Map of South Africa

French oil company Total has completed acquisition of 50% interest in block 11B/12B from CNR International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada’s Natural Resources, after receiving approval from South African authorities.

Located in the Outeniqua basin, around 175km off the southern coast of the country, the block covers an area of 19,000km² with water depths ranging from 200 to 1,800m.

Total, which will operate block 11B/12B, will drill an exploration well in 2014.

Total exploration senior vice president, Marc Blaizot, said South Africa’s deep offshore area, specifically the Outeniqua basin, is one of the few remaining under-explored offshore regions in Africa.

"Recent discoveries in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas Islands) together with the prospects identified on the block offer us very promising opportunities," Blaizot added.

The upcoming exploration well results are said to be decisive, in terms of operability of the area in such a harsh environment specifically.

As an operator, Total will review the potential of the acreage by leveraging its deep offshore expertise and experience in challenging waters, such as the North Sea and Barents Sea.

According to Total, this acquisition is in line with its strategy of expanding its exploration and production operations in under-explored countries with better growth potential.

Image: Total completed 50% interest acquisition in block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin. Photo courtesy of Total.