Africa represents one of the major future contributors to the global economy. With that comes a growing need for energy. Beginning in the early 2000s, governments across West Africa have been implementing programmes aimed at stimulating the development of their hydrocarbon resources by small independent companies. Indigenous as well as foreign companies have the opportunity to take advantage of these opportunities. For example in Nigeria, the programme is designed to develop stranded oil discoveries that are not attractive for the majors but can be very profitable for a small company such as Tate. Tate has identified a number of such assets in Nigeria and Cameroon.
Developing such fields in parallel affords further savings on capex, opex, logistics, security etc, hence further improving returns.
Tate has formed a consortium with Phoenix RDS and World Carrier Corporation to implement efficient and profitable production setups that are best suited for these accumulations. The consortium has developed the most efficient and profitable field, drilling and production system optimally suited for shallow-water stranded assets. The concept is centered around leased MOPU facilities (Mobile Offshore Production Unit), and crude evacuation via leased shuttle tankers. Initial Capex outlay is minimised. Flow assurance is achieved because the crude never enters the onshore, and all financial transactions are conducted on the top company level in Europe.
Tate models itself on the past successful Nigerian operation of Devon Energy, which operated in Nigeria between 2003 and 2008 and made several oil and gas discoveries in two ultra-deepwater blocks.
The Tate organisation is built on a firm foundation of teamwork, mutual respect and trust. Tate is organised around a core of technical and managerial staff who has long operational experience in West Africa with Devon Energy and Addax. Tate works with the local communities, will employ local staff in its field operations and support local businesses.
Tate's core focus is on the very attractive West African shelf from Cote d'Ivoire, through Ghana and Nigeria, to Cameroon.
The Tate business plan is to acquire low-risk, stranded assets consisting of producing fields and proven undeveloped discoveries close to production, develop them to their fullest potential, and build a portfolio of highly profitable producing fields.
Tate focuses on assets that combine low commercial and technical risk and short time to first production. Tate's flat structure and low operational cost translates to robust economics even in a depressed oil-price environment. Tate’s goal is to achieve maximum return for shareholders, partners and host governments.
Tate recognises that the current climate offers a unique opportunity for the acquisition and development of under-invested and under-developed oil and gas assets. An investment made now in the right oil and gas assets can deliver a very attractive return in 3-5 year’s time. The cash-heavy front-end capital investment is made at a time when drilling, seismic and production-facilities services are reasonably priced and plentiful, and the benefit is collected when oil prices have risen, maximising the asset’s value.
Tate has identified a number of assets currently available for acquisition across West Africa that represent attractive investment opportunities. Specific areas of interest are outlined in yellow on the map on the right.
These assets range from already producing fields offering instant cash flow, to appraised discoveries ready for first production in 6-12 months. By global industry standards, these are very short lead times.
By combining reservoir expertise with industry-leading drilling-contractor and production-system companies, Tate has developed a drilling and production system that ensures the highest economic recovery of the reservoir, significantly reduces costly waste production and enables first oil to be achieved in an extremely short time-scale.
Our field-development approach enables sales revenues within a few months of being on location over the first well, and also enables new wells to be drilled concurrently whilst producing. This system is rapid to deploy, negates the need for expensive pipelines and dedicated surface facilities and will enable low cost abandonment at end of field life. Furthermore, this system saves tens of millions of dollars in up front and end-of-field life costs, which otherwise significantly impacts the economics of these small-pool field developments.
By rethinking the traditional way of developing fields, driving an innovative technical approach and leveraging the opportunities we currently have in the market, Tate is able to ensure that these fields will deliver their optimal potential.
Tate carries out its technical work in a team-based environment:
• The Subsurface Team carries out well and seismic interpretations and subsurface mapping, reservoir modelling, dynamic reservoir simulations, and reserve estimations.
• The Drilling Operations Team collaborates with the Subsurface Team on well design, and carries out the drilling of production wells required to bring the fields to peak production. Horizontal wells and advanced completion technologies are being planned.
• The Production Operations Team carries out the extraction of hydrocarbons and bringing them to the point of sale.
The three teams work seamlessly without silos, and deliver
integrated reservoir-lifecycle solutions for each of the assets:
• The Subsurface Team provides input into well design and production-facilities design. It receives feedback from the Drilling Team from newly drilled wells and from the Production Operations Team on production-performance. It uses this data to continuously review and validate its reservoir models and to design additional workovers or new production wells when needed. This allows for the optimisation of field-development plans, which translates to the highest profits.
• The Drilling team works with the Subsurface Team on well design, and provides input into production-facilities design for the Production Team.
• The Production Team feeds production-performance data back to the Subsurface Team, enabling them to continuously improve their subsurface models. It also works with the drilling team, providing input into well design.
The result is a seamless technical organisation delivering the best solutions for field development and production.