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The Pletmos Basin lies beneath the Indian Ocean offshore from the southern coast of South Africa between Mossel Bay and Cape St. Francis (Figure 13). The basin covers about 10,000 km2 and is filled with postrift Cretaceous rocks (Figure 14). It is bounded on the northeast by the St. Francis Arch and on the southwest by the Infanta Embayment. The faulted northern boundary of the Pletmos Basin closely follows the present shoreline, and the southern boundary is approximately at the 200-m isobath, south of which is the deep southern Outeniqua Basin extending southward to the Agulhas-Falkland Fracture Zone (Figures 13, 15). The Pletmos Basin comprises the Plettenberg, northeastern, northern, southern, and Southeastern subbasins. The subbasins are mostly grabens, bounded all or in part by the Plettenberg, Superior, and Pletmos faults (Figure 13). Although the fault systems were initiated during rift onset, they continued to impose significant structural control on the basin complex during most of its postrift Cretaceous history.

Exploration of the Pletmos Basin by Soekor (Pty) Ltd. began in the 1970s when drilling targeted Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous synrift sandstone reservoirs and rift structural traps. This initial phase included the drilling of about 20 boreholes and resulted in discoveries of some subcommercial gas. A second phase of drilling began in 1989, when prospecting shifted to postrift Cretaceous reservoirs within low-stand basin floor fans, slope fans, prograding wedges, and incised valley fills (Table 2). To date, eight wildcat wells (Table 3) have targeted stratigraphic or combined structural-stratigraphic traps based

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