French oil and gas firm Total has awarded contracts for new 2D and 3D seismic programmes on Block 11B/12B, located in the Outeniqua Basin 175km off the southern coast of South Africa.

Total holds a 45% stake in the block, along with Qatar Petroleum holding 25% interest and Canadian Natural Resources holding 20% interests, and serves as the operator.

Canadian oil and gas company Africa Energy holds a 49% stake in Main Street 1549 Proprietary, which holds a 10% participating interest in Block 11B/12B.

Africa Energy exploration VP Jan Maier said: “The award of the 2D and 3D seismic contracts demonstrates Total’s commitment to move forward quickly with the exploration and appraisal program on Block 11B/12B offshore South Africa.

“Following the major Brulpadda oil and gas discovery in February this year, the joint venture partners conducted a 570 square kilometer 3D survey with Polarcus in March and April. We have now analyzed the coring and logging data from Brulpadda and integrated the fast-track 3D data from the Polarcus survey.”

The Block 11B/12B covers an area of approximately 19,000kms2

Total has contracted Shearwater GeoServices for the 2D seismic survey and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) for the second phase of 3D seismic on the block, which are expected to start in December 2019 and continue through April 2020.

Shearwater has been contracted to acquire an initial programme of 3,650kms of linear 2D seismic using the Multi-Purpose Vessel (MPV) SW Cook.

The company said that the 2D seismic program is aimed at defining the lead and prospect inventory of the under-explored area in Block 11B/12B, to the east of the Paddavissie prospects.

In addition, Total has contracted PGS to acquire 2,200km2 of 3D seismic using the PGS Apollo seismic vessel. The second phase of the 3D survey is aimed at covering the remainder of the Paddavissie Fairway for improved delineation of the prospects and leads identified in the previous 2D and 3D surveys.

Maier added: “This data assisted us in choosing the location of the next exploration well, Luiperd-1, which is expected to spud in Q1-2020. The 3D data validated the use of seismic as a direct hydrocarbon indicator, significantly de-risking the remaining prospects on trend.

“The first phase of 3D data also gave us more insight into the geometry and thicknesses of the reservoir sequences, confirming the large resource potential of the Paddavissie Fairway.”