The final investment decision (FID) for the Etinde gas field development project is expected in 2022. Credit: Bowleven.
The Etinde permit is located off the coast of Cameroon. Credit: James Jones Jr / Shutterstock.
The project will supply dry gas to Ferrostaal’s fertiliser plant in Limbe, Cameroon for up to 20 years. Credit: Oil and Gas Photographer / Shutterstock.

Etinde gas field is located in shallow waters off the coast of Cameroon. A formal approval to apply for a new Etinde Exploitation Agreement (EEA) was received in January 2021. The new EEA will replace the existing EEA, which came into force in January 2015.

The final investment decision (FID) is expected to be approved in 2022. The developers are anticipated to prepare an optimum development concept for Etinde in 2022.

The Etinde permit comprises Blocks MLHP-5, MLHP-6 and MLHP-7 within Rio Del Rey and Douala Basins. The permit covers an area of 2,316km² in shallow water, 25km from the shore.

The Block MLHP-7 within the Rio Del Rey Basin comprises the IM, IE and IF wells, which will be developed as part of Etinde Development Stage 1. The partners submitted the draft for the EEAA in 2012.

Results from the drilling of the IM-5 well, completed in April 2013, were integrated into the EEAA in July 2013 and the final EEAA was submitted in January 2014.

Ownership details

Bowleven, an oil and gas company based in the UK, owns 25% interest in the field while Russian multi-national energy company Lukoil owns 37.5%.

The remaining 37.5% is held by New Age (African Global Energy), which is also the operator of the field.

SNH (Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures), a state-owned hydrocarbon company, has an option to claim a 20% stake in the field. The ownership interests of Bowleven, Lukoil, and New Age will decrease to 20%, 30%, and 30%, respectively, if the option is exercised by SNH.

Geology and drilling activities at Etinde

Oil and gas condensate within the block is located in the Miocene-aged Isongo sandstone formation. Bowleven completed the drilling of nine wells at Etinde starting from 2007.

The IM-5 well (Block MHLP-7) was drilled in April 2013, which will be the first to start production from the offshore field. Wells were drilled using Noble’s Tommy Craighead and Sedco Forex International’s Trident IV jack-up drilling rigs.

The drilling of the IM-6 appraisal well was completed in August 2018. The well was drilled to a total depth of 3,550m to delineate the wet gas/water contact location within the intra-Isongo 410 sand reservoir.

The well also explored the potential of the shallower 510 sandstone formation and the deeper 310 sandstone formation.

The drilling of the appraisal well resulted in several low-level gas shows in the 510 sand section. The 510 sand body was, however, determined to be water-bearing based on the well logging tool data and reservoir fluid samples.

Gas shows were found in the 310 intra-Isongo formation. The well log data and fluid samples from the reservoir indicate that the Middle Isongo sections have potential.

The IE4 appraisal well at the Etinde block was completed in October 2018. The well was mainly aimed at appraising two Intra-Isongo aged 410 sand packages in two fault-bounded structures.

Etinde Stage 1 development details

Taking the hub and spoke approach, the development concept for Stage 1 primarily involves the installation of unmanned platforms (the spokes), which will be connected to an onshore processing facility (the hub). The design will enable the early production of liquids and also allow more platforms to be added as further discoveries are made.

Oil, condensate and wet gas will be delivered to the onshore facility, which will carry out liquids stripping and extract natural gas liquids (NGL).

Liquids and NGLs will be exported, with additional gas volumes expected to be supplied to SNH and GDF Suez.

Off-take agreements

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in 2012 to supply 70 million cubic feet per day (MMscfd) of dry gas from the project to Ferrostaal’s fertiliser plant in Limbe, Cameroon, for up to 20 years.

New Age signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG) for the supply of gas from the Etinde field, in February 2020.

The two companies agreed to explore the possibility of signing a 20-year gas supply agreement. New Age is expected to supply processed gas to Gaz du Cameroun (GDC), a Cameroon-based subsidiary of VOG. The quantum of the gas to be supplied to GDC is estimated to be a minimum of 25Mmscfd for the first three years, which will increase to at least 30Mmscfd, subject to the signing of a gas supply agreement.

Contractors involved

Bowleven signed a strategic alliance agreement with Petrofac in November 2012, under which the latter agreed to provide $500m for the development of the project and $60m to cover the cost for drilling of the IM-5 well, project management, engineering, design, procurement and construction services.

An independent competent person’s report (CPR) for the IF field in Block MHLP-7 was completed by TRACS International Consultancy in 2009 to assess the resource potential from the discovery.

New Age Cameroon Offshore Petroleum, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Age, signed a contract with Vantage Drilling International to provide the Topaz Driller jack-up rig for drilling services in February 2018.

TechnipFMC, a global oil and gas services firm, was appointed as the lead front-end engineering design (FEED) contractor for the development of the gas condensate field, in March 2020. The FEED project was completed in December 2020, while the follow-up review was completed during the first quarter (Q1) of 2021.