NAMIBIA: Shell Rumored to have Discovered Light Oil at Graff-1 Well

Oil major Shell which is currently drilling the Graff-1 well is rumored to have struck light oil in the upper level of the cratecous reservoir although it it is yet to reach its primary target according to industry sources. There is however no information on the quantities discovered and whether they meet the commercialism threshold which could make the Orange basin a major new oil province and bring in investment in a region which has had minimal E&P activity over the last 25 years.

The well which is expected to take 45 days to drill having spud on 9th December 2021 is closely being watched by other companies waiting to test the basins, especially where their prospects are geologically similar. The news will increase optimism for TotalEnergies which is currently drilling the Venus-1 well and PanContinental Oil and Gas which has its eyes on the Saturn prospect both stratigraphically more mature than Graff-1 well.

“Shell’s imminent Graff-1 is geologically shallower than Venus and Saturn. All the same, success would be extremely meaningful,”Pancontinental’s Technical Director, Mr Barry Rushworth commented in December following the pudding of Venus-1.

Credit: The Searcher

According to previous seismic data Graff-1 lies within the slope setting, down-dip of a stratigraphic trap. Further, there is an indication of a megaslide just above the slope play demonstrating instability of the margin all through the late cretaceous. Discovery may have explorers outside Namibia happy with the seismic showing a strike line running from the Namibian border over the extension to the Graff play in South Africa.

“The Orange Basin is poised to erupt as the world’s next exploration hotspot with the drilling of two new paradigm-changing deepwater plays. These two wells are being drilled late in 2021 in Namibia by the border with South Africa. If either is successful, the on-trend extension of these plays will decisively confirm southern Africa’s rightful place in the spotlight of the exploration community,” – Hudson, N. H., & Rodriguez, K. R. (n.d.). South Africa Poised for Exploration Greatness. GeoExpro.

Shell and Qatar Energy each have 45% interest in the block, while Namcor has 10%.

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