Total SE and its partners made a second gas-condensate find off the southern coast of South Africa, a country that imports most of its oil.
The “significant” discovery of gas condensate — a light liquid hydrocarbon — comes after Total said last year it had opened up a new “world-class” oil and gas province off South Africa. The drilling program is a rare example of exploration in a frontier area, with activity dropping off dramatically elsewhere amid the oil-price collapse.
The Luiperd-1X well on Block 11B/12B was drilled to a total depth of about 3,400 meters (11,150 feet) and encountered 73 meters of gas condensate. The French company will now conduct a detailed assessment of the reservoir in conjunction with Qatar Petroleum and its other partners.
“The initial well results are better than anticipated, and they offer a great opportunity to pursue further exploration of the gas condensate and appraisal activities in this area,” Saad Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s minister of energy and chief executive officer of Qatar Petroleum, said in a separate statement.
In February 2019, Total and its partners made an estimated 1 billion-barrel find on Block 11B/12B.
Total operates the block with a 45% working interest. Qatar Petroleum has 25%, CNR International 20% and Main Street — a South African consortium — 10%.
Gas Condensate: Total in South Africa
Present in South Africa since 1954, Total is now the country’s fifth-ranked marketer, with sales of 3.1 million tons of products each year, a network of 528 service stations, its biggest outside Europe, and a 36.6% interest in the Natref refinery alongside Sasol. The Group is also South Africa’s third-ranked LPG marketer and fifth-ranked coal exporter.
Total’s solar affiliate, SunPower, is active in ground-mounted solar power plants and off-grid solar facilities in South Africa. It is currently building two solar power plants near Douglas, in The Northern Cape. Total is also implementing decentralized rural electrification programs through KwaZulu Energy Services (KES).
The newly created exploration and production affiliate is based in Cape Town.