Pioneer To Develop Sable Field Offshore South Africa
Pioneer Natural Resources Company announced that it has sanctioned the development of the Sable field offshore South Africa. Oil production is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2003 with expected initial gross flow rates of up to 40,000 barrels of oil per day from two reservoirs with 25 million barrels of estimated recoverable oil reserves. Pioneer holds a 35% working interest in the field, Soekor, the government-owned company, has a 60% working interest and is the designated operator of the field, and Petroleum Limited has the remaining 5%. Pioneer, in partnershp with Soeker will be the first foreign company to produce oil offshore South Africa. Production from Sable is expected to increase worldwide production by 25%. Sable field is located approximately 60 miles off the southern coast of South Africa, in approximately 330 feet of water. The field will be developed with six subsea wells tied back to a floating production, storage and offloading vessel.
Additionally, Pioneer has completed the testing of the E-BB2 gas well. The well was drilled approximately 75 miles south of Mossel Bay to test the lateral continuity and productivity of widespread gas-bearing sands in the center of the Bredasdorp Basin. The well found over 325 feet of gas-bearing sandstone in five primary zones. Three of the zones were perforated and tested. Two of the zones exhibited low permeability while a third zone flowed at a sustained daily rate of 10 million cubic feet of gas and 800 barrels of liquids. Results of this well and other wells drilled in this trend are being assessed as part of the larger gas development project currently being evaluated. Pioneer has a 40% WI and operated the well. Soekor has the remaining 60% and is the designated operator of the tract.
Pioneer is also preparing to drill an appraisal well to its Boomslang discovery along the southern flank of the Bredasdorp Basin. The Boomslang No.2 well is located approximately one and one-half miles southwest of the discovery well which tested at a combined rate of 3,120 barrels of oil, 300 barrels of condensate and 26 million cubic feet of gas per day. Pioneer is the operator of the tract with a 49% working interest and Soekor has the remaining 51%. Pioneer has also recently completed the acquisition of a 460 square-mile 3-D seismic survey of the Boomslang trend area where several other prospects have been identified.