Today (4th September 2018) the Ocean Poseidon Drill Ship has spudded the Cormorant Well (2012/13-2) in Licence PEL37 offshore Namibia, on behalf of Operator Tullow Oil (35%) and partners ONGC Videsh (30%) Pancontinental (20%), Africa Energy (10%) and Paragon Oil and Gas (5%). The well is located in 545m of water and is expected to take 34 days to reach TD of 3830m.

Offshore Namibia is lightly explored, but to date drilling results have been disappointing, with the only commercial discovery being the offshore Kudu gas field in the south of the country. Despite this the Walvis Basin has become an exploration hotspot in 2018 with a number of significant farmins announced and two exploration wells including Cormorant to be drilled. ExxonMobil have established a significant acreage position in the Walvis Basin through two farmins. The most recent transaction announced on 14th August 2018, was their farmin into Azinam’s interest in the Maurel and Prom operated PEL 44. Post farmin the interests in PEL 44 will be Maurel & Prom 42.5% (operator), ExxonMobil 30%, Azinam 12.5%, NAMCOR 7%, Livingstone Minerals 4% and Frontier Minerals 3%. The terms of the deal were not announced, but presumably the next step in the exploration lifecycle will be the drilling of an exploration well, following the acquisition of 3160 km2 of 3D seismic data since 2016. ExxonMobil’s initial entry into the Walvis Basin was in January 2018, with a farmin into 40% of Galp’s interest in PEL 82. Terms were not disclosed but upon completion the Licence interest’s will be Galp (40% and operator), ExxonMobil 40%, NAMCOR 10% and Custos 10%.

Walvis Basin Licence Position with Prospects (Source MapStand)

The Cormorant Prospect is an Albian base of slope turbidite fan with mean prospective resources of 124 mmbbls (Source Pancontinental). If successful, the Comorant well would prove the Aptian/Albian petroleum system and significantly de-risk a number of similar prospects along strike, with mean prospective resources of around 900mmbbls. Partner Energy Africa consider the Cormorant Prospect to be analogous to the Jubilee (Ghana) and Ceiba (Equitorial Guniea) Fields.

One previous well (2012/13-1) on the Licence was drilled by Sasol in 1995. Located northwest of the Cormorant Prospect it was an unsuccessful test of an Upper Cretaceous closure, reaching TD above the Aptian objective in Cormorant. In 2013 the PEL37 Group acquired 3440 km2 of 3D seismic in the northern part of the Licence.

3D Visualisation of Albian base of slope fans (Source

The prospect is defined on seismic as a high amplitude peak/trough pair and although the polarity of the data is unknown, it is presumed to be a low relative impedance interval. The anomaly covers an area of 120 km2 and given the relatively modest prospective resources we expect the reservoir to be relatively thin (circa 20m). No direct hydrocarbon indicator has been reported. The published seismic line shows the proposed migration pathway via faults from the Aptian source into the proposed Albian turbidite reservoir.

SW-NE Seismic Line over the Cormorant Prospect

ASX quoted Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL are fully carried on the Cormorant Well and without a cap on expenditure. Africa Energy are a Canadian Company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and are part of the Lundin Group of Companies. Africa Energy owns 30% of Pancontinental Namibia (Pty) Limited which holds the participating interest in PEL37. Paragon Oil and Gas are a Namibian Company.

Following on from this well, the Ocean Poseidon will drill the S Prospect for the Chariot Group in PEL 71 (Chariot 65%, AziNam 20%, NAMCOR 10%, Ignitus Oil and Gas 5%). The S Prospect located on the southern margin of the Walvis Basin has gross mean prospective resource of 459 mmbbls and a probability of geologic success of 29% (source Chariot) and according to Chariot, the well has the potential to de-risk a portfolio more than 2 billion barrels of gross mean prospective resources.

We look forward to the results of the Comorant well and understanding the impact it will have on the rest of the Walvis Basin.

This blog represents the personal opinions and views of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of MapStand