Offshore drilling company Island Drilling has received drilling rig contract for the Gazania-1 well in block 2B, offshore South Africa.

The contract has been awarded by Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas and its joint venture partners of block 2B, which covers an area of 3,062km2 off the west coast of South Africa, nearly 300km north of Cape Town.

Under the contract, Island Drilling will deliver the 2012-built Island Innovator semi-submersible drilling, well-intervention, and completion unit for the Gazania-1 well.

Island Drilling Company CEO Roger Simmenes said: “We have been in dialog regarding this contract for a long time, and we are happy to finally sign this contract. This will make the Island Innovator fully occupied during 2022.”

The Gazania-1 well is located in block 2B in the Orange Basin, which straddles the offshore waters of Namibia and South Africa.

Eco Atlantic will become the operator of block 2B with stake of 50%, following the completion of a 100% acquisition of oil exploration company Azinam Group.

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The joint venture partners of block 2B include Africa Energy, with a 27.5% stake. A subsidiary of Panoro Energy holds a 12.5% stake, and Crown Energy indirectly owns a 10% interest.

Eco Atlantic co-founder and COO Colin Kinley said: “We are pleased to be making progress in our exploration and drilling plans for 2022.

“We are planning for mobilisation of the rig in late August, and to spud shortly after arrival, with the experienced Island Drilling team and the Innovator Semi. We have good support from our partners at Africa Energy, Crown, and Panoro, and from the engineering advisors at the NRG Group.”

Both Total and Shell recently announced significant oil and gas discoveries in the Orange basin, offshore Namibia.

Last year, the South African court ordered Royal Dutch Shell to immediately halt its seismic survey for oil and gas exploration, in the country’s Wild Coast.