
Other exciting projects carried out over the last five years:
- We carried out our first drilling campaign and the only one in the country in 2021. The campaign consisted of three wells (OG-01, OB-15, and OB-14). Despite operational issues, OG-01 and OB-14 started above our high-case expectations, and we are developing plans to complete OB-15 in due course.
- We installed our first production platform on the Okume field, Golf, built in Cameroon.
We are proud to have an established team in Equatorial Guinea (around 102 staff) which as part of our nationalization program comprises predominantly local talent, especially in management positions. In favor of a decentralized model, we redistributed tasks and responsibilities in-country, empowering our employees. We created two departments in the city of Bata – Subsurface and Well Service. Considering the level of technical skills required for these types of positions, we have invested time and resources to recruit, train and develop some talented Equatoguineans. In our Subsurface team, we employ 50% of national employees which means we have gone from 0% to 50% in five years.
We also continue to build ‘true partnerships’ with local vendors and this approach has allowed us to better understand their capabilities and work with them in securing a minimum level of operability, one that does not compromise on safety while securing operational continuity. Our relationship with local companies and our continued commitment to improving service delivery levels locally are currently paying off by providing us with flexibility when it comes to delivering on our work program. In 2022 67% of our suppliers for both materials and services were locally sourced.
As a company, we are committed to creating positive outcomes through our operations beyond the scope of our contractual obligations. We aim to address the fundamental needs of the communities where we operate and make it our responsibility to source and choose the projects we get involved with. Throughout the years, we have built long-term relationships, offered job opportunities, and stood by our people during times of need.
Over the last five years, we have undertaken many successful Corporate Social Responsibility projects investing around $5M. The more recent examples include supporting the local governments during the COVID-19 pandemic, aiding the Bata community in the aftermath of the 7th March explosions in 2021, and building infrastructures such as water wells and bridges.
A huge milestone for Trident in Equatorial Guinea is the material time extension of the PSC to 2040. Negotiations started in mid-2021 with the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons and ended in May 2022. Both Okume and Ceiba have been extended to 2040. As part of the extensions, we have committed:
- To increase our CSR investments to $750,000 per year (on top of the contribution we make to the national institute for technology).
- To drill four wells - three production wells on block G, and one exploration well on block S, with a campaign to start no later than Q4 2023. To date, a semisubmersible drilling rig has been contracted, the drilling and subsea tie-back long lead items have been ordered and we are working on the drilling proposals.
We are also dedicated to training our staff and offering more opportunities over the coming years.
It is safe to say we have had a busy few years, which would not have been possible without our great team. Their energy, team spirit and willingness to learn and improve inspire us every day. Thank you and here is to the next five years!