Liberia: Significant Oil Discovery

Liberia’s race to join its West African neighbours Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire and especially Ghana has moved an important step forward.
This article appeared in Vol. 9, No. 3 - 2012


  • Source: African Petroleum

In late February African Petroleum, which specialises in exploration in West Africa, announced what it described as a ‘significant’ discovery at its deepwater well, Narina-1, in Block LB-09, approximately 185 km south-east of the capital, Monrovia. The well was drilled to a total depth of 4,850m and is in waters 1,143m deep.

About 21m net pay of good quality 37° API oil was found in Turonian-aged rocks, part of a submarine fan system and shows were encountered over a total of 170m of this interval, with no oil water contact being found. The well also discovered 11m net pay of 44° API oil in the Albian, near to a very large Albian submarine fan prospect. In addition, over 200m of good quality thick sands were found in the shallower Campanian, Santonian and Coniacian horizons, which, although water-bearing, proved the presence of a good reservoir at this interval. This de-risks a number of other leads in the area, which, unlike the Narina prospect, have evidence of traps at this level.

African Petroleum is 100% owner and operator of Blocks LB08 and LB-09, covering a total of 7,135 km2. Before drilling this well, African Petroleum acquired over 5,000 km2 of 3D seismic over the two blocks and the company now plans an extensive drilling and appraisal programme later in 2012.

Although the shallow waters off Liberia have been explored previously, and six wells had oil shows, there has been very little exploration in the area since the 1980s, and until the drilling of Narina, no deepwater wells had targeted the Cretaceous sands which have proved so productive in Sierra Leone and Ghana.


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