Interview with Alexandra Damascan Armegioiu
- Written by Lavinia Iancu
Serinus Energy sees first Moftinu gas field production in Q1 2018
Serinus Energy, the Canadian-based Company that owns Winstar Satu Mare, has recently revealed plans to invest in the Satu Mare Concession in Romania and to bring the Moftinu gas field onto experimental production. In February, Serinus Energy announced that they successfully raised C$25.2 million dollars in an equity financing that provides the funds to invest in the Romanian operations and begin to expand the exploration coverage of the Satu Mare Concession.
Ms Alexandra Damascan Armegioiu, Country Manager Winstar Satu Mare, gave us some major details about the Moftinu gas field project and Serinus Energy’s plans for the near future in Romania and the region.
Oil and gas is an industry which has always been male-dominated, regardless of geographical location. There have been positive steps which have helped to integrate women into the industry, but females continue to be under-represented. How is it like to be a woman working in the O&G sector?
Turning back in time 20-30 years, yes, we can say that you are right: it was a world dominated by men. I am certain that the two determinants, intellectual maturity and behavioural decency, are vectors applicable to all people. Of course, certain perceptions or beliefs, seemingly impossible to refute, contributed to a misconception regarding the skills and capabilities of women to acquire a range of general skills, specific and transversal, enabling them to participate in various industrial fields. Regardless of the sector, even if it was the privilege of men, I am convinced that together we will overcome the mental barriers, which lead to management errors, with relevant arguments.
The challenges are constant. One cannot afford management ‘poetry’. The consequences are hard to measure, as you are not responsible only for yourself. However, through dialogue and communication, the solutions can be identified. Working in this field is a permanent challenge. I admit, it was not at all easy to make my partners listen to me. But gradually, I managed to make myself heard and the arguments and my professional achievements made them accept my views. I am happy to see that some people’s incapacity and frustration to understand that a woman can coordinate and lead an oil and gas company in Romania has begun, slowly, to dissipate, whereas men and women have started to be present in equal numbers at any management level of oil and gas companies. There should be no difference between a man and a woman who works in this field: the challenges are permanent, and the responsibility is always the same. Personally, I feel that others’ expectations with regard to the success and achievements of women managers in the oil industry are very high.
When and why did you join Winstar? Which are your main responsibilities within the company and key achievements?
I joined Winstar in 2008 and it has been a tremendous experience for me. I have always been intrigued by the oil and gas industry and I cherish the opportunity that the Company has provided to me. Since I have worked for the company, I have continued taking on more and more responsibilities which have helped me developed my skills and talents. Every day I come to work to take on all the challenges and projects that the oil and gas industry presents each day. As the Romanian Country Manager I am responsible for representing and implementing the company’ plans and activities.
Which are Serinus Energy and Winstar Satu Mare’s recent milestones?
The last two years in the oil & gas industry have been full of uncertainty and upheaval. Serinus currently produces oil and gas in Tunisia and had produced gas in Ukraine until February last year, at which time they sold their interest and exited the country. As all this was going on, Romania became the focus of the Company going forward. Getting the approval for Phase three of our concession agreement on October 28, 2016, was very important. With that in place, we were able to make the decision to proceed with bringing our two gas discoveries in Moftinu onto experimental production. It is transformational for the Company and I am very happy to be playing a large role in the Company’s strategic future here in Romania.
Tell us more about the exploration coverage of the Satu Mare Concession and the Moftinu gas field.
Serinus owns an undivided 60% working interest in the onshore Satu Mare concession, a 2,949-square kilometre (729,000 gross acres) exploration and development block, in north western Romania. The Company signed the addendum for a 3-year term extension effective October 28, 2016 approval to the exploration period of the concession agreement from the National Agency for Mineral Resources (NAMR). Winstar agreed with NAMR a new work program to be carried out during the extension period. That program includes a commitment to drill two wells plus, at the Company’s option, either acquire 120 km2 of new 3D seismic data or drill a third well. Both wells are following up on the Moftinu-1000 well drilled in 2012, prior to the acquisition of 3D seismic over the area, and is located down dip of both the Moftinu-1001 and 1002bis wells. The Moftinu-1001 and 1002bis locations have been selected using 3D seismic and are targeting Miocene and Pliocene sands at depths between 1,800 - 2,000 metres, within structural closures in combination with seismic amplitude anomalies. Moftinu gas discovery should provide production and cash flow in 2018. Future development also implies the construction of a 15 MMcf/d gas plant with dehydration, liquids recovery and compression.
As Country Manager for Romania, you supervise the drilling program of the company. Which are the latest developments and the next stages of Moftinu gas field objective?
As Country Manager, I oversee all aspects of the Company’s operations and regulatory, government, and public affairs. Following the start-up of the Moftinu experimental production project, the Company is going to drill the first two commitment exploration wells of the Phase 3 extension. These are planned to be completed in the first half of 2018. After this, we will decide how best to proceed with further exploration activities on the concession. The Company is very excited about the potential of the Satu Mare concession.
What does bringing ‘onto experimental production’ these reserves actually mean (Nm3/day)? Which are the main benefits of this project?
Winstar Satu Mare as the Operator and Titleholder of the Satu Mare concession for the Moftinu discovery, located in Moftinu Mic, Satu Mare County, required to Romanian Engineering Company (Contractor) to carry out the Basis Engineering for execute (EPCC phase).
A total of three wells were drilled in Moftinu geological structure (Moftinu 1000, 1001 and 1002 BIS) and 2 are to start production by means of a group of facilities that will be located on well 1001 pad. Such facilities will separate well fluids and perform gas conditioning in view of its delivery to Transgaz.The first unit is for the separation of gas and associated liquids from wells and covers an inlet manifold, a high pressure three phase test separator, a high pressure two phase production separator, a low pressure three phase production separator, a condensate storage tank and a water storage tank.
The gas from low pressure separator shall be used as fuel gas in the TEG dehydration unit. The gas from high pressure separators shall be directed to GCU that includes a TEG dehydration unit to achieve a proper water dew point and a LTS unit to achieve a proper hydrocarbon dew point.
At LTS outlet gas is measured in a metering skid GMS located on the well pad and then delivered into Transgaz pipeline via a 10”x3 km connecting pipeline. The condensate from LTS shall be directed into the condensate storage tank at the separation facility.
The project and its completion will result in no harm to the environment. Also, the proposed works will not lead to the occurrence of continuous sources of pollution to water, air and soil and the maximum allowable standard limits will not be exceeded.
Fluids will be separated from the well gas (gas, condensate, produced water) in the new facilities at Moftinu, in two stages. Also, gas metering will be in place for gas delivery to Transgaz according to ANRE requirements.
According to current gas delivery requirements the gas has to be dehydrated (to get a dew point of -15°C to pressure in delivery point) and heavy fractions (condensate) separated. Therefore, a new TEG gas dehydration unit and LTS unit should be designed to achieve this goal.
The new gas conditioning unit (Gas dehydration Unit with TEG + LTS unit) will be located at approximately 26 km North-West of Satu Mare city, outside Moftin village, Satu Mare county.
The explored perimeter pertains to Moftinu Mic locality, Moftin commune, Satu Mare county.
The location can be accessed from road DN 19 (European road E671) that crosses the locality and separates Domnesti village from villages Moftinu Mic, Moftinu Mare, Sinmiclaus, Istrau, Ghirolt, Ghilvaci and Ghilvaci Gara.
Obviously, our Company will benefit from this project, but just as important will be the local and national economic benefits as well as the employment and business opportunities the project offers to the citizens and businesses of Romania.
When do you anticipate the first gas from Moftinu field?
We are very excited to be on the verge of awarding the EPC contract for the project in the coming weeks as well as receiving our gas operator’s license from ARNE. With these milestones achieved, the project can then move onto the construction stage, which will be about eight months duration. After testing and commission, the project should be in production in the 1Q of 2018.
On October 28, 2016, NAMR approved the addendum letter for an additional three-year exploration period on the concession. On February 24, 2017, Serinus Energy announced that they successfully raised C$25.2 million dollars in an equity financing that provides the funds to invest in the Romanian operations and begin to expand the exploration coverage of the Satu Mare Concession. What plans do you have for the near future in Romania and the region? Are there other new concessions the company intends to acquire?
As you may be aware, a new management team was established at Serinus in September, 2016. It has been such a pleasure to work with them and to have them invite me to all management and strategy meetings. We have made tremendous progress in the relative short time we have been together, including getting the addendum letter, moving forward on the experimental production project and being able to raise the money to move forward with the project. This demonstrates the Company’s focus and commitment to Romania. Obviously, we will always be looking at new opportunities in Romania that can help the Company grow and expand. The Company will make acquisitions that fit its strategy and make technical and financial sense to achieving these objectives.
You are also involved in creating new business opportunities and a stable environment for more Romanian-Canadian projects. What results have you achieved so far?
I see more and more people and companies who are attracted by the idea of starting or conducting their business in Romania. On the other side, I see the Romanian community is growing and growing each day, and this can only make me feel happy. I strongly believe that both of these countries will and can benefit from learning from each other’s experiences and projects.
We know that there is no sure shot success formula, and yet successful people are driven by a series of things they value. So, what are you driven by?
I am driven by the new challenges my job brings every day. It is such a rewarding experience to work with such a smart and dedicated team of colleagues. The Company looks at the big picture and wants to do not only what is right for its investors, but also be a committed contributor to the growth and development of the country of Romania.