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Total books Odfjell rig for wildcats near Brulpadda

French giant re-charters semisub that drilled breakthrough re-entry well off South Africa for more probes

Total has retaken an Odfjell Drilling rig for further work on the block off South Africa containing its landmark Brulpadda discovery.

The French supermajor has signed a firm deal with the Norwegian rig owner for the semi-submersible Deepsea Stavanger beginning in the first quarter.

Oslo-listed Odfjell said it expects the contract to be worth between $145 million and $190 million, inclusive of mobilisation and demobilisation costs, with incentive payments also up for grabs.

Total to drill prospects around Brulpadda find

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The drilling programme is likely to last between 180 and 280 days and will be carried out on Block 11B/12B, which contains Brulpadda.

Upstream reported in late May that Total and the block partners were lining up drilling plans on the block from early 2020, with at least two but possibly three exploration wells forming the drilling campaign.

The first well is likely to be on a prospect called Luiperd, which Jan Maier, vice president of exploration at Africa Energy, said is “50% larger than Brulpadda”.

If Luiperd comes in, the partnership will move on to drill the Woudboom prospect and, should that be a success, they would move on to Blaasop, Maier said in May.

These three prospects are located east and updip of Brulpadda, and are expected to be more oil-prone.

Located in about 1400 metres of water in Block 11B/12B, the Brulpadda wildcat, in February this year, hit gas and condensate reservoirs in its primary (Middle Cretaceous) and secondary (Lower Cretaceous) objectives, after Total used the Deepsea Stavander to drill the Brulpadda-1AX re-entry well.

Brulpadda 3D shoot underway off South Africa

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A seven-metre oil column was found in Brulpadda’s primary play, which has given Total and its partners hope that the new play could also hold significant volumes of oil. However, it was not tested and, with Block 11B/12B covering 18,000 square kilometres, the tract offers extensive exploration opportunities.

Norwegian seismic player Polarcus has recently completed a major 3D seismic shoot over the Paddavissie fairway, which Brulpadda opened up, and where five prospects have now been significantly de-risked.

Total operates Block 11B/12B with a 45% stake, with partners Qatar Petroleum on 25%, Canadian Natural Resources on 20% and South African junior Main Street - in which Africa Energy holds a 49% interest - on the remaining 10%.

(This article has been amended to correct the name of Total's block partner to Africa Energy from African Energy.)

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