Ten Major Oil and Gas Discoveries in North, West and East Africa

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Poised to alleviate energy poverty and bring much-needed socio-economic development to the continent, recent exploration activities have led to a series of major oil and gas discoveries in North, West, and East Africa.

Senegal: Yakaar-1 Exploration Well

In May 2017, oil and gas supermajor bp, alongside its joint venture partner, Kosmos Energy, announced a major gas discovery offshore Senegal, with 15 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas resources encountered within the Yakaar-1 exploration well.

Drilled to a depth of 4,700m in water depths of 2,550m, the well is situated 20km southwest of the Greater Tortue liquefied natural gas prospect.

Egypt: Nour-1 Gas Exploration Prospect

Situated in the Nour North Sinai Concession in the Eastern Egyptian Mediterranean, the Nour-1 New Field Wildcat led to the discovery in 2019 of 33 meters of gross sandstone pay as well as a gas column of approximately 90 meters. Operated by Eni, the well was drilled in water depths of 295 meters, reaching a total depth of 5,914 meters, leading to the discovery of approximately two tcf of gas reserves.

Ghana: Eban-Akoma Complex

In May 2019, Eni discovered between 550 and 650 billion cubic feet of natural gas and between 18 and 20 million barrels of oil in the Akoma exploration prospect in Ghana’s offshore CTP Block 4, followed by the discovery in July that year of the Eban-1X well, boosting the complex’s preliminary estimates to between 500 and 700 million barrels of oil equivalent in place.

Egypt: Nada E Deep 1X, Meleiha SE Deep 1X and Emry Deep 21 Wells

In April this year, Eni made three oil and gas discoveries within its Meleiha concession in Egypt, boosting the region’s production capacity by approximately 8,500 barrels per day (bpd) of oil equivalent. Eni’s discoveries include the Nada E Deep 1 X well, encountering 60 meters of net hydrocarbon pay; the Meleiha SE Deep 1X well, leading to the discovery of 30 meters of net hydrocarbon pay; and the Emry Deep 21 well, which encountered 35 meters of net hydrocarbon pay.

Egypt: Jasmine W-1X, Jasmine MWD-21 and SWM Meleiha-4X Wells

Eni made three oil and gas discoveries in the Meleiha and South West Meleiha (SWM) concessions in Egypt’s Western Desert in October 2021. Discovered in the Meleiha development lease, the Jasmine W-1X encountered 113 feet of net hydrocarbon pay, proving a production rate of approximately 2,000 bpd of light oil and seven million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of associated gas, while the Jasmine MWD-21 well encountered 51 feet of net oil. Meanwhile, the SWM-4X well encountered 36 feet of net oil, with production tests proving an initial rate of 1,800 bpd and 0.3 mmscf of associated gas.

Egypt: Katameya Shallow-1 Exploration Well

Located approximately 60km north of the Egyptian port city of Diametta, the Katameya Shallow-1 exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 1,961 meters in water depths of 108 meters, confirming the presence of 37 meters of net gas play. Announced by bp in March 2017, the Katameya Shallow-1 marks the company’s third discovery in the North Diametta East Delta marine concession area, following its discoveries of the Atoll gas field in March 2015 and Salamat well in September 2013.

Egypt: SWM B-1X Exploration Prospect

The Egyptian SWM B-1X exploration prospect was the second major oil discovery in the area by oil and gas company Eni in 2018, following its discovery of the SWM A-2X well a month prior. The B-1X exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 4,523 meters, encountering 35 meters of light oil.

Ghana: Hibiscus North Exploration Well

Situated in the Dussafu Block offshore Ghana, in water depths of approximately 115 meters and with a total depth of around 3,500 meters, exploration and production (E&P) company, BW Energy, announced the discovery of a 13.5 meters oil-bearing reservoir in the Hibiscus North Exploration Well in August 2021.

Ivory Coast : Beleine-1X Well

The Baleine-1X well, located in Block Cl-101 offshore Ivory Coast, was discovered by Eni in September 2021. Drilled approximately 60km off the coast in water depths of about 1,200 meters and reaching a total depth of 3,445 meters, the Baleine-1X well was the first exploration well drilled by the E&P company in Ivory Coast. Preliminary estimates place the discovery between 1.5 and 2 billion barrels of oil and between 1.8 and 2.4 tcf of associated gas.

Equatorial Guinea : Avestruz-1 Well

Oil and gas supermajor, ExxonMobil, struck oil in December 2017 with its Avestruz-1 well in Block EG-06, 160km offshore Equatorial Guinea’s capital of Malabo. Situated within the Zafiro oil field in Equatorial Guinea’s northern maritime area, Block EG-06 sits adjacent to ExxonMobil’s legacy oil-producing Blocks B and EG-11, which have produced over one billion barrels of oil since 1996.

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Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen is a Video Editor and Content Writer at Energy Capital & Power. He holds an Honours Degree in Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town and is currently undergoing his Masters Degree. Born in Pretoria and raised internationally, he has been living in Cape Town since 2013.

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