A new floating production project is in line for a launch in Angola after French supermajor TotalEnergies completed a successful appraisal well on the Golfinho discovery in the Kwanza basin.

Golfinho is one of seven deep-water discoveries made in blocks 20/11 and 21/09 by Cobalt International before the US company went bankrupt a few years ago, with the acreage then handed over to Sonangol, the state oil company.

Two years ago, TotalEnergies was awarded operating stakes in both blocks and spelled out its ambition to develop a new offshore hub to exploit Golfinho in 20/11 and the Cameia, Mavinga and Bicuar discoveries in 21/09.

Commenting the Golfinho-2 delineation well this week, TotalEnergies chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said: “We have made a positive appraisal well,” adding that the new project is set to come online by 2026.

Golfinho-2 was drilled by the Maersk Voyager drillship in a long-running operation that, according to marine traffic data, lasted eight-to-nine months.

Upstream was told previously by a well-placed source in Luanda that the well had experienced some technical difficulties.

TotalEnergies had not responded to a request for comment by the time Upstream went to press.

News of the appraisal success will be a boon to operators of floating production, storage and offloading vessels and subsea players who were approached earlier this year about supplying an FPSO and seabed hardware for the project.

Upstream reported in February that a 100,000 barrels per day FPSO was due online in 2024, with sources saying that the vessel would initially tap Cameia and Golfinho.

A number of FPSO players were chosen to carry out pre-front end engineering and design work, with the project set to move into FEED phase this year.

Almost six years ago, the now defunct-Cobalt was evaluating bids for a 75,000 bpd leased FPSO to tap Cameia and exploit 250 million to 350 million barrels of oil.

When Golfinho was discovered in 2016, executives at Cobalt suggested it was a slightly smaller field than Cameia.

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TotalEnergies has a 50% stake in Block 20/11, where it is partnered by BP on 30% and Sonangol on 20%.

The French supermajor holds an 80% interest in Block 21/09 where Sonangol is the sole partner.