As many as six high impact wells are yet to be completed this year around Africa, after several consecutive low-activity years with only a few positive results.
According to the energy research and business intelligence company Rystad Energy, these wells all target offshore acreages, with the majority planned in the Western African region.
“Africa appears to be emerging from a long hibernation in terms of oil and gas exploration activities,” said Rystad Energy Upstream Research analyst Taiyab Zain Shariff.
A steep drop in the number of exploration wells in 2015 fueled by budget cuts, failed projects, and poor market conditions has meant that exploration in the region has mostly been on pause and declining further until this year, where an uptick in investments has reversed this negative trend, shining some light on African exploration.
These six high impact wells include those targeting large prospects, play openers, wells in the frontier area, and operator communicated high impact wells, it said.
In Egypt, Dana Gas is currently drilling a deep-water well in the Mediterranean. The Merak well is targeting Pliocene turbidite plays and will be drilled to a planned total depth of 2,600 meters.
The greatest concentration of high impact wells in the continent can be found along the West African coast. Total plans to drill a well on Block C-9 in the Mauritanian basin. This particular well will target a large cretaceous oil and gas play.
Located on the same structural ridge as the BirAllah and Tortue discoveries, BP’s Orca prospect is estimated to hold gross gas in place resources of 13 trillion cubic feet.
Trace Atlantic is currently hunting for a partner to farm out 50% to 70% of its stake and to drill a frontier deep water floater targeting the Albian age Formosa prospect.
Total plans to drill a well in Block 48, located in the ultra-deep-water Lower Congo basin. The well would target a high potential new play in the Miocene and Oligocene channels and lobes.
Further down along the southern African coast, Total aims to drill the deepest well ever completed in the continent. The Venus prospect is located in a giant basin floor fan of the Orange Basin and is considered to be the largest prospect ever in Namibia.
Overall, there is a sense of positivity after years of inactivity and decline in the region. Thanks to lowered costs and several large prospects, there is once again hope for Africa’s exploration endeavours to grow in the upcoming years.