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New oil rig sent to South Africa for rare frontier drilling

In hopes more oil will be found in the area.
Image: Bloomberg

Total SA has deployed a rig to South Africa to look for more oil near a massive discovery, in a rare example of exploration in a frontier area.

The Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger has left Bergen in Norway for the southern tip of Africa, Africa Energy Corp, Total’s partner in the project, said Thursday. While drilling work has dropped off dramatically everywhere, with rigs in Africa falling by a record in May amid the oil-price collapse, the existing discovery gives the companies hope there’s more oil to be found in the area.

Total, which operates Block 11B/12B with a 45% stake, made the estimated 1 billion barrel Brulpadda find in February 2019. The deposit of primarily gas-condensate — a light liquid hydrocarbon — was drilled about 175 kilometres (109 miles) off South Africa’s southern coast. Africa Energy holds a 49% stake in Main Street 1549 Proprietary, which has a 10% interest in the block.

The partners are planning to drill a well in the Luiperd prospect in water depths of as much as 1.8 kilometres by September, Africa Energy chief executive officer Garrett Soden said in a statement. The prospects in the area have improved following the nearby Brulpadda discovery and other seismic work, he said.

Total didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

© 2020 Bloomberg

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Great and Exciting news for South Africa! This is a Game changer for us and will certainly reduce our forex outflow. South Africa is certainly a place for Investment. With Africa free trade, its a no Brainer!

I fully agree it would be a game changer. Problem is that the development would be 3-5 years down the line before first commercial production. With the discovery in difficult operating conditions, it would not be an easy development but there are solutions in the market.

Dadape,

Unfortunately energy is fully regulated so even finding abundant resource will make no difference to South African energy users. It will only make a difference to the companies involved.

End of comments.

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