Total suspends deepwater well operations offshore South Africa

Offshore staff

CALGARY, Canada – Canadian Natural says Total has suspended operations on its first deepwater exploration well offshore South Africa.

The location is in the block 11B/12B exploration right in the Outeniqua basin, 175 km (109 mi) off the country’s southern coast.

Drilling started in 3Q, but halted due to mechanical issues with marine equipment on the rig, which has since departed now that the available drilling window has closed.

The South African authorities have confirmed that the well drilled to date satisfies the work obligation for the initial period of the concession. Total is considering actions needed to re-enter the well as soon as possible, but drilling is unlikely to resume before 2016.

Offshore Côte d’Ivoire, Canadian Natural expects a contracted rig to start a 12-month, 10-well light crude oil infill development drilling program at the Espoir field before year-end. This is expected to add 5,900 boe/d of net production when complete.

In the same region, a 16-month, six-well light crude oil infill development drilling campaign is due to start on the Baobab field in 1Q 2015. This is expected to add 11,000 boe/d of net production when complete.

Canadian Natural and Total plan a follow-up exploration well during 1Q 2015 on Côte d’Ivoire offshore block CI-514 targeting channel/fan structures similar to Jubilee offshore neighboring Ghana.

Finally, in the UK northern North Sea the company aims to use existing brownfield allowances (BFAs) to drill further light crude oil and injection wells at the Ninian field. The BFAs partly mitigate the impact of previous tax increases, and are designed to increase drilling and production while cutting operating costs.


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