Oil and Gas Exploration in Africa


South Africa, Block 11B/12B

Block 11B/12B is located in the Outeniqua Basin approximately 175 kilometers off the southern coast of South Africa. The block covers an area of 18,734 square kilometers with water depths ranging from 200 meters in the north to 1,800 meters in the south. The Lower Cretaceous Post-rift Paddavissie Fairway, which contains the Brulpadda discovery, is located within the southwest corner of the block.

Total’s first attempt to drill the Brulpadda Prospect in 2014 was suspended prior to reaching target due to difficulties experienced by the drilling rig in the harsh deepwater environment. After extensive review of the challenging surface conditions, Total contracted the Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig to drill the Brulpadda-1AX re-entry well commencing in December 2018.

The Brulpadda well was drilled in approximately 1,400 meters of water by the Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig. The well targeted two objectives in a deep marine fan sandstone system within combined stratigraphic/structural closure. Following the success of the main objective, the well was deepened to a final depth of 3,633 meters and was successful in the Brulpadda-deep prospect.

The well encountered oil pay and a total of 57 meters of net gas condensate pay over two Middle to Lower Cretaceous high-quality reservoirs. Core samples were taken in the upper reservoir, and a comprehensive logging and sampling program was performed over both reservoirs. The success at both the Brulpadda primary and secondary targets significantly de-risks other similar prospects on Block 11B/12B.

In March and April 2019, the operator acquired 570 square kilometers of 3D seismic with the Polarcus Asima vessel. The first phase of 3D seismic covered the Brulpadda discovery and the Luiperd prospect. The fully processed 3D seismic dataset validates the direct hydrocarbon indicators and thick reservoir development at the main objective and illuminates the deep target, confirming the large resource potential of the Paddavissie Fairway. The 3D seismic also increases our confidence in the sedimentological and structural interpretation and has been integral in selecting the location for the next exploration well on Block 11B/12B, Luiperd-1.

The joint venture partnership continues to analyze and integrate the fully processed 3D seismic with the analysis of the core samples and the modular formation dynamics tester (“MDT”) samples. The core indicates a high net to gross in the main objective with good intergranular porosity and permeability. The pressure, volume and temperature (“PVT”) analysis performed on the MDT samples confirmed the high liquid yield in the main gas condensate zone of the main and deep reservoirs.  

In July 2019, the operator of Block 11B/12B, Total, executed a multi-well drilling contract with Odfjell Drilling for the Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig, the same rig that drilled the Brulpadda discovery in February 2019. The rig recently mobilized to South Africa from Norway and is currently in Cape Town, South Africa with spud of the Luiperd well expected by the end of August 2020. Total has prepared a robust year-round drilling solution for the deepwater environment on Block 11B/12B. 

In May 2020, the Block 11B/12B joint venture received the fast-track 2D seismic dataset from Shearwater GeoServices Holding AS for the 7,033 linear kilometer 2D seismic program completed earlier in the year on Block 11B/12B, where the Company holds an effective 4.9% interest. Initial interpretative work has confirmed the Kloofpadda Play Trend, which consists of a number of large and encouraging leads. The Block 11B/12B joint venture expects the fully processed 2D seismic dataset in late August 2020 and will then begin full prospect analysis for the eastern part of the block. 

In June 2020, the Block 11B/12B joint venture received the fast-track 3D seismic dataset from Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (“PGS”) for the 2,305 square kilometer 3D seismic program completed earlier in the year on Block 11B/12B. Initial interpretive work has identified a number of additional leads, including a potential northern extension to the Luiperd Prospect. The Block 11B/12B joint venture expects the fully processed 3D dataset in September 2020 and will then integrate the PGS data with the Polarcus 3D seismic data from 2019 in order to mature previously identified leads into prospects.

The joint venture partnership is currently in the Second Renewal Period for the Block 11B/12B Exploration Right, which is for a period of two years ending May 17, 2020. The joint venture partnership has recently applied to enter into the Third Renewal Period, a two-year period from the date the renewal application is approved.

Africa Energy holds a 4.9% effective interest in the Exploration Right for Block 11B/12B. The Company owns 49% of the shares in Main Street 1549 Proprietary Limited, which has a 10% participating interest in the block. Total as operator holds a 45% participating interest in Block 11B/12B, while Qatar Petroleum and CNRI hold 25% and 20%, respectively.