Offshore South Africa - Total Discovery Opens New Hydrocarbon Province?

Offshore South Africa - Total Discovery Opens New Hydrocarbon Province?

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Partner Africa Energy announced today (7 February 2019) that Total’s much anticipated Brulpadda-1AX, exploration well on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin encountered 57 meters of net gas condensate pay over two Lower Cretaceous high-quality reservoirs, opening up a new world-class oil and gas play. Core samples were taken in the upper reservoir, and a comprehensive logging and sampling program was performed over both reservoirs.

The discovery has substantial follow-on potential and was a redrill of Total’s 2014, Brulpadda-1AX, well which was drilled in the winter of 2014 using the Ocean Rig Eirik Raude semi-submersible and was abandoned in September 2014, due to mechanical issues, after drilling just 400m of new hole.

The discovery lies approximately 175 km off the southern coast of South Africa, a water depth of 1,431m, in what must be one of the most challenging deep-water environments in the world, characterised by high seas, strong winds and treacherous currents. In 2018, Total contracted the Odfjell Drilling “Deepsea Stavanger”, a sixth generation (deepwater and harsh environment) semi-submersible and prudently undertook the operation over the summer months. It was drilled to a planned TD of 3,420 meters below sea level and is expected to cost around US$150 million.

Brulpadda (“Bullfrog”) has an early to mid-Cretaceous age, deep marine fan sandstone reservoir with a combined stratigraphic/structural closure and is part of the Paddavissie Turbidite fairway which extends over 2,000 square kilometers and has multi-billion barrel oil potential. The success at both the Brulpadda primary and secondary targets significantly de-risks four other similar prospects on the fairway, which were identified using 2D seismic surveys, with Direct Hydrocarbon Indicators (DHI) and including Amplitude Variations with Offset (AVO) correlation and conformance to structure and flat spots. Two of the prospects, Brulpadda and Luiperd (“Leopard”), have deeper secondary reservoir targets.

The play fairway lies distally to the smaller Oryx and Sable oil fields which lie to the northwest in the adjacent Bredasdorp Basin on PetroSA’s Block 9. These complexes have excellent reservoir quality channel sandstones with stratigraphically and structurally traps and may form feeders to the outboard Paddavissie Fan Systems. Source rocks in the fetch area comprise both mid-Aptian and Hauterivian shales that entered maturity in early Tertiary and are currently within the main stage of oil generation.

Interest in the Exploration Permit covering Block 11B/12B is split between Total E&P South Africa BV (45% + Operator), with Qatar Petroleum (25%), Canadian Natural Resources Limited (20%) and Main Street 1549 Proprietary Limited (10%). Main Street 1549 is a Black Economic Empowered (BEE) company, owned by Arostyle, also a BEE company (51%) and Lundin affiliated, Africa Energy (49%). On 18 December 2018, UK independent Impact Oil and Gas Limited announced that it would provide funding, by way of a loan, for Arostyle to complete its acquisition of a 5.1% effective interest in the licence and the first exploration well on this licence, on a risked return basis.

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