Oil, gas discovered in deepwater pre-salt offshore Angola

Posted on 01 May 2014

The Angolan National Concessionaire Sonangol, Cobalt and the Block 20 partners – Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção and BP Exploration Angola (Kwanza Benguela) have announced the results of the drill stem test for the Orca #1 pre-salt deepwater exploration well in Block 20 offshore Angola. The well was successfully tested at a facility-constrained rate of 3,700 bbl per day of oil and 16.3 million cu ft per day of gas with minimal drawdown (approximately 1%) in the upper Sag section of the discovery.

The results of this flow test confirm that the Orca #1 well is capable of substantial sustained oil production rates. The well was drilled to a measured depth of 12,703 ft (3,872 m), and Cobalt estimates that it encountered approximately 250 ft (76 m) of net oil pay predominantly in the upper Sag interval. Results of an extensive logging, coring and fluid acquisition program in addition to the drill stem test confirm a significant discovery, which is the largest oil discovery found to date in the Kwanza Basin. Cobalt’s post drill estimates indicate a resource range of between 400 and 700 million bbl of oil.

This is Sonangol and Cobalt’s fifth deepwater pre-salt discovery offshore Angola. The Orca #1 well was drilled on a prospect previously penetrated by the Baleia #1A well in 1996; however, this well was not tested and was subsequently abandoned. The Baleia #1A well is approximately five km from the Orca #1 discovery. Cobalt, as operator, has a 40% working interest in Block 20. Partners Sonangol and BP each have a 30% working interest.

“The Orca discovery is by far the largest and most significant oil discovery to date in the Kwanza Basin and is potentially one of the largest oil fields in Angola,” said Joseph H. Bryant, Cobalt’s Chairman and CEO. “We are very encouraged and excited by our DST results and the extraordinary flow capacity of the Orca reservoir, which gives us confidence that wells in the field will flow oil at rates equal to or greater than the rates we expect in our Cameia field. In addition, our drilling operations continue to improve, and our understanding of the Kwanza Basin reservoir systems has greatly improved by the extensive testing program that we carried out on this well. The excellent reservoir quality we encountered at Orca has positive implications on the rest of Cobalt’s vast Kwanza Basin portfolio, including our five discovered fields as well as our exploration prospects we have yet to drill.”

Cobalt also provided an update on the Cameia field in Angola. The company has commenced drilling the Cameia #3 well with first oil for Cameia anticipated in 2017, assuming project sanction in late 2014.

Also in Angola, Cobalt announced that Angola’s Ministry of Petroleum granted Cobalt and its partners a two-year extension of Cobalt’s Angola Block 9 license. Once operations are completed on the Cameia #3 well, Cobalt will commence drilling the Loengo #1 exploration well on Block 9.

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