SacOil says DRC drilling may start in 2017 after positive exploration results
SacOil group executive of operations Bradley Cerff
29TH JULY 2016
BY: TERENCE CREAMER
CREAMER MEDIA EDITOR
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South African oil and gas junior SacOil is optimistic that energy major Total could initiate a drilling campaign in 2017 on a resource in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), following positive geophysical exploration results.
The French group is the operating partner over the 3 177-km2-licence area, known as Block III, and recently completed the acquisition of 244 km of 2D seismic data over the northern part of the block.
The onshore acreage, which lies to south of Lake Albert, in DRC, also forms part of a larger basin, which has been the subject of extensive exploration on the to Uganda side of the border. In fact, Total and others have made significant discoveries in Uganda and the group has signalled its intention to develop multiple oil finds, which could be evacuated through a planned $3.5-billion Uganda-Tanzania export pipeline.
SacOil group executive operations, Bradley Cerff, tells Engineering News Online that the JSE-listed company is also heartened by the initial exploration results in Block III and that it is looking forward to the initiation of the future drilling campaign.
The licence conditions associated with Block III stipulate that drilling should occur by mid-2018, but Cerff is hopeful that Total could well move ahead during the course of 2017.
“We are moving into the nuts-and-bolts phase,” he explains, noting that, over the past six years, the partners have come to grips with the regional geology. “What we need to do now is test the geological model through drilling the first well on the DRC side of the border.”
The focus currently is on selecting the best possible geological location for the first well so as to “prove that there is a working petroleum system in that area”.
For SacOil, which acquired the block in 2010 and currently holds a 12.5% interest, proving the asset would also be a significant development, particularly following a recent reorganisation of ownership structure, enabling it to directly represent its interest in Block III.
Cerff says that, besides the producing Lagia oilfield, in Egypt, the DRC asset is the most advanced in the JSE- and Aim-listed company’s upstream portfolio and central to its ambitions of becoming a pan-African oil and gas company.
EDITED BY: CREAMER MEDIA REPORTER
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