Total SE and its partners have made a second gas-condensate discovery off the southern coast of South Africa, a country that imports most of its crude. The “huge” discovery of gas condensate—light liquid hydrocarbon—comes after Total said last year that it had opened a new “world-class” oil and gas province off of South Africa.
The drilling programme is a remarkable example of exploration in the border region, with production falling sharply elsewhere in the midst of the oil price crash. The Luiperd-1X well on Block 11B/12B was drilled to a total depth of about 3,400 metres (11,150 feet) and found 73 metres of gas condensate, Total said in a statement.
The French company will now carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the reservoir in collaboration with Qatar Petroleum and its other partners. “The initial good results are better than expected and provide a great opportunity to pursue further exploration and assessment activities in this region,” said Saad Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Energy Minister and Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Petroleum, in a separate statement.
Oil exploration has declined in the midst of lower prices and declining demand. This year with the coronavirus slowing down economic activity, the number of offshore rigs in Africa has plummeted to a single digit, according to data from Baker Hughes. In February 2019, Total and its partners formed an estimated 1 billion barrels for Block 11B/12B. Total operates the block with 45 per cent working interest. Qatar Petroleum has 25%, CNR International 20% and Main Street – a South African consortium – 10%.