South Africa’s Petroleum Agency for the Promotion of Petroleum Exploration and Exploitation announced that the Fourth Offshore Licensing Round will open on the 15 March 2009. Two previously unexplored areas are available for bid. The Orange Basin Deep Water Licence covers an area of 43,000 square kilometres off the west coast of South Africa; and the Tugela licence area covers 48,798 square kilometres off South Africa’s east coast.

The Orange Basin and Tugela areas have been divided into smaller quarter degree blocks and partial blocks. The minimum bid is for one quarter degree block, but may extend to any area or shape providing that the blocks are contiguous within the bid regions. Companies can bid for either Technical Cooperation Permits (TCP) or Exploration Rights. The licensing round is expected to close on 30 September 2009.

The frontier regions available in this Fourth Offshore Licensing Round offer companies the opportunity to further explore the oil and gas potential in South Africa. The Orange Basin boasts the Kudu gas discovery on the other side of the international boundary in Namibia, and some success has already been proven in the basin within South Africa. Previous wells drilled in the Tugela licence area have confirmed the presence of numerous leads and a working hydrocarbon system, and existing infrastructure in nearby Durban adds to the attraction to this region. The Petroleum Agency SA hopes that this licensing round will contribute to “increasing and sustaining South Africa’s current oil and gas production with a view to increasing the country’s level of self sufficiency and economic development”

Orange Basin Deep Water Licence Area
The Petroleum Agency SA are offering this deepwater region of the Orange Basin covering an area of 43,000 square kilometres off the west coast of South Africa and bounded to the north by the Namibia/South Africa international border. The area is located approximately 300 kilometres offshore and water depths range between 1,000-3,500 metres. Seismic data is available for the north of the region where there is 3,124 kilometres of migrated stack 2D data in SEG-Y format obtained during 1987-2002. There have been no wells drilled in the licence area on offer; however, 40 wells have been drilled in the Orange basin.

Tugela Licence Area
The Tugela licence area covers 48,798 square kilometres offshore the east South African coast ranging in water depths between 0 to 3,000 metres. The Petroleum Agency SA is offering for bid 14 quarter degree blocks and eight partial blocks covering the Durban and Zululand Basins. A sample dataset is available for the Tugela licence area including navigation and SEG-Y data for key 2D seismic lines, well information, logs and reports which is available from the Petroleum Agency SA for a fee.

(OilVoice)