Vantage Drilling’s Tungsten Explorer drillship; Credit: Greg Williams

TotalEnergies embarking on multi-well drilling campaign offshore Namibia

French energy giant TotalEnergies is in the process of starting a multi-well appraisal and exploration drilling programme in Namibia, following the Venus light oil discovery in Block 2913B (PEL 56) located in the Orange Basin, offshore southern Namibia.

Vantage Drilling’s Tungsten Explorer drillship; Credit: Greg Williams

Block 2913B covers approximately 8,215 km² offshore Namibia. TotalEnergies is the operator with a 40 per cent working interest, alongside QatarEnergy (30 per cent), Africa Oil’s Impact Oil and Gas (20 per cent), and Namibia’s NAMCOR (10 per cent).

The ultra-deepwater Venus-1X exploration well was spud at the beginning of December 2021, using the Maersk Voyager drillship. The Venus discovery is a light oil and associated gas field, located in the Orange Basin, approximately 290 kilometres off the coast of southern Namibia, and in a water depth of approximately 3,000 metres. The well was drilled to a total depth of 6,296 metres and encountered a high-quality light oil-bearing sandstone reservoir of Lower Cretaceous age.

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Canadian oil and gas company Africa Oil Corp. announced on Wednesday, 22 February 2023, that a multi-well drilling programme offshore Namibia was due to start before the end of February, targeting up to four wells, including the re-entry of the Venus-1X discovery well, in Block 2913B. This will be done to appraise the Venus discovery and to investigate a potential westerly extension of Venus, the Nara prospect – formerly referred to as West Venus – on Block 2912.

Keith Hill, Africa Oil President and CEO, commented: “The Venus discovery, which according to Wood Mackenzie was the world’s largest oil discovery in 2022, has opened up the Orange Basin as a world-class petroleum province. I am delighted that we are at the forefront of this exciting play through our shareholding in Impact, and a 20 per cent operated interest in Block 3B/4B that lies on trend with the Venus structure.

“We are the only publicly listed independent oil and gas company with an interest in Venus, and our material Orange Basin acreage presents a very attractive opportunity for investors looking for an exposure to its potentially transformational upside.”

Appraisal of Venus discovery

Furthermore, Africa Oil explains that the drilling of Venus-1A, the first appraisal well on the Venus discovery, will be located approximately 13 kilometres to the north of the Venus-1X discovery well and drilled using Vantage Drilling’s Tungsten Explorer drillship while Northern Ocean’s Deepsea Mira semi-submersible rig will be used to conduct a drill stem test at this location.

Afterwards, the Deepsea Mira rig will re-enter the Venus-1X well and conduct a flow test. According to Africa Oil, the objective of this programme is to further evaluate the Venus reservoir and deliver dynamic data.

Two wells on the cards for Block 2912

Moreover, Africa Oil highlights that Block 2912 may contain “a highly material westerly extension” of the Venus field, thus, operations by TotalEnergies during 2023, on behalf of the Joint Venture, are designed to explore and – if successful – test this potential extension of the Venus accumulation into Block 2912, providing an understanding of the structure and reservoir quality.

The French giant will start drilling operations in Block 2912 during mid-2023. Africa Oil outlines that exploration well Nara-1X will be drilled and flow tested by the Tungsten Explorer drillship and – if successful – an appraisal well, Nara-1A, could then be drilled and flow tested.

Source: Africa Oil

Africa Oil’s Impact, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Impact Oil and Gas Namibia, holds an 18.89 per cent working interest in the adjacent Block 2912 (PEL 91), where it is also partnered with TotalEnergies (operator with 37.78 per cent interest), QatarEnergy (28.33 per cent) and NAMCOR (15 per cent).