French oil and gas major Total’s South African offshore discovery could hold 1 billion barrels oil equivalent-CEO

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Chief Executive Officer of Total, Patrick Pouyanne said the French oil and gas company’s South African offshore discovery could contain 1 billion barrels of total resources.

Total said it had made a significant gas condensate discovery after drilling its Brulpadda prospects on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin.

Pouyanne revealed that “it is gas condensate and light oil. Mainly gas. There are four other prospects on the licence that we have to drill; it could be around 1 billion barrels of total resources of gas and condensate”.

The Brulpadda well encountered 57 metres of net gas condensate in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. The well was extended to a final depth of 3,633 metres and has also been successful.

Total’s senior vice president for exploration, Kevin McLachlan said “with this discovery Total has opened a new world-class gas and oil play and is well positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block”.

South Africa, the continent’s most industrialised economy, which imports most of its refined petroleum products and crude oil, welcomed the announcement. The mineral resources minister, Gwede Manthashe said “it is potentially a major boost for the economy”.

South Africa wants to build its gas network and has previously mentioned the possibility of importing LNG from Mozambique, where a gas pipeline already supplies most of the gas South Africa uses to power its industrial heartland in the north.

Brulpadda is one of several high-profile exploration prospects for Total, which has said the field could hold between 500 million to more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Total noted that after the confirmation of Brulpadda’s potential, the company and its partners plan to acquire 3D seismic data this year, followed by up to four exploration wells on the licence. The French oil and gas firm has a 45 percent working interest and is the operator of Block 11B/12B, which covers an area of 19,000 square km.

The other partners working on the project include Qatar Petroleum, CNR International and Main Street, a South African consortium, holding 25 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent stakes respectively.


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