DRC: SacOil to commence drilling on Block III in 2017 following positive exploration results
(Ecofin Agency) - SacOil has announced that it is confident that Total would launch a drilling campaign in 2017 on a resource in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after positive geophysical exploration results.
The company which is the operating partner over Block III, recently concluded the procurement of 244 km of 2D seismic data over the northern part of the block.
The 3 177-km² onshore acreage, is situated south of Lake Albert, in DRC. It also forms part of a larger basin, which has been undergoing extensive exploration on the Ugandan side of the border. In actual fact, Total and other oil majors have made significant discoveries in Uganda and SacOil has revealed plans to develop multiple oil discoveries, which could be transported via a planned $3.5-billion Uganda-Tanzania export pipeline.
According to SacOil group’s Executive Operations, Bradley Cerff, the company is also inspired by the first exploration results in Block III and is looking forward to the launching of the future drilling campaign.
He added that the licence conditions associated with Block III demand that drilling should take place by mid-2018, but he is hopeful that Total could move forwards with the project by 2017.
“We are moving into the nuts-and-bolts phase, over the past six years, the partners have come to grips with the regional geology. What we need to do now is test the geological model through drilling the first well on the DRC side of the border. The focus currently is on selecting the best possible geological location for the first well so as to prove that there is a working petroleum system in that area,” he told Engineering news.
SacOil acquired the block in 2010 and currently holds a 12.5% interest, demonstrating the asset would also be a significant development, especially after a recent restructuring of ownership structure, allowing it to directly represent its interest in Block III.
Cerff stated that, in addition to the producing Lagia oilfield in Egypt, the DRC asset is the most advanced in the company’s upstream portfolio and vital to its goals of becoming a pan-African oil and gas company.