African Exploration: What to Be on the Lookout for in 2024

22 Jan 2024 | Market News

In 2024, several drilling campaigns are scheduled to take place and could further confirm the continent’s natural resources potential.

Repeated successes from exploration campaigns offshore Namibia have reminded global stakeholders that betting on African exploration is rewarding. In 2024, several drilling campaigns are scheduled to take place and could further confirm the continent’s natural resources potential. Here are the key wells we will be on the lookout for.

Do not overlook onshore frontiers
Onshore activity is expanding beyond its traditional locations in North and Central Africa and shows significant potential in Southern Africa where drilling campaigns in Zimbabwe and Namibia could be game changers this year.

After Invictus Energy declared two gas discoveries in Zimbabwe at the end of 2023, it will seek to conduct a well test while preparing long lead items for a planned high impact exploration well in Cabora Bassa. The well would target prospects in the Basin Margin or Central Fairway. If successful, it could further position Zimbabwe as a future regional energy hub for the Southern African Development Community.

Further west, ReconAfrica is set to embark on a multi-well drilling campaign targeting the Rift Margin and Damara Folt Belt within its PEL 73, onshore Namibia. The campaign is targeting both oil and gas, with estimated resources of several billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Finally, Tanzania could also see progress in the development of the Ntorya Gas Project by ARA Petroleum Tanzania. The partners on the Ruvuma PSA in southern Tanzania expect the issue of a Development Licence this year before contracting a rig and drilling the Chikumbi-1 well and the Ntorya-1 well. A gas sales agreement (GSA) of at least 40 MMscf/d is already in place to support future development activities.

Delayed projects are coming back on the table
At the end of 2023, Tower Resources selected Borr Drilling’s Norve jack-up rig to drill the NJOM-3 well offshore Cameron, within its Thali permit. Tower Resources is targeting a conventional and short-cycle opportunity on a license where TotalEnergies has already discovered oil and gas in the past. After the completion of NJOM-3, the independent operator is expected to propose a multi-well development relying on a mobile offshore production unit (MOPU).

But when it comes to making up for lost time, all eyes will be on Ghana this year. The West African country has seen critical exploratory drilling repeatedly delayed since the COVID-19 pandemic and needs to mobilise rigs to support offshore activity and boost its reserves. Several operators are awaited around the corner, including local company GOSCO and Nigerian independent Amni Petroleum.

Namibia will stay hot!
Namibia will not lose momentum in 2024. After Shell and TotalEnergies, Galp Energia just announced a successful discovery in the Orange Basin – confirming the emergence of a world-class exploration frontier at the border of Namibia and South Africa. Galp is proceeding with the drilling of a second well, Mopane-2, while results of TotalEnergies’ Mangetti-1X could be announced early in the year. The French major could potentially drill additional exploration wells on the Damara prospect at the end of 2024.

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