Offshore Africa

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In Offshore Africa, Canadian Natural maintains strong relationships with the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa. Projects in Offshore Côte d’Ivoire provide some of the highest return on capital projects in the Company’s portfolio. These assets continue to generate significant funds flow and considerable light crude oil growth.

Canadian Natural maintains a high working interest in our Offshore Africa assets. This is an area that delivers high-value, light crude oil, and provides development opportunities with significant exploration upside. The Company continues to capitalize on strong government relationships and leverage the technical/operational expertise from its North Sea operations.

We have a maintained a cost conscious approach to the development of our Côte d’Ivoire assets. To optimize our facilities, the Company completed an infill drilling program in early 2016 at both its Baobab and Espoir fields. Overall, the programs were successful as production exceeded targets and costs were below original sanction targets. 

Baobab

The Baobab field is located south of Espoir in deep water Block CI-40. CNR International commenced development of the Baobab field in 2003, delivering first oil in record time by mid-2005. Development of the field consists of producing wells and water injectors tied back to four separate subsea manifolds: two for production and two for water injection. The flow lines from these manifolds are tied back to a floating production storage and offtake vessel (FPSO). Oil is exported from the FPSO to shore via shuttle tankers, the natural gas is piped north to the Espoir Ivoirien FPSO, and then ashore via pipeline.

Espoir

CNR International’s re-development of the Espoir field is based on the use of highly deviated wells into the reservoirs to provide effective drainage of the reservoir area as well as the use of water injection and other recovery techniques to achieve superior flow rates, thereby reducing costs and increasing recovery.

Oil produced from the Espoir East and West reservoir is processed, stored and offloaded from the floating production storage and offtake vessel (FPSO) Espoir Ivoirien, which is located between the two wellhead towers. The FPSO is connected to the towers by flow lines.

South Africa

Blocks 11B/12B are located in in the Outeniqua Basin, approximately 175 kilometres off the southern coast of South Africa and covers an area of approximately 19,000 square kilometres with water depths ranging from 200 - 1,800 metres. The blocks are prospective for coalescing (deep water) basin floor fans, with amalgamated turbidite sand thickness potentially up to 150 metres based on seismic data, similar to that in the Forties Fan in the North Sea. As this is deep water with challenging sea conditions, Canadian Natural secured a world class partner for the deep water exploration of these Blocks, with a 50% working interest Farm-out Agreement in late 2013 to Total E&P South Africa BV (“Total”).

In late 2013, the Company announced a joint venture to explore Blocks 11B/12B offshore South Africa. In the third quarter of 2014, the operator commenced drilling of the first exploratory well. The well was successfully drilled to a depth required to retain the exploration right, however, due to mechanical issues with marine equipment on the drilling rig, drilling was ceased prior to reaching targeted well depth.  The operator is currently assessing the opportunity to re-enter the well.