Africa New Energies

Africa New Energies (ANE) is a UK exploration company with a 22.000 km² concession in Eastern Namibia. Africa New Energies Ltd (“ANE”) was awarded two oil blocks in Namibia, 2219 and 2319 under PEL68. In addition, the company has secured a contract with Alumni Energy Investments (“AEI”), a public unlisted company registered in South Africa, to assist it to obtain exploration rights in South Africa and to use its proprietary algorithmic approach to explore for conventional natural gas and oil.

ANE employs a unique approach to hydrocarbon exploration using algorithmic layering of non-seismic techniques. They therefore require exceptional surface and airborne surveying and data collection. Gyrotek is well placed to provide these services and our gyrocopter modifications enable us to collect multiple layers of intimate geophysical data by flying low and slow enough. We are also enabled, through our innovative approach to weight and fuel management, to fly over large areas efficiently.

Alumni Energy Investments

AEI is a South African Venture Capital Fund which has invested, at this point, in six exploration companies who intend to secure exploration rights within the borders of South Africa, all planning to undertake similar onshore oil and gas exploration programmes using ANE’s algorithmic techniques. As a result of this integrated algorithmically-driven approach, the remote sensing services Gyrotek is proposing to ANE, will form part of a larger suite of data collection in the form of a multi-client programme for similar services, across the concessions as ANE has and those that AEI plans to secure.

Detailed description of method for contracted services

Some background

As the commodity cycle ends after over a decade of economic growth, mine development and exploration in Southern Africa has all but dried up. There simply is not the international or local appetite for exploration, despite the need within the South African context where mineral extraction and beneficiation contribute directly and indirectly to

  • 6% of GDP
  • 25% of South Africa’s rural employment
  • 40% of foreign exchange earnings
  • 85% of electricity

One of the biggest challenges in mine development is finding sufficiently attractive resources to overcome current market aversion to green field exploration projects. This gives rise to a need for better quality, inexpensive geophysical information. This is particularly important in rural areas where a mining project can have a revolutionary impact on social development.

South Africa is far from alone: Vast areas of the world have not been adequately surveyed, so this problem is by no means restricted to South Africa. There are effectively four ways in which geophysical data can be acquired

  • satellites
  • airborne surveys
  • ground-based data collection
  • drilling

Commodity explorers expect the cost of exploration to increase by an order of magnitude – for each level they get closer to the ground. For instance – for an area that a company is focused on – airborne surveying tends to cost 1/10th of ground surveying. It has many other advantages, not least the fact that it is non-invasive and is possible in remote areas in a way that ground surveying is not. However, this decrease in cost and invasiveness comes with a trade-off in data quality and resolution: Flying close to the ground is dangerous and the pilot risks stalling in a fixed wing aircraft but faces data contamination from “noise” and the loss of more sensitive signals as the aircraft distances itself from the ground. Furthermore, the velocity which fixed wing aircraft have to maintain means resultant data in a lower resolution.

Helicopters are extremely expensive to operate in these parameters due to the low velocity and altitude required.

Collecting data over large areas using ground-based vehicles is not economically feasible without an ideal network of roads and tight grids of roads that would allow proper surveying do not exist in the regions typically surveyed.

Africa New Energies have secured a vast oil and gas exploration concession spanning approximately 22,600m2, where it is performing on-the-ground exploration and remote sensing. The company has also secured exploration contracts with Alumni Energy Investments Ltd where it will be providing the services for a pre-drilling exploration program and where remote investigations can be undertaken as well as the analysis of any data currently available about the concession area.

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