Oil and Gas Exploration in Africa


Namibia, PEL 37

Petroleum Exploration License 37 (“PEL 37”) is located in the Walvis Basin and covers an area of 17,295 square kilometers off the northern Namibian offshore region located about 420 kilometers south of the Angolan/Namibian border. Water depths over PEL 37 range from 400 meters to 1,500 meters.

Oil was recovered from the Wingat-1 well drilled by HRT (now PetroRio) in 2013 that is located in the block directly south of PEL 37. The Murombe-1 well, drilled in the same license as Wingat-1, intersected a world class mature oil-prone source in the Aptian sequence. The acquisition of a 3,440 square kilometers 3D seismic survey in PEL 37 resulted in the delineation of a number of significant prospects consisting of Lower Cretaceous submarine fans that are stratigraphically trapped.

Recent drilling in the Namibian offshore has proven the presence of an Aptian Type II source rock with >3% Total Organic Carbon as intersected in the Murombe-1 and Wingat-1 wells in the Walvis Basin. Regional source rock modeling shows that optimal oil maturity for the Aptian lies in the northern part of PEL 37 where several of the prognosed stratigraphically trapped prospects (stratigraphically isolated sandstone bodies) consisting of Albian-aged siliciclastics are located in close vertical proximity to this mature oil-prone source sequence. Access to oil charge requires only short vertical and lateral migration that is likely to be aided by numerous faults visible beneath the objective zones. Analogues to this play are the Jubilee (Ghana) and Ceiba (Equatorial Guinea) Fields of West Africa.

In 1995, Sasol drilled a well in the northern part of PEL 37 that was outboard of the Albatross prospect. This well tested only an Upper Cretaceous closure that was unsuccessful. The well reached its target depth above the Aptian sequence, and it is significant that the hydrocarbon content and wetness as recorded in the well steadily increased towards the bottom of the borehole to target depth.

During the 2013 seismic campaign, an additional 1,000 kilometers of 2D seismic data was acquired in the southern part of PEL 37, and it indicates that the Lower Cretaceous fan play extends southwards and could be further explored in the case of success.

In September 2018, the Cormorant-1 well was drilled to a total depth of 3,855 meters, penetrating a 50-meter fan system within the Cormorant Prospect. Interbedded sandstones were encountered in the primary objective of the Cormorant-1 well but proved to be water bearing. Wet gas signatures, indicative of oil, were encountered in the overlying shale section. Important geological data has been gained from this well, and, in combination with high quality 3D seismic data, have provided valuable insights into the future prospectivity of PEL 37 where several additional prospects with significant resource potential have been mapped.

Pancontinental Namibia (Pty) Limited (“Pancontinental Namibia”) is currently applying for a new license for the blocks in PEL 37. The Company owns one-third of Pancontinental Namibia.