JOHANNESBURG - French oil and gas company Total said on Thursday that it has made a significant gas condensate discovery on the Brulpadda prospects after drilling in deep sea waters, 175 kilometres off the southern coast of South Africa.

Located on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin, Total said the Brulpadda well encountered 57 meters of net gas condensate pay in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. 

The Block 11B/12B covers an area of 19,000 square kilometers, with water depths ranging from 200 to 1,800 meters, and is operated by Total with a 45 percent working interest, alongside Qatar Petroleum, CNR international, and South African consortium, Main Street.

Kevin McLachlan, senior vice president for exploration at Total, said the well was deepened to a final depth of 3,633 meters and has also been successful in the Brulpadda-deep prospect.

"We are very pleased to announce the Brulpadda discovery which was drilled in a challenging deepwater environment," McLachlan said.

"With this discovery, Total has opened a new world-class gas and oil play and is well positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block."

Total drilled this exploration well with the latest generation drilling ship and was able to leverage its experience in similar environments, such as the West of Shetland, UK. 

Total said it and its partners plan to acquire 3D seismic this year, followed by up to four exploration wells on the license. 

When he visited Total's deep sea stavenger rig operations on Saturday, mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe said government will give all the support it can to the project because the discovery of oil and gas could reduce the country's dependence on imported crude oil.

- African News Agency (ANA)