SINTEZNEFTEGAZ is set to start drilling its Kunene-1 exploration well offshore Namibia in Block 1711 early this month, according to partner EnerGulf Resources.
The US company said the drillship, Deep Venture, had been contracted for the project, but is currently drilling offshore Angola on behalf of ExxonMobil. It would seem that the release date of the rig is imminent.
Block 1711 is situated in the Namibe Basin off the northern coast of Namibia, along the international boundary with Angola. The two separate exploration prospects, the Kunene and Hartmann, have been identified by extensive modern seismic data on the 893,100-hectare block. Based on a prospective resource assessment by Netherland Sewell & Associates, the co-venturers are targeting a potential multibillion-barrel oil&gas resource.
Sintezneftegaz Namibia is operator of Block 1711 and the Kunene-1 exploration well with 100% interest. The company is a joint venture of Sintezneftegaz (70%), Energulf (10%), PetroSA (10%), Namibian national oil company Namcor (7%) and BEE (3%).
Meanwhile, Tullow’s Kudu gas field appraisal programme appears stalled following 2007’s disappointing drilling results. The Kudu-8 well encountered the targeted gas-bearing reservoir sands at 4,299m, consistent with the results from the nearby Kudu-5 well drilled in 1998. These sands were thicker and of better quality than those in Kudu-5; however, the reservoir permeability was lower at this location.
Pressure is mounting on southern Africa to solve its crippling energy shortages. The long-running Kudu saga is not helping as it was once seen as a key solution.