A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Danish firm, Maersk, hits oil in Angola’s pre-salt well

04 January 2012, Sweetcrude, LUANDA – Danish player, Maersk Oil, has confirmed an oil discovery in a pre-salt, deep-water exploration well off the coast of Angola.

The company disclosed news of the discovery at the Azul-1 exploration well in a statement on Wednesday.

Maersk, operator of the well located in Block 23 in the Kwanza basin, said it has recovered “two good quality oil samples” after reaching total depth of 5334 metres at the well”.

The statement read: “The preliminary interpretation of the data indicated a potential flow capacity greater than 3000 barrels of oil a day,

“Taking into account these encouraging results, Maersk Oil will further evaluate the results of this discovery and will proceed with exploration work in the block.”

The well is situated about 250 kilometres south of Angola’s capital, Luanda. It was drilled in a water depth of 923 metres using the Ocean Valiant semi-submersible drilling rig.

Maersk’s head of exploration Lars Nydahl Jorgensen said that the find may be the Dan’e first step in “building up a significant presence in Angola” but warned that it would be some time before the full potential of the block was gauged.

“There is substantial evaluation work ahead of us to determine whether the discovery is enough to invest further to get production going,” Jorgensen commented in the statement.

“This will be done by, amongst other things, state of the art reprocessing of seismic data. Fully appraising the discovery will take several years and it is far too early to guess the outcome.”

Maersk operates the block with a 50% share alongside partners Sonangol with 20% and Sweden’s Svenska Petroleum Exploration with the balance of 30%.

The only other pre-salt probe drilled in this basin was Cobalt International’s unsuccessful Bicuar-1 well in Block 21.

The operator plans to re-drill this prospect on completion of its Cameia-1 wildcat in the same block.

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