French major TOTAL has given the full story of the Brulpadda discovery, offshore South Africa.
Brulpadda is an Afrikaans word meaning Bullfrog, the large amphibian with a deep roaring sound, and one of Southern Africa’s most widespread frog species.
“It was a very bold technical well,” Enzo Insalaco, the company’s Vice President Exploration Africa, told delegates at the Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, in early November 2019. “Many people may not realise that the well was actually drilled on 2D” (two dimensional seismic data). “It is a deep offshore well, so drilling on 2D was a very bold move. But given our understanding of the basin and the innovations we did on the operations, this well could be drilled safely and successfully on 2D”.
Insalaco enthused that the Brulpadda probe was within budget, within time and in terms of Non Productive Time (NPT): “We have about 3% of NPT and 3% waiting on weather. If you consider the conditions, that is fantastic operational performance. We drilled the well to the main reservoir log and then we went down to a deeper reservoir”, he explained, to an attentive audience of C-Suite types.
“We did extensive logging records, took samples of fluid, reservoir and source rock. It was a fantastic result in terms of operational performance and data acquisition. It is a gas and condensate and oil discovery, both traces were found. The reservoirs were well developed with good fluid and reservoir properties. You could not really wish for more information from an exploration well. That data acquisition has really put us in a great position going forward to be able to accelerate the next level and the evaluation.”
The VP said that TOTAL finished its P&A (plug and abandon) of the well in the first week of February. “The rig moved offsite the middle of February, and the first 3D seismic shot was done on the 14th of March. A month between the first shot of seismic and the end of the work which is a fantastic performance.
“We also fast tracked the seismic acquisition, so we could start looking at the potential on the new data by June of this year and that allows us, together with the information that we collected, to fast track well evaluation and put us into position to commission the rig and be able to drill early next year. Doing as many processes in parallel allowed us to save 18 months to two years in the well programme and I don’t think we can compress that timeline anymore, given the operational constraints and the operational windows for the seismic acquisition.”
Brulpadda is located on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin. It encountered 57 metres of net gas condensate play in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. Following the success of the main objective, the well was deepened to a final depth of 3,633 metres and has also been successful in the Brulpadda-deep prospect.
For TOTAL, Brulpadda was certainly a high impact well for opening up what they believe is a significant petroleum basin.