Total discovers 1bn barrels of gas in South Africa

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French oil and gas major, Total’s discovery offshore South Africa could be around one billion barrels of total resources and is “probably quite big”, the company’s Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne, said.

Total said in Paris it had made a significant gas condensate discovery after drilling its Brulpadda prospects on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin.

“It is gas condensate and light oil. Mainly gas. There are four other prospects on the licence that we have to drill, it could be around 1 billion barrels of total resources of gas and condensate,” Pouyanne said.

The Brulpadda well encountered 57 metres of net gas condensate in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. The well was deepened to a final depth of 3,633 metres and has also been successful.

“With this discovery, Total has opened a new world-class gas and oil play and is well positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block,” Total’s senior vice president for exploration Kevin McLachlan said in a statement.

Brulpadda is one of several highly anticipated exploration prospects for the year for the company and the sector. Total has said the field could hold between 500 million to over one billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The company said following the success of Brulpadda and confirmation of its potential, Total and its partners plan to acquire 3D seismic this year, followed by up to four exploration wells on the licence.

Total has a 45 per cent working interest and is the operator of the Block 11B/12B which covers an area of 19,000 square kilometres.

Other partners include Qatar Petroleum with a 25 per cent stake, CNR International holds 20 per cent and Main Street, a South African consortium, with 10 per cent.