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ExxonMobil to explore South Africa East Coast

ExxonMobil signed agreement with Impact on Tugela

The super major ExxonMobil signed an agreement with the junior Impact oil and Gas Ltd (Impact) for the exploration of Tugela South Exploration Right offshore South Africa.

According to the terms of the agreement, ExxonMobil is to acquire 75% of the interests in the Tugela South Exploration Right and take operatorship of the field.

In addition ExxonMobil reserved the rights to extend its 75% interests to three other areas within Tugela Exploration Permit held by Impact.

Founded in 2009 by oil and gas exploration specialists, the London-based Impact company is focusing on offshore fields in South Africa.

The offshore exploration in South Africa began rather lately with the first license round organized with international oil companies only in  1994.

The State-owned national oil company PetroSA was formed in 2001

Then in 2004, South Africa enforced the new regulation, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, to encourage the international oil companies to invest in the oil and gas exploration and production.

Since then, many discoveries were made on the Bredasdorp Basin, Pletmos Basin, and Orange Basin.

In 2009, Impact was awarded the rights for the Tugela Exploration Permit during the fourth licenses round organized by the Petroleum Agency of South African (PASA).

The rights cover the blocks 2931C, 2931D, 2932A and 2932C of the Tugela Exploration Permit.

Located 100 kilometers east offshore Durban on the northern East Coast of South Africa, the Tugela South Exploration Right lies between 1,500 and 2,200 meters water depth.

A first phase of 2D seismic analysis was performed in 2011, followed by a second one in 2012 to prepare ground for a 3D acquisition survey planned in 2013.

ExxonMobil to explore Durban Basin deep waters 

The permit is named after the Tugela river entering Indian Ocean about 200 kilometers north of Durban.

From this geographical position, the Tugela river downloaded sediments on the seabed accumulating layers of sandstones and shales to form a potential hydrocarbon reservoir.

The Tugela South Exploration Right subject to the agreement between ExxonMobil and Impact covers 2.8 million acres, and with the potential rights of extension would add 16 million acres offshore the east coast.

In this extended zone, the Tugela South Exploration Right goes into deepwater exceeding 3,000 meters depth.

Actually this extension would link ExxonMobil with its ongoing technical cooperation permit in the Durban Basin.

Developed separately from the agreement signed with Impact, this technical cooperation permit delivered by the South Africa Government gives ExxonMobil the exclusive rights to study an allocated area in the deepwater of the Durban Basin.

According to this technical cooperation permit valid for only one year, ExxonMobil is screening 12.4 million acres offshore Durban.

At the end of the given period of Durban Basin analysis, ExxonMobil is entitled to apply for an exploration permit.

After the huge discoveries made in 2011 and 2012, in the deepwater offshore the east coast of Mozambique and Tanzania, the major companies such as Anadarko, Sasol, Shell, Total and ExxonMobil are extending their exploration on the deepwater of the east coast of South Africa in expecting the same success.

For more information and data about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer

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