September spud date expected for exploration well offshore South Africa
Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd., the oil and gas exploration company focused on the offshore Atlantic Margins, provided an update on the operations for its planned Gazania-1 Well, offshore South Africa.
Eco, through its wholly owned subsidiary Azinam South Africa Limited, operates and holds a 50% working interest (WI) in Block 2B, plans to spud the Gazania-1 well, 25 km (15 mi) offshore the Northern Cape in South Africa in September. The well will take approximately 25 days to drill.
Eco Atlantic acquired 100% of Azinam Group as initially announced on January 10, which increased WI in its all existing Namibian licences PELs 97, 98, 99 and 100 to 85%, and led to a new country entry with two blocks offshore in the Orange Basin, South Africa; a 50% WI and Operatorship in Block 2B, which contains the previous AJ-1 oil discovery with 56 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMbbl) Mean Contingent Resources of light oil, and a 20% WI in Block 3B/4B. Block 3B/4B directly offsets the prolific multibillion barrels discoveries offshore Namibia announced earlier this year by Shell (Graff-1) and TotalEnergies (Venus-1).
Eco, as Operator of Block 2B is leading the JV partnership comprised of Africa Energy Corp (27.5% WI), Panoro 2B Limited, a subsidiary of Panoro Energy ASA (12.5% WI) and Crown Energy AB (10% WI) in drilling the Gazania-1 Exploration Well in Q3’22. The well is being drilled 25km offshore in 150 meters of water and will be drilled to a depth of approximately 2,800 meters to target a stacked pay section up dip of the AJ-1 discovery and in the proven oil horizon.
As announced March 3, Eco contracted the Island Innovator rig with Island Drilling Company AS, the rig is to be mobilized from Bergen, Norway in the second half of July. The semi-submersible drilling rig was selected for its modern safe operating systems, its stationary anchoring and its system specifically engineered for the engineering requirements and depth range for this well.
The well anticipated to be low pressure and low temperature based on the evaluation of all regional wells. It will be cased with three telescoped and cemented casings and will be drilled with environmentally friendly water-based drilling fluids. The company plans to seal and plug the well after the test with no remaining equipment left on the sea floor. The sea floor well area was surveyed in 2021 to confirm there are no environmental or culturally sensitive concerns.
Eco recently met face-to-face with members of the local communities and interested organizations through focus groups and ongoing open meeting forums to provide information sharing sessions, to engage with them to inform on the upcoming operations and to answer any questions.
“The acquisition of Azinam created an opportunity to work with the JV partners, the Government of South Africa and importantly the people of South Africa to drill this significant well in Q3 this year,” said Colin Kinley, co-founder and COO of Eco Atlantic. “We have worked diligently with our drilling team and partners to define a safe and efficient drilling strategy for Gazania, to define drilling engineering to meet world standards of environmental protection and hopefully give South Africa access to its own oil resources.”
South Africa’s energy transition must be thought out from all perspectives, Kinley said. Although the required permits are in place at this point, the company thought it necessary to voluntarily meet with the regional local communities and interested parties to hear out concerns and interests.
“We are currently on schedule to mobilize out of Norway in the third week of July and spud early in September,” he said. “We anticipate approximately three to four weeks on site to drill the test well and then regardless of our findings we will seal off the well, ensure the site is completely restored and move off.”
Eco has chosen a majority of available South African services and will base its operations from Cape Town. This is an exciting opportunity and holds the potential of establishing a new over 300 million barrels light oil resource.