Reconnaissance Energy Africa has launched its second phase of drilling, with the highly anticipated 8-2 well begun on the weekend targeting a potential 799 million barrels.
This is the first of four wells. The company drilled two wells in the Kavango Basin in 2021 and proved a petroleum system.
Drilling aims to test two of the three play types, the oil-prone Karoo Rift Fill and the Intra Rift Fault Block plays.
It will drill the 8-2 to a depth of around 2,800 metres. This will test the first of these plays, the Karoo Rift Fill, which ReconAfrica has described as its primary play. It will also test the deeper Pre-Karoo Mulden and Otavi formations. The company spudded the well on June 25.
It should take 60 days to reach total depth. Netherland, Sewell & Associates (NSAI) has given an unrisked figure of 799 million barrels for the 8-2 well, also known as Makandina.
The 8-2 well is around 6.5 km from the first well ReconAfrica drilled, the 6-2.
The next three wells will be the 3-1 well, Hamweyi, which may hold 158mn barrels; the 8-3, Cumezao, with a potential 295mn barrels; and 2-7, with potential of 767mn barrels. The latter well is testing the Intra Rift Fault Block play.
ReconAfrica is in talks with potential partners to fund its development programme. Waiting until it has results from drilling – if successful – should give it a stronger hand, particularly given the wider oil price strength.
The Canadian company’s neighbour in Namibia, Monitor Exploration, at PEL 93 gave a slightly different assessment of the 6-2 well.
Monitor said that its “strong belief” is that the oil and gas shows in the 6-2 were from the Pre-Karoo Owambo Basin, rather than the Karoo Rift.
“This does not fundamentally change the prospectivity of Recon’s Karoo Rift as it is clear that hydrocarbons have migrated into the Rift from the Owambo Basin”, Monitor said. Drilling by ReconAfrica “strongly support the prospectivity of Monitor’s acreage which sits in the heart of the Owambo Basin”, it said.
The Karoo section is “relatively thin” in Monitor’s acreage, it said. However, it has well developed Mulden and Otavi targets, it continued, wishing ReconAfrica success in its drilling programme.
ReconAfrica has been building up to this point for some time. The company completed the acquisition of 761 km of 2D seismic last week.
The company, with Namcor, said it would use a number of processing companies to give the best possible seismic results. ReconAfrica has now shot 1,211 km of seismic in its 34,000 square km licence.
It drilled the first two wells without having shot seismic. The new four-well campaign has the benefit of seismic interpretation and should make – or break – ReconAfrica’s basin understanding.
The company seems confident. In addition to its new drilling campaign, carried out with its own drilling rig, ReconAfrica is also planning more 2D seismic.
This should cover more than 1,000 km of 2D. The company expects to begin this in the autumn of 2022.
The move comes as interest in Namibia continues to grow. Shell has recently drilled the La Rona-1 well, offshore, following up on its Graff-1 discovery from early in the year. TotalEnergies is planning to appraise its Venus-1 well in the autumn, with some reports suggesting billions of barrels of resource.
Galp is due to spud a well in 2023 on PEL 83, close to the block where Shell made its Graff discovery.