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Finding East & Southern African Oil &Gas

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Video Presentation

East Africa: lessons learnt and non-deepwater future potential

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Mike Rego
PetroMall Ltd

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Talk Description

Since 2003, exploration activity along the coastal margin of East Africa has been at its most intense since exploration began in earnest in the 1950’s. However despite much effort, with many promising indications for oil both onshore and offshore, in all of this time there has been only one commercial oil discovery in contrast to the 150-200 Tcf of gas that has been recently discovered offshore.

The deepwater has been phenomenally successful in terms of exploration drilling success, yet despite the same or similar source rocks being present, the limited exploration efforts in the nearshore and onshore environments have failed to match the level of deepwater success. Much of this lack of success can be attributed to differences in both exploration culture and methodology. Although there have been the occasional encouraging results, onshore and nearshore exploration activity has never achieved the same momentum or success as for the deepwater. This can be partially attributed to the regulatory frameworks, the type of companies willing to explore the coastal margin and a general lack of enthusiasm shown by contractors to tender for work there.

Re-examination of available well data and structural geology along the coastal margin has refined the interpretation of pre-break up tectonics and stratigraphy. This in turn has re-enforced the exploration potential by identifying a possible new regional oil play with additional possibilities for gas and perhaps opportunities for shale oil or heavy oil sands. Such opportunities should be more attractive to smaller independent exploration companies unwilling or unable to participate in the more costly deepwater environment. However, to make this happen in the current economic climate a fresh approach to exploration culture and methods will be required along the strategy chain to better de-risk projects, and shorten the lead time to first production. More flexible terms from host governments, better sharing of data and knowledge by and between host governments and exploration companies, and potential pooling of resources by contractors, are all required to bring exploration costs down and better de-risk prospects to increase exploration activity and achieve improved levels of success in a lower revenue environment.

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