Total has made a second discovery offshore South Africa in the Outeniqua Basin, following the Brulpadda discovery of 2019.
The company drilled the Luiperd well in Block 11B/12B. It found 73 metres of net gas condensate pay, with Total describing this as a “significant” discovery. The pay is in well-developed good quality Lower Cretaceous reservoirs.
Following this result, plans for the drilling of a second exploration well have been dropped. Instead, the partners plan to work on commercialising the discoveries.
The well reached a total depth of about 3,400 metres. The French company did not provide an estimated resource. The operator has cored and logged Luiperd. Next, Total will test dynamic reservoir characteristics and deliverability.
“We are very pleased with this second discovery and its very encouraging results, which prove the world-class nature of this offshore gas play,” said Total’s president of exploration and production Arnaud Breuillac.
“With this discovery and the successful seismic acquisitions, Total and its partners have acquired important data on the Paddavissie fairway, which will help to progress development studies and engage with South African authorities regarding the possible conditions of the gas commercialisation.”
Africa Energy has a 4.9% stake in the block. The Canadian company’s president and CEO Garrett Soden said they were “thrilled” by the second discovery.
“We congratulate Total as operator for drilling the Luiperd-1X deepwater well safely and efficiently during the coronavirus pandemic and austral winter season. The Luiperd discovery reconfirms this world-class exploration play with substantial follow-on potential.
“The net pay encountered in the Luiperd target objective is significantly larger than the main reservoir at last year’s Brulpadda discovery. The Block 11B/12B partners are conducting a drill stem test to measure flow rates over the next few weeks.
“Due to the success at Luiperd, the joint venture has decided to proceed with development studies and engage with authorities on the commercialisation of gas instead of drilling another exploration well in this programme.”
Total E&P South Africa is the operator with a 45% stake. Qatar Petroleum International Upstream has 25% and CNR International (South Africa) has 20%. Africa Energy has a 49% stake in Main Street 1549, which has a 10% stake in the block.
Africa Energy set out a deal in August under which it would acquire the entirety of Main Street, buying out its partners – Impact Oil and Gas and Arostyle Investments – through the issue of equity.
QP’s president and CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said the “initial well results are better than anticipated, and they offer a great opportunity to pursue further exploration and appraisal activities in this area, and to look into integrated commercialisation of these findings in alignment with all stakeholders.”
While the Brulpadda and Luiperd discoveries have been substantial, the conditions can be challenging. Rough weather forced Total to abandon its first effort at Brulpadda in 2014, with the rig not quite up to the job. The Deepsea Stavanger has proved to be a more capable rig.
These conditions may pose challenges for development. Wood Mackenzie’s vice president of exploration Andrew Latham has compared these to west of Shetland.
The companies could pipe gas from the two finds onshore, potentially tapping into some existing pipelines. Supplies would land close to the Mossel Bay gas-to-liquid (GTL) plant. Gas supplies to the GTL plant are priced around $7 per mmcf.