The Island Innovator semi-submersible drilling rig has arrived on Block 2B offshore South Africa, and is set to start operations on the Gazania-1 exploration well.
The Gazania-1 exploration well is being drilled in approximately 150 meters of water and is located 25 kilometres offshore the Northern Cape in the Orange Basin. The Orange Basin straddles the offshore waters of Namibia and South Africa, where major discoveries on both the Graff-1 well, drilled by Shell, and the Venus-1 well, drilled by TotalEnergies, have recently been announced.
The Gazania-1 well is located up-dip of the AJ-1 oil discovery well drilled on the block in 1988 and is targeting a gross prospective resource of over 300 million
barrels of light oil across multiple zones. The Gazania-1 Exploration Well is being drilled to a depth of approximately 2,800 meters.
The block is operated by Eco Atlantic which has a 50% stake. Partners are Africa Energy Corp (27.5%), Panoro (12.5%), Crown Energy AB (10%).
Pending discovery in the vertical section the JV partners have the option to directionally drill a second sidetrack well from the main well bore. Both the vertical well and the sidetrack optional well will be logged and then plugged back to surface, the well will be sealed, plugged and the casing cut off below surface. No equipment will remain on the sea floor.
Colin Kinley, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Eco Atlantic, said: "Drilling Gazania-1 offers a significant opportunity to South Africa to open up the Orange Basin. A number of prior discoveries in the region are changing the understanding of this Basin both in South Africa and Namibia where recent multi-billion-barrel discoveries have opened the gate to a new era of economic and resource opportunity. The Discovery at AJ-1 is extremely helpful in creating the opportunity on the Gazaina-1 well that we are confident that the decades of science will prove out.
"This well is being drilled to define the opportunity and the initial path in the Basin. We are drilling this strictly as an exploration well. Once we have defined the resources here, South Africa and the JV partners will make its choices and we will determine the next stage of development. Eco appreciates all the support of the South African Government, the local industries and local communities in the communication, participation and planning of this well.
"We are entering an exciting and busy period of drilling and work programmes and we look forward to updating the market, our partners and all stakeholders in the coming weeks on our progress and the Gazania-1 exploration well results."