EXPLORATION

Roc to spud first well in new African petroleum province

ROC Oil is about to spud its first well in Angola – and the first onshore Angolan well in more than 30 years, the company told the United Nation’s African Oil and Gas, Trade and Finance conference in Nairobi, Kenya last week.

Roc to spud first well in new African petroleum province

The Sydney-headquartered explorer has carried out two years of seismic surveys in the Cabinda region, which is in northern Angola and separated from the rest of the country by a small strip of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Roc’s representative for Africa Antonio Vieira said its Massambala-1 well will be drilled within days in the Cabinda South onshore block, where the company holds 60% equity.

If oil is present, the block could hold between 344 million and 1.4 billion barrels, according to Roc.

The company plans to acquire more seismic data and drill between three and six wells in Cabinda this year, Vieira said.

Purely on the strength of its offshore reserves, Angola has become sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest oil producer after Nigeria, pumping about 1.4 million barrels per day.

The offshore Cabinda region delivers for more than half that.

Roc believes onshore Cabinda could also be a rich oil province but onshore exploration throughout Angola came to an extended standstill caused by a decades-long civil war and a separatist insurgency in Cabinda.

The civil war ended in 2002 and in 2006, the rebel Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda signed an accord with the government that gave the region special status and a larger share of local petroleum taxes and duties.

Roc did not waste any time moving in and says it is the first company to systematically explore onshore Angola.

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