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 recent Luiperd and Brulpadda discoveries, is located in 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 an extensive review of the surface conditions, Total contracted the Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig to drill the Brulpadda-1AX re-entry well, which spud in December 2018.

On February 7, 2019, the Company announced a large gas condensate discovery at the Brulpadda Prospect. The Brulpadda well was drilled in approximately 1,400 meters of water and targeted two objectives in a deep marine fan sandstone system within combined stratigraphic/structural closure. Following success at the main objective, the well was deepened to a final depth of 3,633 meters and was successful in the Brulpadda-deep prospect.

The Brulpadda well encountered oil pay and 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-risked other similar prospects on Block 11B/12B.

In March and April 2019, Total acquired 570 square kilometers of 3D seismic with the Polarcus Asima vessel. The first 3D seismic survey covered the Brulpadda discovery and the Luiperd Prospect.

In July 2019, Total executed a drilling contract with Odfjell Drilling for the Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig to return to South Africa and drill the Luiperd-1X well, which spud in August 2020.

On October 28, 2020, the Company announced a significant gas condensate discovery on the Luiperd Prospect. The Luiperd-1X exploration well was drilled in approximately 1,800 meters of water by the Odfjell Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig to a total depth of about 3,400 meters. The well targeted the hydrocarbons potential in a mid-Cretaceous aged deep marine sequence where fan sandstone systems are developed within combined stratigraphic/structural closure. The well encountered 73 meters of net gas condensate pay over a mid-Cretaceous high-quality reservoir interval and did not encounter the water contact. Following a comprehensive coring and logging program, the Block 11B/12B joint venture conducted a drill stem test (“DST”) to assess dynamic reservoir characteristics and deliverability.

The Luiperd well reached a maximum constrained flowrate through a 58/64” choke of 33 million cubic feet per day of natural gas (“MMcfpd”) and 4,320 barrels of condensate per day (“bcpd”), an aggregate of approximately 9,820 barrels of oil equivalent per day (“boepd”). The choke configuration could not be increased due to surface equipment limitations. The absolute open flow (“AOF”) potential of the well is expected to be significantly higher than the restricted test rates.

The Company and its joint venture partners are contemplating an early production system (“EPS”) for a phased development of the Paddavissie Fairway. The EPS would provide first gas and condensate production from the Luiperd discovery and would accelerate the Block 11B/12B development timeline by utilizing existing nearby infrastructure on the adjacent block in order to supply gas to customers in Mossel Bay.

The joint venture submitted an application for a Production Right in September 2022. As part of the application, the joint venture proposed to relinquish the northern portion of the block, reducing the area from 18,734 square kilometers to approximately 12,000 square kilometers. In addition, the joint venture elected to enter a Gas Market Development Period to confirm the economic viability of the project.

In September 2020, the Block 11B/12B joint venture received the fully-processed 2D seismic dataset from Shearwater GeoServices Holding AS for the 7,033 linear kilometer 2D seismic program completed in the first quarter of 2020 on Block 11B/12B. The Block 11B/12B joint venture is conducting a full interpretation and prospect analysis for the eastern part of the block. The technical analysis has identified multiple prospects and leads some of which have potential direct hydrocarbon indicators within the Kloofpadda Play Trend that is currently being considered for potential future exploration drilling.

In March 2021, the Block 11B/12B joint venture received the final fully-processed merged 3D seismic volume over the Paddavissie Fairway including the 2,305 square kilometer 3D seismic program acquired by Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (“PGS”) in 2020 and the 570 square kilometers of 3D seismic data acquired by Polarcus Limited in 2019. The improved quality of the final fully-processed 3D volume has resulted in significantly higher resolution further reducing exploration risk. The final 3D volume has been integrated with the drilling and testing results to facilitate development studies. The technical analysis has identified multiple additional prospects within the greater Paddavissie Fairway with amplitudes conforming to structure that could be incorporated into any future development scheme.

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. TotalEnergies as operator holds a 45% participating interest in Block 11B/12B, while QatarEnergy and Canadian Natural Resources hold 25% and 20%, respectively.

In August 2020, the Company announced the signing of definitive agreements to increase its effective interest in Block 11B/12B offshore South Africa from 4.9% to 10%, subject to certain consents and approvals. See the Company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis dated December 31, 2021 for more detailed disclosure.