Latin America and Africa share the honors at the AIPN’s 2019 Awards

Each year the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) recognize excellence within the sector with three prestigious awards – Venture of the Year, Deal of the Year, and Discovery of the Year.

Two of this year’s winners have been rewarded for their work in developing the oil and gas sector in Latin America, while the third comes from offshore Africa.

Out of Africa

The Venture of the Year award was won by BP, Kosmos Energy, SMHPM and PETROSEN for the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim Project, offshore Senegal and Mauritania. This innovative project will produce gas from an ultra-deepwater subsea system and floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

Late last year the partners announced that Final Investment Decision (FID) for Phase 1 of the project had been agreed. This will be one of the fastest developed LNG projects, at approximately seven years from discovery to production. The field was discovered in April 2015. The two countries agreed to a treaty in February 2018 to provide for unitization of the cross-border field and its development as an LNG project.

Moving to Latin America

The award for Deal of the Year went to Hamburg based DEA, who boosted its presence in Mexico ahead of this year’s merger with Wintershall, by acquiring Sierra Oil and Gas. Sierra was Mexico’s first independent exploration and production company following the opening of the country’s energy sector and held interests in six blocks, approximately 9,400 square kilometers of exploration acreage.

Sierra holds a 40 percent stake in the world class Zama discovery but does not operate the project. The Zama oil field is located approximately 60km off the coast of Tabasco, Mexico, in Block 7 of Sureste Basin. It is estimated to hold up to two billion barrels of oil equivalent, it is one of the world’s most significant shallow-water oil discoveries in the past 20 years. Zama is estimated to hold 400 million to 800 million barrels in recoverable reserves, and DEA expects to start production as soon as 2022.

The second Latin American project to be recognized was the Stabroek Block, offshore Guyana, which scooped the Discovery of the Year award for ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC International. The province has been a remarkable venture for the consortium with 12 discoveries totaling more than 5 billion barrels equivalent (bboe) recoverable reserves since 2015. Last year was particularly fruitful with five new discoveries – Ranger, Pacora, Longtail, Hammerhead, and Pluma – announced in a new sandstone reservoir.

The best of the best

Bill Cline, President of AIPN and Senior Advisor, Gaffney, Cline & Associates explained that he was delighted with the quality of this year’s finalists that mirrored the growing optimism within the sector. “Every single finalist had a compelling story to tell, and each would have been a worthy winner,” he said. “The judges had a challenging job separating them. However, I feel that the three winners represent the best that the oil and gas sector has to offer.”

“The awards have always celebrated impactful industry achievements, underpinned by international petroleum negotiations and transactions that promote and embody the principles of AIPN in the oil and gas industry.”

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