A review of initial results from commercial tests offshore Namibia
In our latest episode of Upstream in Perspective, our plays and basins experts review initial results from key commercial tests offshore Namibia and share what it means for the Southwest African Coastal Basin. Here's an excerpt of the conversation.
Tullow Oil's dry hole off Namibia is another in a list of unsuccessful new field wildcats off the coast of Southwest Africa. Is there a unique significance to this result?
I would say not. In the Walvis Basin, which is the northern most sub-basin of the Southwest African Coastal Basin, there are already 9 dry holes. This would make a 10th dry hole. It would have been significant and surprising if it had been a discovery.
How do hydrocarbon systems change as you move along the Atlantic Margin?
In general, a world-class hydrocarbon system is continuous. If you take the North Sea, you have a continuously depopulated source rock in the Kimmeridge Clay from England all the way up to Scotland to Norway, so source rocks are generally continuous. This means testing any part of the basin and not finding a working hydrocarbon system is somewhat negative for the rest of the basin.
In the case of the Southwest Coastal Basin of Africa, you now have over 50 dry holes or 50 wells that are either dry or found non-commercial small accumulations. So that doesn't bode well. If you compare that to the area north of the Walvis Ridge, take Angola for example, or the conjugate margin in Brazil, there you find robust hydrocarbon systems, large fields, and hydrocarbon systems are continuous and not discontinuous.
I think in this area of the world, the best you could probably hope for is some discontinuous hydrocarbon systems because of the source rock distribution. You could still have some local discoveries, but this looks more and more not to be a world-class hydrocarbon base.
Posted 3 October 2018
This is an excerpt from Upstream in Perspective and has been professionally transcribed as accurately as possible. Please note, some words and phrases may have been unintentionally excluded.
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