Cranemere (~ 3’100 square kilometers under application)

The Cranemere Prospect is located in the Eastern Cape Province, north of the port city of Port Elizabeth. Geologically, the prospect is in the deep part of the southern Karroo Basin and just north of the Cape Fold Belt.

Figure 1 Topography in Cranemere Region

This prospect is set up by the CR 1/68 well drilled by the South African state oil and gas company, SOEKOR, in 1968. This well was the first well to be drilled in this part of the Karroo basin and was designed primarily to evaluate the Bokkeveld sediment at their northern limits. While drilling this well, SOEKOR encountered numerous gas shows (fairly common in the Karroo basin), but one of particular note at about 8300 feet where “a considerable volume of high pressure gas was encountered and the well attempted to blow out.”

The Blowout Preventers were engaged and the well began to flare gas. The operator recorded rates in excess of 8 million cubic feet per day and eventually killed the well with 10.5 pound mud. After testing the well, SOEKOR discounted the gas from the fractured shale and continued drilling to total depth.

Although the presence of gas in the Cranemere area has been known for over forty years, it has been assumed that the gas shows in the area test wells were from small fractured, high pressure shale reservoirs that contained limited and non-commercial amounts of gas. With the advent of commercial gas production from carbonaceous shale’s in the U.S., the oil and gas industry has gained a greater understanding of the commercial potential of shale’s. Bundu considers that the gas shows encountered in the CR 1/68 well are encouraging and must be further explored.

Figure 2 Cranemere Project – Gas Flare 1968

The Cranemere Project was identified and applied for prior to any other substantial applications being made within South Africa on shale gas prospects. Recently, Chesapeake, Statoil, Sasol and Falcon Oil & Gas have all lodged significant applications within South Africa over areas that are prospective for unconventional shale gas.