Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has announced the arrival of the DeepSea Stavanger oil and gas drill rig in Cape Town.
The rig has been commissioned by petroleum giant Total and its partners to drill the Luiperd prospect in Block 11B/12B off the Mossel Bay coast, Western Cape.
“The arrival of the drill rig, following the recent successful Brulpadda discovery, reaffirms confidence in South Africa as an investment destination of choice for the exploration of oil and gas.
“This is despite the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on economies around the world,” he said.
The rig is part of a $400 million (R6.9 billion) oil and gas exploration drilling campaign by Total, of which R1.5 billion will be spent in South Africa. This includes spending in the
- The hospitality industry;
- Off-shore services and equipment;
- Training and contracting of local companies to support the drilling programme.
The duration of the drilling campaign is expected to be between 180 and 300 days.
“The investment will further enable South Africa to diversify its energy mix, as envisioned in the Integrated Resources Plan, by using all the primary energy resources that the country is endowed with, including gas,” said Mantashe.
“Government will be supporting this project by finalising the Upstream Petroleum Bill which aims to strike a balance between the need to attract investment into this key sector of the economy, and ensuring that oil and gas activities do not happen at the expense of the environment and water resources.”
Total announced that it made a significant gas condensate discovery 175 kilometers off the southern coast of South Africa in February 2019.
The Brulpadda well (‘Bullfrog well’) – located off the shore of Mossel Bay – is one of several highly anticipated exploration prospects for the company.
Total has previously indicated that the field could hold between 500 million to over 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The Brulpadda well covers an area of 19,000 square kilometers, with water depths ranging from 200 to 1,800 meters, and is operated by Total with a 45% working interest, alongside Qatar Petroleum (25%), CNR international (20%) and Main Street, a South African consortium (10%).
The spouses are planning to drill a well in the Luiperd prospect in water depths of as much as 1.8 kilometers by September, Africa Energy Chief Executive Officer Garrett Soden said in a statement in July.
The prospects in the area have improved following the nearby Brulpadda discovery and other seismic work, he said.
The Deepsea Stavanger left Bergen in Norway at the start of July.