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Will Brulpadda, Now Spud, Open Up South Africa?

The potentially game changing well is being drilled in the Outeniqua Basin

Four years after it was forced to quit, TOTAL has re-entered the Brulpadda-1AX on Block 11B/12B offshore South Africa.

The French major looks forward to drilling results, in what it considers a “basin-opening opportunity”, in the first quarter of 2019.

TOTAL halted drilling of the well in November 2014 because of mechanical problems on the rig, caused by the challenging environment in the Agulhas, with its chaotic combination of currents, waves and winds, which contrasts sharply with the mild metocean conditions of the West African deepwater.

Block 11B/12B is located in the Outeniqua Basin, approximately 175 kilometers off the southern coast of South Africa. The area has a proven petroleum system from the nearby Sable and Oryx oil fields, according to geoscientists working on the prospect. Brulpadda is one of five similar submarine fan prospects with direct hydrocarbon indicators defined utilizing two dimensional (2D) seismic surveys acquired across the Paddavissie Fairway in 2001 and 2005. The Brulpadda Prospect has gross prospective resources of more than 500Million barrels with significant follow-on potential in the success case.

TOTAL is drilling in South Africa at a time of significant uncertainty around oil and gas exploration in the country, with an Upstream Petroleum law stuck in parliament over 10 years with no clear line of sight to resolution. But if the well turns out to be a discovery in an otherwise barren landscape, it has the tendency to kickstart a drilling queue.

Brulpadda-1AX is being drilled in 1,432 metres of water by the Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig to a total depth of 3,420 meters subsea. The well will test the oil potential in a mid-Cretaceous aged deep marine fan sandstone system within combined stratigraphic/structural closure. Drilling and evaluation of the well is expected to take approximately 85 days with a gross budget of approximately US$154 million, including contingency for downtime due to weather.

TOTAL operates Block 11B/12B with a 45% interest in Block 11B/12B, while Qatar Petroleum and Canadian Natural Resources Limited have 25% and 20% interests, respectively.


Spud Date For Kolmani River-2 Is Likely Mid January 2019

By Shaddum Lawal

The advance team for the drilling of NNPC’s gas well in Bauchi State, in Nigeria’s northeast, has started moving to site.

Kolmani River-2 will be appraising the 1999 gas discovery made by Shell in Kolmani River-1. The Anglo Dutch major drilled the well to a depth of 3,000metres. Although there were no tests, the company booked 33Billion standard cubic feet of gas as possible estimated recoverable reserves.

The new well will be drilled by the Drillog operated Rig 101, which will move from Moni Pulo’s Ituk-3ST1 in Akwa Ibom state, in the country’s southeast onshore, to the site of Kolmani River 2, in the  Gongola Basin.

As we reported in the November 2018 edition of Africa Oil+Gas Report, the well is unlikely to spud  before the end of the year. The spud date is likely second week of January 2019. NNPC’s Frontier Exploration Services, which is in charge of the project. had earlier announced Q3 2018 spud for the much awaited spud 2, citing Rig contract awards, road construction, site preparation and Mobilisation to location, as likely to have been done as far back as July 2018. However, Drilliog Rig 101 had only just commenced Ituk-3ST 1 in October 2018 and the likelihood of finalising that well of mid-November 2018 were slim.


ENI Hits New Pay dirt, off Angola

Italian explorer ENI reports it has made a new oil discovery in the Afoxé exploration prospect located in Block 15/06, offshore Angola. “The discovery is estimated to contain between 170 and 200Million barrels of light oil in place”, the company asserts in a release, even though it admits the well had not been tested.

The Afoxé-1 NFW well is located in the south-east area of Block 15/06, approximately 120 km off the coast, 50 km south-west from the Olombendo FPSO and 20 km west of the recent Kalimba-1 discovery. The well was drilled in a water depth of 780 meters and reached a total depth of 1,723 meters.

“Afoxé-1 NFW proved a 20 meters net oil pay of high quality oil (37° API) contained in Upper Miocene sandstones with excellent petrophysical properties”, ENI explains in a very upbeat announcement. “The well has not been tested but an intensive data collection has been carried out that indicates a production capacity in excess of 5,000 barrels of oil per day. The new nearby discoveries of Kalimba and Afoxé are now accounting together a potential of 400 – 500MMBOE of high quality oil in place and represent a new cluster that can be exploited jointly in a new development concept.

Afoxé discovery is a further confirmation of the oil exploration potential still held in southern part of Block 15/06, previously considered mainly gas prone. ENI is planning to drill up to 4 new exploration wells back to back in Block 15/06 during 2019”.


Angolan Rig Count Inches Up

The number of rigs actively drilling in Angola has increased in the last one month.

Italian explorer ENI, brought into the country’s waters, the drillship Poseidon, owned and operated by Ocean Rig. The vessel had just finalised a well in deepwater offshore Namibia in October.

It will bring, to 5, the number of rigs active on one well or the other in the country. That is a whopping 25% increase in rig numbers, from four rigs in October.

The Angolan government is desperate for a return to a vibrant E&P sector, after five straight years of declining activity.

A November 16, 2018 report by  Reuters, noted that Carlos Saturnino, head of the state hydrocarbon firm Sonangol, indicated that ExxonMobil had shown interest in some blocks in the Namib basin, in the country’s deep South, “while advanced discussions are being held with BP, Equinor and ENI for the rights to the ultra-deep offshore blocks 46 and 47”. .

The news agency also reported that French major TOTAL, the largest producer in the country by operated volume, plans to drill its first exploration well in four years. “Beneath 3,630 metres of water on block 48, it will be one of the world’s deepest.”


Shell Finds Over 1 Trillion Cubic Feet of Gas in Eastern Nigeria

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher, Africa Oil+Gas Report

Shell’s geoscientists have put a figure on the company’s recent gas and condensate discoveries, made in the course of a drilling campaign onshore Eastern Nigeria. The company encountered 1.5Trillion cubic feet of gas and 42 Million barrels of condensate, in shallow and deep reservoirs.

The revelation came in the course of several technical sessions at the just concluded annual conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).

The four well campaign, which utilised the High Temperature/High Pressure rig Hilong 27, was aimed at deep, High Pressure gas targets in the Gbaran -Kolo Creek -Epu field areas, in what is classified as Central Swamp Depobelt of the Niger Delta Basin, to unlock all the reserves that are located deeper than normal hydrostatic pressure on these fields. It ran between 2014 and late September 2018, when the rig was released to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, a local subsidiary of the Italian giant ENI.

The new discoveries, however span both shallow and deep reservoirs.

“You know how the Niger Delta works”, one ranking Shell earth scientist told Africa Oil+Gas Report on the side-lines of the NAPE conference. “You are targeting deep, but you can encounter new hydrocarbons in the shallow sands in the process”.

The 1Bscf/d Gbaran Field gas project was already in production before the campaign, but it was only producing in the hydrostatic pressure zones before this campaign.

The new gas will be available to the 22MMTPA (3.5Bscf/d) Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas NLNG Plant in Bonny, also in Eastern Nigeria.




ENI Chases New Oil in Proven Angolan Block

Following its discovery of Kalimba 1 in June 2018, Italian major ENI set up an accelerated exploration programme in Angola’s Block 15/06, where it already has some producing fields.

The company commenced a drilling campaign involving four (4) exploration wells.

In the event of success, this strategy will enable a fast-track development of these new resources, leveraging on synergies with existing infrastructure and significantly reducing their time-to-market.

In the first week of November 2018, ENI has signed, with state hydrocarbon company  Sonangol, an amendment of Block 15/06 Production Sharing Contract which defines the new perimeter of the block, now covering an additional area of 400 km2 on the west side.

The company says it increased production by 50,000BOEPD in the course of 2018 and is hoping to reach a peak of 170, 000BOEPD by early 2019.

Block 15/06 (ENI Angola SpA 36.84% Operator, Sonangol P&P 36.84%, SSI 26.82%) is located approximately 130 km west of Soyo, in water depths ranging from 200 metres to 1,800 metres. The developed fields Sangos, Cinguvu, Mpungi, Ochigufu e Cabaça S.E. are tied back to the two FPSOs installed in the block, Ngoma and Olombendo, with an overall oil treatment capacity of 200,000BOPD. Ngoma and Olombendo FPSO started production in November 2014 and February 2017 respectively.



TOTAL’s Cape of Storms Well For Re-entry in December 2018

By Toyin Akinosho

….only exploratory probe by a major oil company in South Africa in the last 25 years.

TOTAL’s re-entry of the Brulpadda-1AX well on Block 11B/12B, offshore South Africa, is expected to spud by the end of December 2018.

The Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig has been mobilized from the North Sea and is expected to arrive in South Africa in mid to late December 2018. The Brulpadda prospect, at a water depth of 1,431 metres, was defined on two dimensional (2D) seismic data and is one of five submarine fan prospects with large prospective resources on the block. The well will test the southern Outeniqua Basin within the Paddavissie Turbidite Fan Complex.

This is the only exploratory probe by a major oil company in South Africa in the last 25 years.

TOTAL’s original contract with the rig company was expected to run between June 2018 and April 2019. The contract value, including compensation for mobilization /demobilization period, is estimated up to $55Million. The company expects the drilling of the firm well to take 60-80 days.

TOTAL stopped drilling the Brulpadda-1AX well in September 2014 because of mechanical problems on Eirik Raude Ocean rig, caused by the challenging environment in the Agulhas, with its chaotic combination of currents, waves and winds. The company said it would return to site the following year, in late 2015. But by then the world of oil had dramatically changed from what it was in 2014 and far flung frontiers like ultradeepwater South Africa dropped off the priority. In late 2016, TOTAL spokespersons affirmed that the company would return to drill in South Africa in 2017. “There’s only a small window in the year that we can drill in this part of the continent”, a ranking TOTAL earth science executive told Africa Oil+Gas Report at the time.  “The place is quite turbulent.” The 2017 date didn’t happen.


Namibia Records A Second Duster in Weeks

Chariot Oil and Gas , a London listed minnow, announced the deployment of the Ocean Rig Poseidon to spud the Prospect S well in the Central Blocks licence offshore Namibia, less than a week after Tullow Oil  went to town with the results of Cormorant-1 as a dry hole.

12 days later, the probe was announced a duster.
The well had been safely drilled to a total measured depth (MD) of 4,165 m to test the stacked targets in Prospect S. It penetrated the anticipated turbidite reservoir sands, in line with the pre-drill prognosis, however the reservoirs were water-bearing. “The data collected will be used to calibrate the existing data sets to understand the implications of the well results on the prospectivity of the surrounding area.”
The operator was in the process of plugging and abandoning the well as we went to press in early October 2018.

The structure on which the Prospect S was drilled is one of five dip-closed structural traps, totalling 1,758MMBbls gross mean prospective resources, which have been identified in the Upper Cretaceous turbidite clastic play fairway. The company had talked of a probability of geologic success of 29%, citing a Competent Persons Report by Netherland Sewell Associated Inc.

“A further two higher risk-reward, stratigraphic traps, totalling 885MMBbls gross mean prospective resources”,  was to have been de-risked through the calibration of the 6,100km2 of proprietary 3D seismic data on the Central Blocks with the result of the Prospect S well. All that did not happen.

Chariot operates the Central Blocks with 65%. Partners include Azinam 20%, NAMCOR 10% and Ignitus 5%.


For Ororo 2, Sirius Will Take Adriatic 1, from Amni

After waiting for over four months on COSL Force rig, Sirius Petroleum has moved on to an alternative for its two well drilling campaign on the Ororo field in shallow water Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95 offshore North western Niger Delta of Nigeria.

The company now says it would utilise the Adriatic I jack up, operated by Shelf Drilling, and currently on duty on Amni Petroleum’s Okoro field in south eastern offshore Niger Delta. Sirius says it has decided, by mutual agreement with China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL), “to abrogate its agreement with the latter for the supply of a jack-up rig for the drilling programme on the Ororo field.

COSL Force rig was expected to have mobilized on its way to Nigeria, since June 2018 at the latest The Ororo field is held by Guarantee Petroleum and Owena Oil &Gas, to whom Sirius is a Financing and Technical Partner. But in early June 2018, Sirius reported that COSL Force Jack up rig had commenced critical equipment re-certification programme which it had to do “before it could be released to its next contract” That re-certification process has taken all the last four months.

Sirius’ agreement with Shelf Drilling Limited is to supply its Adriatic I jack-up rig “which is scheduled to become available during November 2018”.  Sirius’ statement indicates that the rig is concluding a well campaign with Amni, which is “utilising Schlumberger services and equipment on board the Adriatic I, and meets the specifications required for the Company’s proposed drilling programme at Ororo-2 and Ororo-3”.  Sirius says that its  Company’s operational budget for the Ororo drilling programme as disclosed in the Company’s admission document published on 30 November 2017 remains unchanged.

This means that the four month delay in waiting for the COSL jack up rig has not caused any financial harm. The company doesn’t say anything of the fact that part of the deal with COSL was that the drilling company would be part vendor financing the drilling. It says of Adriatic 1: “The proposed rig is fully certified, currently previously announced, the Company and its operational partners, Schlumberger and Add Energy intend to achieve the spudding of Ororo-2 at the earliest possible time during Q4 2018.”


Will Sirius Petroleum Spud Ororo-2 Before Year End?

Sirius Petroleum has admitted, publicly, that the rig it announced would drill its first well on a Nigerian marginal field, has taken too long to arrive.

COSL Force rig was expected to have mobilized on its way to Nigeria, since June 2018 at the latest. The China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) operated jack-up is meant to drill Ororo-2 on the Ororo field  in shallow water Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95.

That asset is held by Guarantee Petroleum and Owena Oil &Gas, to whom Sirius is a Financing and Technical Partner. But in early June 2018, Sirius reported that COSL Force Jack up rig had commenced critical equipment re-certification programme which it had to do “before it could be released to its next contract”. Since that early June announcement, Sirius had not published any update on Ororo, until September 27, 2018, when it declared that it was currently waiting to conclude this process (of deploying a rig to site) which “has taken significantly longer than originally envisaged”. Sirius then said it was “at an advanced stage of concluding its rig requirements in order to achieve the spud of Ororo 2 in Q4 2018”, a very ambiguous statement.

Sirius first mentioned it had a partial vendor financing deal with COSL in a late 2017 presentation, where it reported an Initial Ororo-2 well programme, delivering initial production of 2,700BOPD in HI 2018. “Sirius has the option to extend the well campaign to drill additional wells under the commercial arrangements with the service providers”, it had promised.


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