Joint venture partners in the PEL 37 license offshore Namibia have agreed to drill an exploration well on the Cormorant prospect with a targeted spud date of September 1, 2018.
The partners in the PEL 37 JV are Tullow as the operator, ONGC Videsh, Pancontinental Namibia, and Paragon Oil & Gas with 35, 30, 30, and 5 percent stakes, respectively.
Pancontinental said on Monday that the decision to drill the well was made on November 23 and added that it would be carried through the drilling related costs of the well.
To drill the well, the JV has elected to apply to the Minister of Mines and Energy of Namibia to enter into the Second Additional Exploration Period of the license. The planned drilling activities are also subject to the endorsement of the Ministry.
According to the company, Tullow has already begun drilling preparations.
Pancontinental CEO, John Begg, said: “We now have confirmation of the much-anticipated drilling in Namibia. The Cormorant prospect was unanimously selected by the PEL 37 joint venture as the first test of a series of large oil-prone prospects in PEL 37 that have been mapped by operator Tullow using high quality 3D seismic.
“These submarine fan plays are analogous to successful large, commercial oil finds elsewhere along the African coast, triggering ongoing interest in offshore Namibia from major oil companies and Africa specialist players.”
Pancontinental said that the Cormorant submarine fan target was highly prospective for oil, with high quality underlying mature oil source rocks and an interpreted high integrity seal overlying the prospect.
The water depth at the prospect is moderate at approximately 550 meters, and the total drill depth will be 3,830 meters below sea level. Drilling time to total depth is estimated at 30 days.
In the event of success, several other, similar, large volume-potential turbidite prospects are available for drilling within the 3D seismic area covering Cormorant, and further prospective features are mapped on 2D seismic.
The Kudu Shale source rock is interpreted to have charged Cormorant with oil of high quality by reference to regional wells. However, Pancontinental added that only drilling would be able to determine if this interpretation is correct.
The company added that Cormorant was estimated to contain prospective resources of 124 mmbls of recoverable oil on an un-risked best estimate basis. The cumulative best estimate oil resource potential of the leading four mapped prospects in the block total 915 mmbbls of recoverable oil.
It is worth noting that Pancontinental sold one third of its shares in Pancontinental Namibia, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, to Africa Energy Corp. for $7.7 million. The first payment of $2.2 million was made to Pancontinental on September 11 and a second payment of $5.5 million will be made when Cormorant drilling begins.