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SacOil reports ‘satisfactory’ progress at African projects

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10 Mar 2014

SacOil reports ‘satisfactory’ progress at African projects

South Africa-based independent African oil and gas company SacOil has reported “satisfactory” progress at its existing portfolio of exploration and appraisal assets in Nigeria and Malawi, further confirming that it continued to evaluate several opportunities to secure new value-accretive acreage in established and prolific African hydrocarbon jurisdictions and basins. 

The JSE-listed company said in a statement on Monday that the mobilisation of a three-dimensional (3D) seismic data acquisition project contractor for its 20%-owned OPL 233 exploration block, in Nigeria, had started, while an environmental-impact assessment (EIA) of the tenement was completed.

Results of the wet season sampling had been approved by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), while the dry season sampling was currently undergoing processing before being forwarded to the DPR.

The Federal Ministry of Environment had also carried out the required site verification and EIA registration processes.

In addition, the final report based on the seabed hazard survey had been delivered to, and accepted, by the field’s seismic data acquisition contractor, Geomarine Systems, following the successful completion of the work. 

SacOil and its OPL 233 partners had started operations for the 3D seismic ocean bottom cable (OBC) survey, with mobilisation of equipment for the survey in progress. 

“The timeline envisages full mobilisation to the site to be completed by the end of March. To this extent, various equipment, including the requisite gun boats and seismic recording cables, have been delivered, while navigation equipment and seismic sensors are being airfreighted to compress the lead time to actual recording of data,” said the company.

Following mobilisation, the 3D OBC acquisition work was expected to start in early April and be completed by the end of July, subject to operational contingencies and weather-related issues.

Finalisation of formalities for the seismic data processing contract was ongoing. 

“The 3D seismic data will provide valuable subsurface information relevant for the quantification of the licence’s resource potential, as well as the selection of an optimal drilling location.

“We expect the processing of the raw data and the interpretation of results to be completed by the third quarter,” SacOil stated.

Meanwhile, the company had completed a satellite environmental screening study at Block 1, in Malawi, for a proposed exploration programme over the licence area, covering some 16 000 km2 across northern Malawi.

At a meeting held in Lilongwe, in December, the results of the satellite study were presented to the Malawi Department of Mines, which, along with the 2014 budget and work programme, were approved. 

“With the positive results associated with the satellite environmental work, planning of the [EIA] and social-impact assessment has now begun. In consultation with the Malawian government, SacOil currently [plans] to have all environmental work completed by the third quarter of this year,” said the company.

Source: Mining Weekly