All articles in the Oil patch Sub-Sahara Section:

Mikuyu: Invictus Can ‘Feel’ the Oil, but Can’t Evaluate It

Invictus Energy’s Mukuyu-1 wildcat, onshore Zimbabwe, has drilled through sequences the company considers highly prospective.

But the operator can’t run wireline tools to determine the extent of hydrocarbon accumulations because of the deterioration in the hole at the much desired, deeper section.

The option now is to sidetrack the hole: plug back the existing 8½” wellbore section to seal off hydrocarbon zones and leave the well in a safe state prior to and commencing the re-drill of the upper 8½” hole section to approximately 3,500metres Measured Depth (MD).

The London listed explorer says that its first well in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa Basin was successfully deepened to 3,923 metres MD, “encountering additional elevated gas shows and fluorescence through to total depth”

Mudlog (pre-wireline logging) results of the Upper Angwa formation, suggest it is thicker than pre-drill estimates with a potential for thickness of over a 900metre gross interval, h which, the company says, “bodes well for future prospectivity in the Cabora Bassa Basin”.

But after “reaching TD, the borehole was prepared to run wireline logs, however, due to a deterioration in borehole conditions, the tools were unable to pass below a depth of approximately 3,030mMD where the primary fluid sampling targets are located. As there is likelihood of losing tools and not meeting the objectives of the well, the decision has been made to sidetrack^ the Mukuyu-1 well in order to complete our evaluation and obtain a fluid sample”.

Forward plan Exalo Rig 202 is preparing to plug back the existing 8½” wellbore section to seal off hydrocarbon zones and leave the well in a safe state prior to and commencing the re-drill of the upper 8½” hole section to approximately 3,500mMD. This will provide sufficient information to calibrate the deeper sections of the original Mukuyu-1 wellbore. The sidetrack well (Mukuyu-1 ST-1) will be drilled to a slight updip location to the north of Mukuyu-1, with a lower mud weight and solids content mud system (approximately 1,500psi reduction in overbalance), which will improve the logging conditions and chances of successfully obtaining a fluid sample. Following conclusion of sidetrack drilling, the well will be logged, including wireline formation testing, with final results to be provided. The Mukuyu-1 ST-1 well will then be suspended for potential future testing.

ReconAfrica to Test the Karoo Rift in Wisdom 5-1 Well

Smarting from the disappointing results of Makandina 8-2, the first seismically defined well it would drill in Namibia’s Kavango Basin, ReconAfrica is building the access road and drilling pad for the next probe, the Wisdom 5-1 (previously referred to as the P 2-7), wildcat.

The plan is to spud the well in mid-December 2022.

Makandina 8-2 failed because of lack of a trapping mechanism for the accumulation in the prospect area, in the view of the operator.

The Wisdom 5-1 well will, on the contrary, be located in a sequence marked by high structuration.

“The well will principally test stacked plays in a different part of the Karoo Rift Basin”, ReconAfrica says in a release. “This drilling location is controlled by three seismic lines which show that the targeted structure may extend three kilometres in the strike direction. This roll-over structure (the target) lies in a deeper part of the rift basin”.

The main objective of this well is to penetrate an extended Karoo stratigraphy, comprising stacked source rock, reservoir, and trapping intervals.

“An additional objective is to penetrate the deeper Pre-Karoo once again, to test the source and reservoir intervals. In close proximity are other structures of interest, which could develop into a target rich exploration area, some reachable by deviating the 5-1 well”.


Eco Atlantic is Upbeat About South Africa, Despite the Disappointing Gazana-1 Probe

Eco Atlantic will move on to executing its plans for other exploration wells offshore South Africa, after the dismal results of its first wildcat in the country.

Gazania-1 spudded on Block 2B on October 10, 2022, and it reached target depth of 2,360metres but did not show evidence of commercial hydrocarbons. The well will now be plugged and abandoned as planned.

“The well logging is currently on-going and the JV Partners will undertake a detailed analysis of the results, which will inform our future plans”, Eco Atlantic says in a statement. “The JV Partners submitted a Production Right Application to the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) on November 15, 2022, for Block 2B, based on the existing oil discovery of AJ-1 and potential future operations.  Therefore, the JV Partners have time to conduct further analysis and integration of the Gazania-1 well data to allow them to determine the next steps on the Block”.

Eco Atlantic is also involved in a two-well campaign on Block 3B/4B offshore South Africa, planned to commence drilling in 2023. Eco Atlantic through Azinam holds a 26.25% participating interest in Block 3B/4B, with strategic alliance partners, Africa Oil Corp., the operator of the block, holding a 20% participating interest, and Ricocure, which holds the remaining 53.75% participating interest.

Block 3B/4B, is located between 120-250 km offshore South Africa in the Orange Basin, directly south of the discoveries offshore Namibia announced earlier this year by Shell (Graff-1) and TOTALEnergies (Venus-1). The 3B/4B Block covers an area of 17,581 sq km and lies in water depths ranging from 300-2500 m. The block partners are currently reprocessing a large, three dimensional (3D) seismic survey that will be used to high-grade leads towards identifying drilling targets and preparing for a potential drilling campaign next year.




Waltersmith’s Ibigwe -13 is a Duster, But Other Results Are Good

The Nigerian producer Waltersmith Petroman, has completed a three well drilling campaign on the Ibigwe field, with mixed results.

Ibigwe -13 was an exploratory well which came up dry.  “The upside drilling that we did which was the exploration well that you referred to”, Chike Nwosu, Waltersmith’s Managing Director, told Africa Oil+Gas Report. “It let us test, you know, some of the prospects which are within the field but in a different structural component of the field and we’ve seen some results there, which we are continuing to study to give us a better understanding of the field”.

Nwosu explained that “based on a success case we plan to drill two additional wells in that area. But you know, like it is with Waltersmith, we do both offside exploration and development wells; we want to sweat the asset as much as we can”.

The company considers the three well campaign a success, as it has completed the two development wells.  “One of them required a slight intervention because there was a slight problem in one of the strings”, he explained.

The production expected from the two wells is “anywhere between 2,000 and 2,500 barrels of oil per day from the two wells”, Nwosu said, before adding: “Okay, including about one to two million standard cubic feet per day of gas”.

A full transcript of a long interview with Nwosu is published as part of our C-SUITE series.


Saipem Wins Drilling Contracts in Angola, Cote D’Ivoire

Italian contractor Saipem has been awarded two Ultra Deep-Water contracts offshore West Africa for drilling operations with the sixth-generation Drillship Saipem 12000.

The first contract was awarded by ENI for drilling operations offshore Cote d’Ivoire, expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2022 and extend the current activities of the rig in the area of about six months.

The second contract was awarded by Azule Energy for drilling, completion, and testing of development and exploration wells offshore Angola in Block 15/06 operated by ENI Angola S.p.A. The contract will have the duration necessary to drill and complete 12 firm wells (estimated lasting 26 months) and include the possibility of extension for an optional term”, Saipem explains. The project is scheduled to start in 2023 in continuity with the previous works of the rig in West Africa.

Zimbabwe Wildcat: Working Petroleum System Doesn’t Mean a Discovery

By John Mokwena, in Johannesburg

Australian minnow Invictus Energy has reported “fluorescence and elevated gas shows of up to 65 times above background levels” in the Upper Angwa sequence, a primary target in the Mukuyu-1 well in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa Basin.

The company also reports “elevated gas shows and resistivity in shallower Pebbly Arkose formation” and has so declared that there’s a “working conventional hydrocarbon system” in the frontier Cabora Bassa Basin.

The company hasn’t declared a commercial discovery, as these mudlog interpretations are not ever any geoscientist’s basis for calling a discovery.

Invictus is going ahead to drill to a planned total depth of 3,500 metres Measured Depth.

The Mukuyu-1 well is being drilled in Invictus Energy’s 80% owned SG 4571 license.

Scott Macmillan, the company’s Managing Director, says that while “the presence of elevated mud gas readings, fluorescence in the cuttings, elevated LWD resistivity and increasing background gas with depth is a positive sign as we progress through the Upper Angwa Alternations Member”, the company still has several hundred metres of drilling “through our primary targets with additional potential, which will be followed by a comprehensive wireline logging programme to evaluate results, with the aim of confirming the presence of moveable hydrocarbons in multiple zones.”

So far, the 8½” hole section of the well has been drilled to a depth of 3,086 metres Measured Depth. Elevated mud gas peaks (up to 65 times above the background gas baseline) have been observed while drilling through a depth of 3,070 mMD with marked increases from C1 to C5 compounds (methane, ethane, propane, butanes, and pentanes).

PGS Wins a 3D Seismic Contract from Chevron in Namibia

The Norwegian geophysical company, PGS has been awarded a three dimensional (3D) seismic exploration acquisition contract in Namibia “by a major energy company”, the company says in a release.

Africa Oil+Gas Report can attest that the unnamed “major energy company”, in PGS’ press release, is Chevron, the US major.

The seismic acquisition will cover a good fraction of the Chevron operated 5,433 square kilometre Block 2813B in orange basin offshore Namibia. The acreage lies 60 km directly north of the TOTALEnergies-operated Block 2913B, which hosts the Venus-1 light oil discovery, where 84 metres of net oil pay was encountered in good quality Lower Cretaceous reservoir.

The Ramform Titan will mobilize for this survey and acquisition is expected to complete mid-February 2023.

The contract secures visibility for the Ramform Titan well into the winter season,” says President & CEO in PGS, Rune Olav Pedersen.

The Namibian contract comes weeks after PGS announced it had secured solid industry pre-funding for a MultiClient survey* in Cote D’Ivoire. The Ramform Atlas has mobilized for that survey and acquisition is expected to complete early January 2023. The coverage is about 2,000 square kilometres of three dimensional (3D) seismic data.

“This is the first MultiClient project in West Africa since early 2021 as we experience increasing demand for high-fidelity MultiClient data from our clients,” says President & CEO in PGS, Rune Olav Pedersen.

The contract effectively secures work for the company’s flagship acquisition vessel, Ramform Vanguard until next summer season.



Drilling Starts: Zimbabwe Too Wants to Be an Oil Producer

By Macson Obojemuinmoin

Drilling has started at the first of two potentially play opening exploration wells in Zimbabwe.

Australia based Invictus Energy has spud Mukuyu-1(formerly Muzarabani-1), claiming to target 20Trillion cubic feet + 845Million barrels of conventional gas condensate, which translates to about 4.3Billion barrels of oil equivalent on a gross mean unrisked basis. This makes Mukuyu, in the words of Invictus Energy, “one of the largest oil and gas exploration prospects to be drilled globally in 2022”.

The company says that Baobab-1, the proposed second of the two well campaign, will test “recently identified Basin Margin play”.

The prospects are located in the Cabora Bassa basin onshore Zimbabwe.

The Mukuyu-1 well is designed to target several stacked Triassic and younger sandstones within a 200km2 four-way dip closure on the basement high trend.

Exalo Rig 202 will drill Mukuyu-1 to total depth of 3,500metres

The well will be drilled to a projected depth of 3,500 metres. Drilling and evaluation of the well is prognosed to take approximately 50 to 60 days to complete.

Baobab-1 will take approximately 30 to 40 days to complete. It will target stacked Cretaceous and younger sandstones, within four-way and three-way dip closures, against the southern basin bounding rift fault.

Invitcus says that “Baobab displays similar structural characteristics to the play opening Ngamia discovery in Kenya’s Lokichar Basin, which resulted in subsequent discoveries in the “String of Pearls” along the basin margin”.

Conoil to Drill New Exploration Plays in OML 103

The Nigerian independent, Conoil Producing. has moved a rig to Oil Mining Lease (OML) 103 in a swampy terrain in North Western Niger Delta, to drill an exploration well and, if successful, appraise it immediately with another well.

The Imperial rig, operated by Depthwize, is on location and about to spud.

The tentative name of the wildcat is AX#4.  The full name will come after the spud. AX#4 and its appraisal prospect are located in an untested fault block in the pan handle shaped, southern part of OML 103, directly north of NPDC/Elcrest operated OML 40.

The wells are to be drilled to as deep as 11,000feet Measured Depth subsea.

There are plans for a possible two more wells, if the campaign is successful.

AX#4 will be the second exploration well to be drilled in the Niger Delta shelf in the space of six months.  The NPDC/Elcrest Joint Venture recently finalized the Sibiri exploration well in OML 40, with initial results indicating 353 feet gross hydrocarbon pay in eight oil-bearing reservoirs, 229 feet being net pay.

Sibiri-1 is, however, located far from the AX#4 probe.


Chinese Pick Up Drilling Where Shell Made a Discovery in Deepwater Gabon

China National Offshore Operating Company CNOOC will spud the first of a two well campaign in two blocks divested by Shell in deepwater Gabon.

The campaign is for one well each to be drilled in first quarter 2023 in blocks BC-9 and BCD-10. The latter was where Shell encountered 200 metres of net gas pay while drilling the Leopard-1 wildcat in 2014. Shell was excited by the result at the time and there were speculations (that Shell did not refute), of potential resource of 10Trillion cubic feet of gas in the Leopard structure, which is located below a salt (carbonate) formation.

Shell has since divested from Gabon entirely, with CNOOC Ltd, its partner in the 2014 discovery, taking over 100% and operatorship of both assets in an acquisition finalized in 2019.

For the campaign, CNOOChas inked a contract with rig operator Stena Drilling, for mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) Stena Icemax. The two (2) well programme has an estimated total campaign duration of 90 days.

The dynamically-positioned dual mast Stena IceMax is a harsh-environment ice-class drillship with managed pressure drilling capabilities.

The drilling programme is crucial to the Gabonese authorities, who have struggled, in vain for the last 30 years, to place Gabon on the deepwater production map of the world. It is the only African oil producing country, lying on the edge of the south Atlantic, without crude oil or gas output from thedeepwater terrain.





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