Perenco: First offshore oil discovery in three decades springs up in Congo

Perenco’s subsidiary drilled two exploration wells in 2024, making an oil discovery in the Moke-East well, located between the Lukami and Motoba fields in the DRC coastal basin.The drilling activities were done with the Dixstone-owned Nuada self-elevated class 82 SD-C jack-up drilling rig. The well, which will be completed in the coming weeks, encountered a 24-foot net oil-bearing column and the discovery will be tested.

Frédéric Kiepferle, Perenco’s DRC General Manager, commented: “Perenco’s offshore DRC subsidiary, MIOC, has had an active start to the year, which has included drilling the country’s first offshore exploration wells for almost thirty years.“While testing continues, we are encouraged by the initial results of the Moke-East well. Following many months of preparatory work to ensure safe and successful operations, the Nuada has now moved onto the GCO field where it will be active for the next twelve months.”

According to the company, the drilling of the first of twelve wells on the GCO field is part of MIOC’s continuing development drilling campaign offshore DRC, aiming to unlock further hydrocarbon resources in the country, expected to be completed in parallel with the CS02 workover unit in the same location.

Furthermore, Perenco explains that the second exploration well, LUKS-A, targeting a southern extension of the Pinda formation has now been plugged and abandoned following insufficient hydrocarbon potential to complete the well.

“As the DRC’s only international oil & gas producer, we are very pleased to further demonstrate our commitment, through this investment, to the discovery of new resources. We firmly believe that the DRC’s oil & gas industry has a very positive future and that new projects could lead to the valorisation of LPG extracted from the gas for the local market, or to provide more gas to power in Muanda,” added Kiepferle.

This oil discovery comes shortly after Perenco acquired Eni’s interests in several oil permits in Congo, thanks to a deal valued at approximately $300 million. The company also decided to undertake drilling activities at an appraisal well close to the Hylia South West discovery, which was made in December 2022 off the coast of Gabon. In addition, the firm is working on a five-well development drilling campaign at a field off Cameroon, Central Africa. Perenco also disclosed a redevelopment plan recently for two oil assets in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil.