Eco Atlantic, the junior exploration company focused on the offshore Atlantic Margins, said the Island Innovator semi-submersible drilling rig has begun drilling operations at the Gazania-1 exploration well in Block 2B located 25 kilometres (km) offshore the Northern Cape in Orange Basin, South Africa.
The well is being drilled to a depth of approximately 2,800 metres through a multizone pay section. It is also being drilled up-dip of the AJ-1 discovery well on the block, which proved approximately 50 million barrels of contingent resources.
The Gazania-1 prospect is targeting over 300 million barrels of light oil. Pending discovery in the vertical section, the joint venture (JV) partners have the option to directionally drill a second side-track well from the main well bore. Both the vertical well and the side-track optional well will be logged and then plugged back to the surface. No equipment will remain on the sea floor.
Colin Kinley, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of Eco Atlantic, said that drilling Gazania-1 offers a significant opportunity to South Africa to open up the Orange Basin. The COO said too several prior discoveries in the region are changing the understanding of this Basin both in South Africa and Namibia where recent multi-billion-barrel discoveries have opened the gate to a new era of economic and resource opportunity.
“This well is being drilled to define the opportunity and the initial path in the Basin,” Kinley added.
Once the resources have been defined, Kinley said South African authorities and the JV partners will make their respective choices and determine the next stage of development.
The JV partnership in respect of Block 2B comprises operator Eco Atlantic with 50% working interest (WI), Africa Energy Corp (27.5% WI), Panoro 2B Limited, a subsidiary of Panoro Energy ASA (12.5% WI), and Crown Energy AB (10% WI).
Offshore Guyana in the Guyana-Suriname Basin, Eco Atlantic has interests in the Orinduik and Canje Blocks.