New find could contain three times more resources than all South Africa’s previous gas finds to date: Wood Mac

By Richard Rostad, analyst, Oil & Gas 360

Total announced a major gas condensate discovery today in an unexpected location: South Africa.

The company’s Brulpadda well, targeting prospects located roughly 110 miles off the coast of South Africa, has discovered significant reserves of gas condensate and light oil. Total reports the well encountered 185 feet of net pay in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs, the main objective of the well.

The well reached a final depth of 12,000 feet and encountered additional pay in the Brulpadda-deep prospect.

Just the start: four more major prospects in the area

Total reports it has four other major nearby prospects that it plans to drill, testing the overall resource available in the area.

While it is too early to say for certain, Total’s CEO estimates there may be one billion BOE of resources contained in the prospects. Total will also acquire extensive 3D seismic data of the area, clarifying the extent of its discovery. Fortunately for Total, the company holds millions of acres surrounding Brulpadda in two exploration blocks.

Total’s Senior VP of Exploration Kevin McLachlan commented, “We are very pleased to announce the Brulpadda discovery which was drilled in a challenging deepwater environment. 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.”

Total is the operator of the discovery, with 45%. Qatar Petroleum holds 25%, CNR International owns 20% and Main Street, a South African consortium owns the remaining 10%.

Up to 1 Billion BOE Discovery: Total

Source: Total

The discovery could also be a boon for South Africa, which is the continent’s most advanced economy but relies heavily on energy imports. While South Africa does have some gas fields, these are small and running low. Total’s new find could contain three times more resources than all South Africa’s previous gas finds to date, according to Wood MacKenzie. The country has been considering importing gas from Mozambique and already has an underutilized gas-to-liquids plant near the discovery.

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