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Nigeria, Angola Now Biggest Oil Drilling Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa





Nigeria has equaled Angola as the largest oil drilling market in sub-Saharan this year, according to a report by Hawilti and the Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc.


Oil drilling involves the extraction of oil by drilling a well through the earth's crust to reach the fossil fuel deposits.


According to the offshore rigs tracker report released on Monday, 38 drilling rigs have been contracted offshore sub-Saharan Africa this year so far.


This marks an increase from the pace of activity witnessed in 2022 and early 2023.


The report noted that new drilling contracts have been awarded across established and frontier markets since January, "confirming 2023 as one of the biggest years for offshore drilling activity on the continent in a decade".


"Nigeria has caught up with Angola to also take the position of biggest drilling market this year, with a total of eight drilling campaigns confirmed offshore in both countries," the report reads.


"However, activity is likely to remain higher in Angola as most drilling campaigns there are confirmed until the second half of 2024 already to support exploratory, infill, and development drilling."


The report noted that exploration makes an important part of ongoing and planned drilling campaigns for 2023.


"While results of key campaigns in Gabon and Congo are still awaited, new contracts have been signed by Eni to drill the Raia prospect offshore Mozambique, and by Galp to join the Orange Basin frenzy offshore Namibia and drill two wells there at the end of the year," the report further reads.


"TotalEnergies also extended the Baltic rig contract offshore Nigeria to drill the Ntokon Central prospect on OML 102, while Shell selected the Noble Voyager to drill a wildcat on its C-10 license offshore Mauritania at the end of this year."


While the industry awaits the results of concluded campaigns and looks forward to the spudding of much-awaited wells, the report said "positive rumours" are already circulating out of Namibia where TotalEnergies appraised its Venus discovery.


The campaign, according to the document, seems to have met expectations, and will be followed by the drilling of a new prospect -- Nara -- just west of the existing discovery.


"The French major has also declared it would drill the Niamou prospect offshore Congo-Brazzaville this year, in a move that could open up a new deepwater province in Central Africa," the document said.

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