Total SA said it has opened up a new “world-class” oil and gas province off the coast of South Africa after making a significant gas condensate discovery there.
Success in the nation’s first deep-water well is a potential boon for a country that imports most of its oil, processing the remainder of its fuels from coal and natural gas.
“We are very pleased to announce the Brulpadda discovery, which was drilled in a challenging deep-water environment,” Kevin McLachlan, senior vice president of exploration at Total, said in a statement on Thursday. “Total has opened a new world-class gas and oil play and is well positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block.”
The potential new play, with estimated volumes of around 1 billion barrels according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd., has also drawn interest from explorers including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Eni SpA, which hold stakes there.
Total was drilling about 175 kilometers (109 miles) offshore in the Outeniqua Basin. The discovery could prompt a rush of activity offshore by other companies, especially since South Africa is due to introduce new oil and gas legislation later this year aimed at spurring exploration.