Update on the Deepwater Luiperd-1 Well, Offshore South Africa
Total, with partners Africa Energy, Qatar Petroleum and CNR, have returned to the deepwater Block 11B/12B offshore South Africa to spud the Luiperd-1 well. The wildcat is a long-anticipated sequel to Brulpadda, which opened up the large Paddavissie mid-Cretaceous submarine fan play in 2019. Apart from the usual subsurface challenges of finding large clastic reservoirs with a high chance of hydrocarbon pay, this play has further natural met-ocean hurdles in the form of currents and swell that challenge even the most advanced drilling rigs (Brulpadda itself was abandoned on the first attempt in 2014 under difficult drilling conditions). In this case Odfjell’s Deepsea Stavanger is rising to the challenge, having successfully completed the Brulpadda discovery last year. This play-opening gem logged 34m of gas condensate and oil pay in mid-Cretaceous high net-to-gross (N/G) sands, and 23m gas condensate in the Lower Cretaceous with similarly high N/G and without encountering an oil-water contact. Furthermore, the well appears to have lit up the Paddavissie AVO trend, with Luiperd one of four main targets, the others being Blassop and Woudboom.
Partners on the licence have released various updates, suggesting the Luiperd prospect could be 50% larger than Brulpadda. Overall this play could prove up over 1 Bboe in basin floor Cretaceous fans on this passive margin, finally delivering on the Jubilee promise of 2007. In the adjacent South Outeniqua Block, Total is scoping a proposed work programme of drilling, VSP and CSEM, with reports of up to ten possible further wells. Elsewhere in South Africa, Equinor and ExxonMobil recently exited the country, possibly for above-ground as well as geological risk reasons, although Shell has strengthened its position, having bought Kosmos’ share in the ultra-deepwater North Cape Block. Total maintain a strong acreage position from here north-west all the way to the border with Namibia, and also hold large blocks offshore southern Namibia.