Operators to test presalt Brazil-like blocks off Angola

By OGJ editors

Offshore Angolan prospects geologically similar to presalt discoveries off Brazil will be tested under production sharing agreements signed by state-owned Sonangol and several international operators.

BP PLC, Eni SPA, Statoil, and Cobalt International Energy reported new PSAs with Sonangol. Total SA earlier disclosed plans to acquire 3D seismic data and drill five wells on three contiguous deepwater blocks in the Kwanza basin, two of which it will operate with the third to be operated by Statoil (OGJ Online, Dec. 20, 2011).

BP signed PSAs for interests in four blocks covering 19,400 sq km in the Kwanza and Benguela basins.

It will operate Blocks 19 and 24 with 50% interests each and acquire interests of 20% in Block 20 operated by Cobalt and 15% in Block 25 operated by Total.

Other interests in 4,900-sq-km Block 19 are Sonangol 40% and China Sonangol 10%.

Sonangol is BP’s 50% partner in Block 24, covering 4,770 sq km. BP also acquired a 40% interest in 4,840-sq-km Block 26, adjacent and to the south of Block 25, in the Benguela basin under a farm-in agreement with Petrobras of Brazil, operator. Sonangol holds a 20% stake in that block, on which a 3D seismic survey has been shot.

On Block 20, a 4,100-sq-km seismic survey has begun, according to operator Cobalt. The company expects drilling to begin in 2013.

Cobalt, Houston, is evaluating results of a well recently drilled 12 km south of Block 20 on adjacent Block 21, which it operates. After completing work on that well, Cameia-1, it will spud the Bicuar-1 well on Block 21 with the Diamond Offshore Ocean Confidence semisubmersible drilling rig. Its partners in Block 21 are Sonangol 20%, Nazaki Oil & Gas SA 30%, and Alper Oil Ltd. 10%.

Cobalt also operates Block 9, another presalt Kwanza basin area, off Angola.

Eni signed a PSA to become operator of deepwater Block 35 covering 4,900 sq km in the northern Kwanza basin 150 km off Luanda. With partners Sonangol 45% and Repsol Exploration SA 25%, it will drill two wells and acquire 2,500 sq km of 3D seismic data in the initial exploration period of 5 years.

Statoil will operate and hold 55% interests in Blocks 38 and 39 and participate in Blocks 22, 25, and 40 in the Kwanza basin.

Its partners in Block 38 are Sonangol 30% and China Sonangol 15% and in Block 39, Sonangol 30% and Total 15%.

Statoil acquired a 20% interest in Block 22, operated by Repsol with a 30% interest. Sonangol holds the remainder.

Blocks 25 and 40, in which Statoil also acquired 20% interests, are operated by Total.

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