Africa’s southern seaboard continues to hum with E&P activity. Most of the vibe is positive, but there’s a lot of anxiety.
ENI’s first well in Mozambique’s Angoche basin was a duster. Perhaps that was half expected. But it seemed surprising that TOTAL would encounter a dry hole in the otherwise fascinating deepwater Orange basin in Namibia where everyone, it seemed, imagines discovery after spectacular discovery.
Namibian drills are not always a guaranteed success, of course. After making headline news reporting ‘successful’ stratigraphic test wells, Recon Africa, the Canadian minnow, drilled its first seismically defined well in the onshore Kavango basin. Makandina 8-2, failed to encounter economic accumulations of hydrocarbons and ReconAfrica found itself scrambling to respond to a swell of negative criticism, calling the company a fraud.
In Zimbabwe, Australian junior, Invictus Energy, is drilling the second of two wildcats in the onshore Cahora Bassa basin. The best phrase that anyone can say about them is “uncertain”.
There has been no new wildcat drilled in deepwater South Africa, since the discovery of the Bullfrog (Brulpadda), Leopard (Liuperd) in the legendary “Cape of Storms”, in the Outeniqua basin. In the two years since these discoveries had been established, the French major has faced large road bumps to oilfield development.
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