Petroleum Exploration License 37 (“PEL 37”) covers an area of 17,295 km² of the northern Namibian offshore region located about 420 km south of the Angolan/Namibian border. Water depths over PEL 37 range from 400 m to 1500 m and over the main prospective area where the Cormorant and other prospects (Albatross, Seagull and Gannet) have been delineated, range from 400 m to 600 m.
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 km² 3D seismic survey in PEL 37 resulted in the delineation of a number of significant prospects consisting of Lower Cretaceous submarine fan that are stratigraphically trapped. A successful test of this play will significantly de-risk the follow up potential of approximately 1 billion barrels of oil.
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 directly above 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 km 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.