London-listed Aminex PLC (LON:AEX) first entered Tanzania in 2002…

Aminex timeline

2002: Aminex enters Tanzania, gaining the Nyuni and Ruvuma acreage through the acquisition of Tanzoil.

2004: the Nyuni-1-1A-ST well reveals oil and gas shows.        

2005: the Ruvuma Petroleum Sharing Agreement (PSA) is approved and assigned to Aminex and Solo Oil. It contains the Lindi and Mtwara licences.

June 2008: the Kiliwani North-1 well finds gas in the Nyuni licence, developed in partnership with Key Petroleum which owns 20%. The Tanzanian government grants a two-year appraisal licence.

July 2008: the company acquires land over the Kiliwani North licence to expand infrastructure and commercialise the gas discovery.

September 2009: Aminex acquires another 10% in the Nyuni licence from East African Exploration in exchange of 25% interest in two blocks located in Kenya and US$1mln. Aminex now owns 50%.

December 2009: the farm in at the Ruvuma Basin is completed. Tullow Oil owns 50% operated interest, Aminex and Solo Oil own 37.5% and 12.5%.

April 2010: the Likonde-1 well encounters hydrocarbon shows in the onshore Lindi Block, operated by Tullow in a 50-50 partnership with Aminex.

April 2011: Aminex is awarded the Kiliwani North Development Licence, estimated to hold 45 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas. Its partners are RAK Gas Commission (25%), Key Petroleum (5%) and Bounty Oil (5%). Aminex owns 65% through its subsidiary Ndovu.

June 2011: Aminex spuds the offshore Nyuni-2 well.

October 2011: Aminex signs the Nyuni Area PSA with RAK Gas Commission and Bounty Oil. The three firms hold, respectively, 70% operated interest, 25% and 5% shares. Operations at the Nyuini-2 well are suspended due to extreme drilling conditions.

November 2011: Tullow Oil farms down 25% interest to its partners Ndovu and Solo Oil. Tullow still retains 25%.

December 2011: the Ntorya-1 well in the Mtwara block is spudded after the Ministry of Energy and Minerals grants an extension to complete it. It is designed as a follow up to Likonde-1, its drilled at 2,026 metres but it doesn’t encounter the target sands.

March 2012: Tullow exits the project after completing its obligations, citing the lack of commercial options for the discovery. Aminex owns 75% operating interest, Solo Oil owns 25%.

May 2012: the partners in the Nyuni Area PSA start the planned seismic survey of the shallow waters in the block. Due to unexpected weather conditions, it only acquires 147 kilometres of data out of the total 335 km. It’s planned for October 2012

June 2012: Now without Tullow, Aminex and Solo continue to drill the Ntorya-1 well, at 2,750m it encounters strong gas shows. The success encourages further drilling at 3,150m however it doesn’t bring further results. The well tested a commercial gas rate of 20 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd).

July 2013: the Tanzanian authorities approve the Ntorya appraisal licence to allow a further delineation of the potential resources, estimated at 753 BCF.

October 2014: Aminex signs a deal with Solo to dispose of up to 13% of the Kiliwani North Development Licence for US$7mln, to allow Aminex to reduce outstanding corporate debt. The initial acquisition consists of cash payment of US$3.5mln for 6.5% of interest, followed by an optional acquisition of a further 6.5% after a gas sales agreement is completed.

February 2015: Solo Oil acquires the first 6.5% of Kiliwani North.

May 2015: independent consultancy firm Senergy updates the potential resources at Aminex’s developments. Kiliwani North Development Licence is estimated to hold 28 BCF of contingent resources, Ruvuma a total of discovered and undiscovered resources of 4.1 trillion cubic feet.

November 2015: Aminex signs an agreement with Bowleven to sell 25% interest in the Kiliwani North Development Licence and farm out 50% of the Ruvuma PSA, for US$8.5mln and shares to the value of US$5mln.

December 2015: ‘milestone’ gas sales agreement signed with state-owned Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation allows the company to start production at the Kiliwani North gas field.

February 2016: Amid management changes at Bowleven, the deal is abandoned. Solo Oil acquires 3.825% interest in the Kiliwani North Development Licence for US$2.16mln as agreed in October 2014.

April 2016: first gas is achieved at the Kiliwani North Development Licence.

Julu 2016: gas flow at Kiliwani reaches 30 mmcfd, sold at $3.0 per million British thermal unit.

March 2017: the Ntorya-2 appraisal well in the Mtwara licence tests gas at 17 mmcfd stabilised.

July 2018: Aminex announces a ‘transformational’ farmout in the Ruvuma basin with The Zubair Corporation, which will assign its interest to ARA Petroleum Tanzania. According to the farm out agreement, ARA will receive 50% operated interest for US$5mln cash and may spend up to US$105mln in capital expenditure. Aminex would retain 25%.

October 2018: the unrisked resources at Kiliwani South are estimated to be 57 BCF. 3D seismic surveys are required to de-risk the area further.

January 2019: the shareholders approve the Ruvuma farmout.

February 2019: Aminex raises £1.85mln by selling 127.2mln new shares priced at 1.45p each, to drive production growth at Kiliwani North.

March 2019: the longstop for the completion of the Ruvuma farmout to ARA is extended to July 2019 as the government is late issuing approvals.

July 2019: the longstop date for the completion of the Ruvuma farmout to ARA is pushed to October 2019.

September 2019: Aminex says the Tanzanian government is showing ‘positive movements’ and advances pre-drilling operations for the Chikumbi-1 well to be drilled following the farm-out. The aim is to appraise the Ntorya gas discovery and, if successful, it will be completed as a future producer. It will also test a deeper target.