Interview with Daniel Hogan, COO of PanAtlantic Exploration
PanAtlantic Energy entered Equatorial Guinea’s Block K in 2010 and is now exploring a total of three license areas as operator. Chief Operating Officer H. Daniel Hogan spoke to the EG Ronda 2016 team about PanAtlantic’s strategy and perspective on exploring Equatorial Guinea’s oil and gas blocks.
What have been the key milestones since PanAtlantic took an exploration position in Equatorial Guinea?
Since the formation of the company in early 2012, PanAtlantic has been focused on the Atlantic Margin with particular interest in Equatorial Guinea. Adding to the legacy Block K, the company acquired significant interest in Blocks 02 and W mid-year 2013, eventually becoming operator of all three blocks after acquiring majority interest in Block W in February of 2016. PanAtlantic is now one of the largest acreage holders offshore Equatorial Guinea.
Equatorial Guinea has an oil and gas discovery success rate that is double the global average. How do you appraise the country’s oil and gas legacy?
Equatorial Guinea is fortunate in having multiple proven and prolific petroleum systems; in particular the Niger Delta in the northwest, and the Rio Muni Basin the south. Here, multiple large fields have provided sustainable production of both oil and gas for a considerable period of time. These positive results point to the high potential of the almost unexplored offshore, in particular the deep water, where key play factors such as charge and reservoir potential have already been substantially de-risked by the exploration success in shallower water. It is highly likely that much of the hydrocarbon endowment of Equatorial Guinea has yet to be realized.
What is your assessment of the Equatorial Guinea Government as an exploration partner?
PanAtlantic enjoys an exceptional relationship with the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons. As a US company operating in foreign countries, the importance of “sanctity of contract” cannot be understated. Particularly in Equatorial Guinea, the host government abides by all contractual agreements and has been extremely responsive to the needs of PanAtlantic.
Do you agree that Equatorial Guinea and the rest of the Transform Margin in general are underexplored and need further exploration drilling to better understand the prospectivity?
Recent successes in the Atlantic transform margin highlight the significant potential of this frontier, which remains particularly underexplored in the Equatorial Guinea, both in deep water, and – with a few exceptions – in the shelfal setting. In particular, the Transform Margin provides one of the few areas where multiple world-class discoveries can still be anticipated, in a benign environment with existing infrastructure.
What are they key advantages of investing in Equatorial Guinea and how would you advise any company considering an entry to the market?
Equatorial Guinea has an extremely stable government with leadership that is focused on sustained economic growth while maintaining environmental stewardship. The country provides a relatively low-cost environment for both the exploration and the production phases, given the presence of a well-developed hydrocarbon industry. Geographically, EG is strategically placed, with good export access to both the North American and the European markets. I have been particularly impressed with the quality, trained work force available in-country. My advice to companies seeking to do business in Equatorial Guinea would be to establish and maintain the appropriate relationship with the host government and fully utilize the highly qualified indigenous labor pool.