Total makes second gas discovery off South Africa’s coast

Significant gas find off the coast of South Africa to be assessed for further potential.

Total and its partners made a second gas-condensate find off the southern coast of South Africa, which 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 and in February 2019, Total and its partners made an estimated 1 billion-barrel find on Block 11B/12B.

In a statement on 28 October, Total said the Luiperd-1X well on Block 11B/12B was drilled to a total depth of about 3,400m and encountered 73m of gas condensate. The French energy company will now conduct a detailed assessment of the reservoir in conjunction with Qatar Petroleum and its other partners.

In a separate statement, Saad Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and chief executive officer of Qatar Petroleum, said, “The initial well results are better than anticipated, and they offer a great opportunity to pursue further exploration and appraisal activities in this area.”

Data from energy technology company Baker Hughes indicates that the number of rigs off African shores had recently plummeted to single digits thanks to the decline in economic activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Oil exploration has also dropped amid lower prices and waning demand.

Total operates the block with a 45 percent working interest. Qatar Petroleum has 25 percent, CNR International 20 percent and Main Street, a South African consortium, has 10 percent.