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Sasol turns focus to oil in Moz after shoring up gas for 400 MW power plant

South African energy and chemicals group Sasol has completed drilling two gas wells in southern Mozambique and has since turned its attention to the development of two commercial oil reservoirs, located in close proximity to its producing gas fields in Temane and Pande.

Under the terms of the current phase of a production sharing agreement (PSA) field development plan approved in January, Sasol will develop a total of 13 wells – five gas wells, seven oil wells and a water well. The drilling campaign started in May 2016 and will continue until the first quarter of 2018.

Sasol Exploration and Production International senior VP John Sichinga tells Engineering News Online that the two gas wells were drilled first to align with government plans for using the feedstock in a 400 MW Mozambique gas-to-power plant. The PSA licence specifically earmarks the gas for domestic “downstream monetisation” in the form of this gas-to-power project.

John Sichinga, senior vice president of Sasol Exploration and Production International
John Sichinga, senior vice president of Sasol Exploration and Production International

“Sasol wanted gas-reserve certification to be off the Mozambique gas-to-power project’s critical path,” Sichinga explains, adding that the gas from the two wells is sufficient to enable the gas-reserve certification required by power-station developers to advance the project to bankability.

Sasol is already producing from existing wells in the area and processing gas at a four-train central processing facility (CPF) in Temane, from where it is exported to markets in South Africa and Mozambique. Under the PSA it has committed to adding a fifth production train at the CPF to process feedstock reserved for the gas-fired power plant, from the initial phase of the PSA development.

The current field development focus is shifting to oil, however, with drilling of the first oil rim well having started in early October. “The rig has moved east to Inhassoro and Sasol is in the process of completing the first well,” Sichinga reports.

From there, the campaign will move to the six other oil well sites over time to confirm sufficient oil feedstock for a liquid processing facility (LPF), earmarked for development alongside the existing CPF.

Pande-Temane Gas Fields
Pande-Temane Gas Fields

The LPF is being designed to produce 15 000 bbl/d of light oil, as well as 20 000 t/y of liquided petroleum gas (LPG). “We are working with the Mozambican authorities on options to either export the oil and LPG, or to sell the output in-country.”

The engineering design for the LPF, which is being conducted by Amec Foster Wheeler, is advancing and construction work is expected to begin by mid-2017.

Sasol has approved $1.4-billion for the oil and gas campaign, as well as the expansion of the CPF and the development of the LPF.

Source: Mining Weekly

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