press release

High Impact Wells Report: Africa Focus

July 12, 2019
Share Share by Email Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter

Earlier this year, Rystad Energy published the High Impact Wells Report, a list of the most exciting wildcats to look out for in 2019. This edition brings the spotlight to Africa.

After several consecutive low-activity years with only a few positive results, Rystad Energy expects that as many as six high impact wells are yet to be completed this year around Africa. These wells all target offshore acreages, with the majority planned in the Western African region.

“Africa appears to be emerging from a long hibernation in terms of oil and gas exploration activities,” said Rystad Energy Upstream Research analyst Taiyab Zain Shariff.

A steep drop in the number of exploration wells in 2015 fueled by budget cuts, failed projects, and poor market conditions has meant that exploration in the region has mostly been on pause and declining further until this year, where an uptick in investments has reversed this negative trend, shining some light on African exploration.


Africa Offshore Exploration 2019 Rystad Energy

Learn more about ECube.


These six high impact wells include those targeting large prospects, play openers, wells in the frontier area, and operator communicated high impact wells.


Africa High Impact Oil Well Exploration 2019 Rystad Energy Map

  1. In Egypt, Dana Gas is currently drilling a deep-water well in the Mediterranean. The Merak well is targeting Pliocene turbidite plays and will be drilled to a planned total depth of 2,600 meters.
  2. The greatest concentration of high impact wells in the continent can be found along the West African coast. Total plans to drill a well on Block C-9 in the Mauritanian basin. This particular well will target a large cretaceous oil and gas play.
  3. Located on the same structural ridge as the BirAllah and Tortue discoveries, BP’s Orca prospect is estimated to hold gross gas in place resources of 13 trillion cubic feet.
  4. Trace Atlantic is currently hunting for a partner to farm out 50% to 70% of its stake and to drill a frontier deep water floater targeting the Albian age Formosa prospect.
  5. Total plans to drill a well in Block 48, located in the ultra-deep-water Lower Congo basin. The well would target a high potential new play in the Miocene and Oligocene channels and lobes.
  6. Further down along the southern African coast, Total aims to drill the deepest well ever completed in the continent. The Venus prospect is located in a giant basin floor fan of the Orange Basin and is considered to be the largest prospect ever in Namibia.


Overall, there is a sense of positivity after years of inactivity and decline in the region. Thanks to lowered costs and several large prospects, there is once again hope for Africa’s exploration endeavors to grow in the upcoming years.






Taiyab Zain Shariff
Analyst, Upstream Research
Phone: +919481786170


Julia Weiss
Director, Head of Marketing
Phone: +47 24 00 42 41


About Rystad Energy

Rystad Energy is an independent energy research and business intelligence company providing data, tools, analytics and consultancy services to the global energy industry. Our products and services cover energy fundamentals and the global and regional upstream, oilfield services and renewable energy industries, tailored to analysts, managers and executives alike. Rystad Energy’s headquarters are located in Oslo, Norway with offices in London, New York, Houston, Aberdeen, Stavanger, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Bangalore, Tokyo, Sydney and Dubai.