With a large gas field just located offshore Ghana by GNPC, with Vitol, and a promising oil discovery made offshore Sierra Leone by Anadarko with Tullow Oil, Woodside and Repsol in tow, excitement is growing that a major new boom is about to burst offshore West Africa.
Tullow, with Anadarko and Kosmos Energy, has, over the past three years, turned in a spectacular performance exploring offshore Ghana; what the latest Ghanaian discovery and Sierra Leone wildcat demonstrate is that hydrocarbon resources in the region are far richer than many so-called experts – in major oil companies, especially – had assumed.
Anadarko’s most recent find demonstrates that perfectly, with the deepwater Venus find made on block SL6/07 by the drillship, Belford Dolphin.
Anadarko said the Venus B-1 well was drilled to a total depth of about 5,639m (18,500ft) in waters 1,800m (5,900ft) in depth and encountered more than 45 net feet (13.7m) of hydrocarbon pay.
Venus marks the first deepwater test in the Sierra Leone-Liberian Basin.
As Robert Daniels, Anadarko senior VP for worldwide exploration at Anadarko, put it: “With Jubilee on the east and Venus on the west, we have established bookends spanning approximately 1,100km (700 miles) across two of the most exciting and highly prospective basins in the world.”
The Venus prospect is one of Anadarko’s 30-plus identified prospects and leads on its West Africa acreage position, which includes interests in almost 8million acres across 10 blocks offshore Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Anadarko operates seven of the blocks and the majority of the identified prospects with an average working interest of about 40%. Tullow is extensively linked.
Next, Anadarko will continue its exploratory drilling with the South Grand Lahou, off the Ivory Coast, again using the Belford Dolphin.
Meanwhile, the large gas field located offshore Ghana with the Sankofa-1A exploration well is located on the Cape Three Points block.
Vitol has reported that the well encountered a net hydrocarbon column of about 36.3m (119ft), comprising a 33.1m gas column and a 3.2m oil column in reservoir sands of Campanian age.
Moreover, the company said the success of this well confirmed the prospectivity of these Upper Cretaceous reservoir sands in the Tano/Cape Three Point Basin blocks.
Sankofa-1A is located 38km (23.6 miles) east of the Jubilee field and 21km (13 miles) east of the Odum discovery in the West Cape Three Points block and has been suspended for possible re-entry.
Eni has bought its way into the licence as a result of the Vitol success.