French oil major Total said in a statement that it had “made a significant gas condensate discovery on the Luiperd prospect … in the Outeniqua Basin, 175km off the southern coast of South Africa. This discovery follows the adjacent play-opening Brulpadda discovery in 2019, which proved a significant new petroleum province in the region.”
The well was drilled to a depth of 3,400m and tests will now be conducted on samples “to assess the dynamic reservoir characteristics and deliverability”. This effectively means that an assessment will be made on the well’s potential profitability.
The block in question is operated by Total with a 45% working interest. The partners are Qatar Petroleum (25%), CNR International (20%) and Main Street, a South African consortium (10%).
The discovery comes amid a general lull in exploration activity in response to lower prices and collapsing hydrocarbon demand.
South Africa imports most of its oil and the government is keen to have a domestic hydrocarbon industry. At the same time, it has commitments to reduce the country’s emissions of greenhouse gases linked to climate change. It has also been talking tough on corruption lately, and the oil sector’s reputation on that score in the region is pretty murky. This is a space to watch. DM/BM