Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Economy | By

Total opens new petroleum play off the coast of South Africa

Total opens new petroleum play off the coast of South Africa

Discovering yet more oil and gas is not something to celebrate when burning fossil fuels is driving potentially catastrophic climate change.

Commenting on this occasion, Minister of State for Energy Affairs, President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum, H E Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi, said: "We are pleased to announce the Brulpadda discovery as the first discovery in Qatar Petroleum's worldwide exploration ventures".

Kevin McLachlan, Total's senior vice-president of exploration, says in a news release that the discovery is "a new world-class gas and oil play", adding the company and its partners plan to acquire 3D seismic scans this year, followed by up to four more exploration wells.

"It is reckless of the South African government to allow oil and gas exploration to go ahead, and unfortunate that this was lauded as a victory at the State of the Nation Address last night", she said. "There's nothing that has been on this kind of scale". Which has said the field could hold between 500 million to more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The discovery, which also includes some light oil, could prompt a rush of activity offshore by other companies, especially since South Africa is due to introduce new oil and gas legislation later this year aimed at spurring exploration.

"So it could be quite big, it's probably quite big", he told journalists in Paris. The well was extended to a final depth of 3,633 metres and has also been successful. Analysts have said the area is subject to huge waves, strong currents and hard weather. The environmental impacts of deep sea drilling for oil and gas could not be ignored and had little benefit of job creation for South Africans, said Steele.

The Block 11B/12B covers an area of 19,000 square kilometers, with water depths ranging from 200 to 1,800 meters, and is operated by Total with a 45% working interest, alongside Qatar Petroleum (25%), CNR worldwide (20%) and Main Street, a South African consortium (10%). The count was as low as 77 in 2017.

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