Africa Oil & Gas: Eco Atlantic cleared to drill exploration well offshore Namibia

Oil company Eco Atlantic has received government approval to drill an exploration well within the Osprey prospect on its PEL 30 Block (Cooper Block) located offshore Namibia.

The Eco Atlantic-operated Cooper Block is situated in shallow water (100 – 500m) within the Walvis Basin offshore Namibia and covers approximately 5,000 km2.

The company informed on Thursday it has received the necessary final Environmental Clearance Certificate to drill an exploration well on this highly prospective block from the Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

The company has completed seven years of exploration on the Cooper Block, including regional geological studies, fracture analysis, slick studies, the review and interpretation of 5,000 km2 of 2D and an 1,100 km2 3D Survey. In addition to its own ongoing interpretation, Eco has also contracted independent studies from Petroleum Geo-Services, Azinam, Tullow Oil, and Gustavson Associates.

Selection of drilling location soon

Eco and its partners have identified the “Osprey” prospect on the Cooper Block, an 882 Million-barrel Aptian/Albian target within a sand filled channel and fan system in the Cretaceous sequence. The prospect is estimated to contain as much as 882 million barrels of oil equivalent (Gross Prospective – Best).

Eco noted that the license partners on the Cooper Block continue to contribute their own independent analysis and to work towards determining an exact location for the drilling of an exploration well on the “Osprey” prospect.

Colin Kinley, Chief Operating Officer of Eco, commented: “We are pleased with our work to date on the Cooper Block and appreciate the detailed analysis it has received both internally and with our industry partners. We purposely have shared our interpretation with our partners and industry experts to gather all the regional learnings as exploration matures in this basin. With the final environmental certificates now in place we anticipate moving shortly to selection of drilling location, rig contract discussions and engineering planning for a well in Q3 2019 or Q1 2020.

“The company’s strategy in Namibia has been to maintain a careful and cautious pace, to fully and completely understand the region and to de-risk each asset by using industry learnings, successes and experience. We have used each well drilled in the region to our advantage. To the south of the Cooper Block, PEL 37 was recently drilled by Tullow, and although it was disappointing commerciallyfor our partners and friends, it has provided Eco with valuable data to help better understand the characteristics of our field. The well has provided us with key markers and our team will use these to our advantage as we move towards drilling.”

Eco is the operator of the Cooper block and holds a 32.5% working interest. It is partnered with AziNam (32.5% working interest), Tullow Oil (25% working interest) and NAMCOR (10% working interest).

Tullow Oil has an option to gain an additional 15% working interest, prior to entering the second renewal, once a drilling decision has been taken. Should Tullow fail to drill after committing to the well, it would pay a penalty to Eco. Tullow is pending government approval to farm down a 15% working interest to ONGC Videsh, and Tullow maintains the carry obligations.

Elsewhere in Namibia, Eco continues to monitor activity in the acreage surrounding its licence interests offshore Namibia and gathering information from the current drilling activity in the region. Eco noted that, upon completion of the plug and abandonment of the Cormorant-1 drilled by Tullow Oil on license area PEL 37 in the Walvis Basis, the drill rig used of the Comorant-1 will move to license area PEL 71 which is operated by Chariot Oil & Gas Limited (partnered with Azinam Ltd and NAMCOR).

The Prospect S well to be drilled by the rig on PEL 37 will test the southern margins of the Walvis Basin and its potential for an additional second source rock. Eco holds an 80% interest in the Tamar Block (PEL 50), covering 7,500km2 adjacent to PEL 71, and is considering the same channel and fan systems that lead on to PEL 50. Accordingly, the company will monitor the results of the well on PEL 71 and will further analyse them once the well has been completed.

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