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DRC - Block III

Overview

Operator: Total E&P RDC (“Total”)
Group company holding interest: Semliki SARL (“Semliki”) – 18.3%. Semliki is owned by SacOil (68%) and DIG (32%). SacOil’s effective interest in the asset is therefore 12.5%
Size: 3 177 square kilometres
Partners: Total (66.7%) and the DRC Government (15%)

DRC - Block III location

Location

Located in the north-eastern part of the country, bordering Uganda. The block is on the DRC side of the Albertine Graben Basin, which is part of the East African Rift System.
Nearest towns: Bunia, Beni, Butembo
Geological features: The Albertine Graben is a Tertiary intracontinental rift that developed on the Precambrian orogenic belt of the African Craton. It forms the northern termination of the western arm of the East African Rift System. The available geological and geophysical data indicates that rifting could have been initiated during Early Miocene with the accumulation of thick sediments in asymmetric basins along the strike of the rift system.

Rights

Licence period: The current exploration period of Block III is extended to 26 January 2018.

Environmental management

Permits: Total as the operator and the associated service providers have obtained all the necessary permits to complete the approved exploration programme.

Material environmental risk factors

  • Lake Albert
  • The Virunga National Park
  • Indigenous fauna and flora
  • Environmentally sensitive areas outside national parks
  • Human settlements
  • Topography

Stakeholder consultation and engagement was completed. Mitigation plans have been developed and implemented to address the potential environmental and social impact of the exploration activities on the block.

Primary activity

Exploration for hydrocarbons with the aim of proving the presence of a working petroleum system.

Studies undertaken:

  • Regional geological and geophysical studies
  • Satellite screen study
  • Environmental and social risk screening
  • Social and labour plans
  • Workshops and engagements with related parties and stakeholders
  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessments
  • Gravity and magnetic survey

Expenditure to date: R74.4 million
Resources: Prospective resources have been certified by Bayphase Limited as detailed in the competent person’s report completed in May 2012. No changes to the unrisked prospective resource estimates have been made since 2012 due to the delay in the execution of the exploration programme.

Resource overview

The Albertine Graben has been the subject of sporadic interest for petroleum exploration since the early 1920s following the identification of a number of oil seeps in the area. In 1938 the first petroleum exploration well in East Africa, Waki-1, was drilled near Butiaba on an anticline defined by correlations between a series of 20 shallow surface boreholes.

The well encountered basement at 1 221 metres but, more significantly, “oil shales” were found and an “asphaltic oil” show was discovered close to basement.

The next significant activity was an aeromagnetic survey acquired over the Albertine Graben in 1983 – 1984. Subsequent gravity and magnetic surveys by the government were added to the database. In the early 1990s Fina held an exploration licence over the entire graben, but relinquished the licence before any significant work was done. Recent exploration commenced in 1997 when Hardman Resources and Heritage Oil and Gas were respectively awarded Exploration Areas 2 and 3. Heritage acquired 181 kilometres of onshore seismic in the Semliki area in 1998.

Commercial hydrocarbon quantities have now been established in the Ugandan part of the Albertine Graben. Discovered reserves are estimated at approximately 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

 Summary of resources

Resource category

 

28 February 2014

Risked net resource (MMBOE)

28 February 2015

Risked net resource (MMBOE)

Prospective resources

Low estimate

7.4

7.0

Best estimate

16.8

16.1

High estimate

32.3

31.2

The change in the numbers reported reflects management’s view of the geological risk following the interpretation of the gravity magnetic data and other analogues and offset wells in the graben.

Directors’ statement

The Group has the legal entitlement to the minerals and asset being reported on and there are no legal proceedings or other material conditions that may impact the Group’s ability to continue operations.