Deepwater seismic activity spreads through West, East Africa

African Petroleum (NSX:AOQ) has contracted Prospector Pte (BGP Marine) to acquire seismic surveys on two blocks offshore Cote d’Ivoire.

Offshore staff

LEEDERVILLE, Australia – African Petroleum (NSX:AOQ) has contracted Prospector Pte (BGP Marine) to acquire seismic surveys on two blocks offshore Cote d’Ivoire.

Work on the 3D survey overblock CI‐ 513 started on April 22, and is due to be completed by the end of May. The next survey is scheduled for August over block CI‐509.

African Petroleum acquired both permits earlier this year, in partnership with state-owned Petroci. It plans to target deepwater Upper Cretaceous submarine fans, which it hopes will have similar high-impact potential to discoveries off neighboring Ghana and Sierra Leone.

In the same region, the company has a 60% operating interest in blocks A1 and A4 offshore Gambia, covering a total area of 2,668 sq km (1,030 sq mi).

African Petroleum is interpreting processed 3D seismic data across the two blocks, where more than 30 exploration prospects and leads have been identified, including five different play types. It hopes to be in a position to start drilling during 4Q 2012.

On the other side of Africa, another Australian company, FAR, has commissioned Fugro-Geoteam to shoot 680 sq km (262 sq mi) of 3D seismic over the L6 license offshore Kenya. The Kifaru 3D survey will cost $13.7 million, according to partner Pancontinental Oil & Gas.

The permit is in the Lamu basin and within the Tana River delta, north of the giant gas discoveries off Tanzania andMozambique.

FAR Managing Director Cath Norman said: “Drilling in the Rovuma basin off the coast of Mozambique and Tanzania has so far achieved a near-perfect success rate. Much of that success has stemmed from the use of modern, high-quality, 3D seismic data which is able to provide quality images of potential structures deep beneath the surface. FAR has mapped a total of seven prospects in the L6 permit.”

London-based Afren has completed acquisition of 1,207 km (750 mi) of additional 2D seismic data over the deepwater part of Kenya blocks L17 and L18.

Preliminary interpretation of deepwater 2D seismic over the blocks has identified four promising new prospects, in addition to previously mapped prospects in the shallow water. More importantly, the new leads could represent a major new play with lower risk and greater materiality than the shallow-water play.

Afren proposes to acquire a further 1,000 sq km (386 sq mi) of 3D seismic during the second half of this year to better understand the deepwater prospectivity and to identify a well location. Main objectives will be to optimally image the deepwater structures, define the reservoir distribution, potentially define fluid- or lithology-related amplitude anomalies, and to reduce risk.

Late last year, Afren and partners acquired more than 900 km (559 mi) of deepwater 2D seismic on the Tanga block off Tanzania. The results were interpreted and integrated with existing data.

This year it intends to acquire 3D seismic over the deepwater areas ahead of exploration drilling on the Orpheus prospect from a shallow-water location. Afren is trying to secure a suitable jackup for the program.


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