Lunch'n Think Webinar: Is Offshore South Africa an emerging 'Super Basin'?

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Friday, April 30, 2021

Video Presentation

South Africa's future superbasins
Neil Hodgson
Searcher Seismic

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Talk Description
Neil Hodgson of Searcher will discuss and reveal the hydrocarbon stories behind the imminent flurry of exploration activity that is heralding in a new age of wealth and low carbon energy security offshore South Africa.

South Africa has three oceanic margins and of them have markedly different slope and basin floor play types that together have the potential to ignite an explosion of success, ushering in not one, but three Superbasins. The blue touch-paper is lit already in the South Outeniqua Basin off the southern coast of South Africa, where Total’s recent Brulpadda-1 and Luiperd-1 wells have found close to a billion barrels of oil equivalent gas and condensate already. The Basin floor turbidites of the Albian reservoir appear to have been derived from the uplifted margins of the Atlantic and pooled in a unique hinterland basin to the east by the north side of the Agulhas-Falklands Fracture zone (AFFZ).

This astonishing transform fault lay at the southern end of the rift that tore Gondwana apart, and is where early cretaceous source and reservoir rocks have been brought together in a string of pearls that Total have just begun to thread. These resources will be developed to bring much needed low carbon energy security to South Africa along with industry and wealth.

To the east of Outeniqua, the passive margin from the Transkei to the Durban basins lies across on the southern, transform side of the AFFZ. Here Aptian source rocks feed slope channels and fans that poured down from the southern margin of Africa. Extraordinarily this area is totally unexplored todate but Major Oil companies such as Shell and Eni have taken exciting acreage positions.

Lastly, to the west of South Africa lies another pre-eruptive hotspot; - the Southern half of the Orange Basin Delta. This is drawing particular attention because Total is planning to drill the Venus-1 well in southern Namibia, in a deep-water setting that easily extrapolates into South Africa. The well will target turbidite fans onlapping the west side of the volcanic seaward dipping reflector (SDR) structure that characterizes this margin. Underneath these sands lie an Aptian sequence, penetrated by DSDP well 361 offshore South Africa. Should this source-reservoir pair be effective it will establish a chain of prospectivity running through western South African waters of astonishing scale. Shell is also planning to drill in a similar deep water setting in the Orange Basin in Namibia, in a slope channel setting but again with huge extrapolative plays in South Africa.

All three Margins have huge oil and gas potential for South Africa. Join Neil to hear how the stage is set, and the fuse lit, for the next few years of prolific exploration on these margins.

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