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Total’s Brulpadda discovery

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On Thursday, the 7th February, 2019, Total issued a press release stating that the Brulpadda 1Ax well, situated to the south east of Mossel Bay, 175 km offshore, had intersected a total of 57m of reservoir interval in the Albian section of the southern Outeniqua Basin. They also announced the discovery of a large gas condensate resource.
This discovery is the culmination of many years of work. In 2001, Canadian Natural Resources (CNR), who had just acquired the block through the buy-out of Ranger Oil, acquired 3700 line km of 2D data in the block. This survey allowed the confirmation of numerous large domal structures within the synrift succession along the edge of the basin, but the most interesting revelation was the presence of a large basin floor fan complex in the western section of the southern Outeniqua Basin (Roux, van der Spuy and Singh, 2004), first identified through mapping of the new data by Jacques Roux of Petroleum Agency SA. This prospective play was recognised as analogous to the oil-producing complexes of the Bredasdorp sub-basin, but to be orders of magnitude greater in size. The play was characterised by mounding, amplitude anomalies and a flat spot. The Agency immediately presented their findings to CNR and the Paddavissie play (so termed due to its resemblance to a tadpole in mapped view) became the major focus of their exploration efforts. Further work on the play included AVO analysis and the acquisition of electromagnetic resonance profiles, leading to the delineation of drillable prospects within the play.
However, the play lies in water depths of between 1100m and 1900m, directly in the path of the Agulhas current. It would be many years before an attempt was made to drill it. In 2013 CNR successfully farmed out 50% of their interest in the block to Total, who took over operatorship of the block.
A first attempt to drill the Brulpadda (bull frog) prospect in the extreme west of the Paddavissie play was made in June 2014, but after making only 500m progress below mudline, the well had to be abandoned. This was due to the extremely challenging drilling conditions caused by the current in the area. Total then spent over 3 years planning their return and developing an approach that would allow the safe drilling of the prospect. They contracted Odfjell’s Deepsea Stavanger rig, and the well was re-entered on Christmas Eve in 2018. By January, the well had encountered the primary target, and drilling was continued to intersect a deeper, secondary target.
Petroleum Agency SA would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Total and their partners Qatar Petroleum, CNR and Main Street on a world-class engineering feat, and of course, on the discovery. This successful deepwater well, drilled in the most challenging conditions off South Africa’s shores, has opened up the greater Outeniqua Basin for further exploration and discovery.



Restriction Notice

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The Minister of Mineral Resources has published a notice in terms of section 49(1) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act,2002 ( Act No.28 of 2002) (MPRDA)restricting the granting of new applications for Technical co-operation Permits, Exploration and Production Rights pending the publication of a notice of invitation for applications.
It is significant to note that the restriction does not affect the exclusive rights conferred by the MPRDA on holders of Technical Co-operation Permits and Exploration Rights to apply for Exploration Rights or Production Rights respectively, as the case may be, and applications that were lodged prior to the publication notice. The restriction by the Minister is part of a licensing strategy that is primarily aimed at using licensing as a tool to achieve the transformation ideal encapsulated in section 2(d) of the MPRDA and  fast-track exploration. To that end, Petroleum Agency is currently working on the modalities and processes that will inform the invitation for application dispensation as approved by the Minister of Mineral Resources.
Kind Regards,
Ms Lindiwe Mekwe | Acting Chief Executive Officer|
Petroleum Agency SA



New electronic publications are now available


A Regional assessment of the hydrocarbon potential of the East Coast, offshore South Africa.    ISBN: 978-0-6399336-1-0 

A Geoscientific analysis of the hydrocarbon potential of the offshore Gamtoos Basin, South Africa.   ISBN: 978-0-6399336-0-3

Shale gas resource assessment of the southern main Karoo Basin in South Africa.   ISBN: 978-0-620-79457-2

The Coalbed Methane Potential of the Tuli Basin, South Africa.                     ISBN: 978-0-6399336-3-4

The technical team of Petroleum Agency SA has recently completed four new publications.
These externally reviewed reports are available in electronic format from our IS Department.

These publications are available for purchase through the Agency’s data portal.  Please contact Monica Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for pricing and orders.

Launch of our new GIS Web Portal in JavaScript


We are delighted to officially announce the launch of our new GIS Web Portal. This is an interactive web map interface that enables users to browse and order exploration information that is available in their area of interest. The GIS Web Portal was re-written in Java Script to accommodate Chrome users, since Silverlight is no longer certified on Chrome.
We are sure it contains valuable exploration information to assist you with your oil and gas exploration needs in South Africa
For any questions, suggestions, comments, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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