Shell gears up to drill in Mafia Deep basin off Tanzania

  • Exploration & Production

Oil giant Shell is gearing up to start its drilling program covering two wells in Block 1 and 4, located in the Mafia Deep basin, offshore Tanzania.

Shell is the operator of these two blocks with 60% interest and Ophir Energy is its partner with 20% stake. The remaining 20% stake is held by Pavilion Energy.

Shell announced on Thursday, together with its joint venture partners, the start of its drilling program covering two wells in Block 1 and 4, located in the Mafia Deep basin.

The rig supporting the program – the Noble Globetrotter II – was expected to start operations towards the end of October 2016 and will be drilling in waters up to 2300 meters deep. Earlier this year, the rig was used to drill for the French oil major Total in the Black Sea offshore Bulgaria and made an oil discovery.

According to the latest available AIS data, the Noble Globetrotter II is currently located off Tanzania, at the Block 1 location.

The joint venture partners will be investing close to $80 million into the well drilling programs.

Shell said that the two wells will meet the remaining exploration requirements as per the exploration licenses issued by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM). Shell became the operator of the two blocks in February 2016, after its combination with BG Group, and has been working closely with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and MEM to deliver these wells.

The development of Blocks 1 and 4 is part of the Tanzania LNG project, which is, according to Shell, a critical part of Tanzania’s national energy policy under the umbrella of the Vision 2025.

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