By Fred Akanni, Editor in Chief
So much has been read into the alleged failure of the Italian player, ENI, to make a discovery with the recently drilled well in Mozambique’s frontier Angoche basin.
“ENI’s Mozambican well failure spoils hope for East African oil find”, screams Zitamar News, one of Mozambique’s most authoritative online news sites.
ENI itself has not made any announcement about the status of Raia-1, the widely anticipated wildcat, located in concession Block A5-A in the Angoche basin, off the coast of Nampula province, since drilling ended in June 2023.
The allegedly poor result of Raia-1 “is clearly bad news for deepwater exploration in Mozambique”, Zitamar News quotes David Thomson, vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa at Welligence Energy Analytics.
All of this is hyperbole.
If there is anything to learn from hydrocarbon exploration history of Africa in the last 30 years, it is not to assume that a dry hole experience in any part of a frontier basin is a definitive signal of absence of huge volumes of hydrocarbon, or for that matter, the likelihood of other companies cancelling their plans for drilling in the vicinity, as the Zitamar News story elaborately sets out to establish.
Neither the reported misgivings of officials of Wellingence Energy nor the frustrated comments of the bosses at Enervous, a market intelligence entity, says anything about the pre-drill geologic expectations of the well and what ENI may have missed.
None of the commentaries have indicated any knowledge of the petrophysical results of Raia-1, which are likely to have been shared with the state hydrocarbon firm ENH (Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos) and the regulatory agency INP (Instituto Nacional de Petróleo).
ENI operates Block A5-A with a 49.5% stake. Other equity holders include QatarEnergy, 25.5%; Sasol, 10% and ENH, 15%.