The Path to Agbami: Stalking an African Giant
The Agbami oil discovery in November of 1998 was one of the final giant oil discoveries of the 20th century. Located in deep Nigerian water and straddling OML blocks 216 and 217, the discovery was the result of a deliberate hunt for large reserves by Texaco and its partners. While all the modern technology tools were utilized to great effectiveness in this hunt, the real Agbami story had all of the classic elements of successful exploration: These included rejection of the status quo; application of a focused, highly skilled team; risk taking in technology and drilling; and working collaboratively with an indigenous partner. The real key to the Agbami story is diligence and persistence ... die same keys in the discovery stories of other great fields in the last century and sure to be repeated in the new.
My part of the Path to Agbami began during the early 1970s, when I was struck by industry paradigms which were in opposition to academic thought regarding deep water processes and exploration. These “Industry Paradigms” summarized industry opinions: