Written by: Edgar Brandt from the New Era– ebrandt@nepc.com.na

The global supermajor, Shell, has reportedly made its fourth successive discovery more than 270km off the coast in Namibia’s Orange basin. 

This is according to the online oil and gas publication, Upstream Online, that this week reported Shell has “racked up a fourth successive discovery offshore Namibia after hitting pay dirt with a just-completed exploration probe in the Orange basin”. 

The online publication added, “Fresh from this latest success, the supermajor has now started drilling a fifth exploration probe, targeting a major prospect some distance north of its quartet of discoveries in Block 2913A”.

In March this year, Shell, QatarEnergy and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) successfully concluded operations to drill a further exploration well, Jonker-1X, in the Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL 0039) license. 

The well was drilled to a total depth of 6 168m in water depth of 2 210m. Drilling operations established the presence of a reservoir with light oil, marking Shell’s third discovery in the area. 

However, Shell pointed out that further appraisal activities with dynamic data gathering were required to characterise the variability of rock properties and determine the size and recoverable potential of the discovery. At the time, Dennis Zekveld, Shell’s Country Chair in Namibia, commented on the initial results of the third discovery: “We are encouraged by a further deep-water discovery, our third in Namibia, and pleased to confirm the safe conclusion of the well. Jonker again demonstrated the joint venture’s strong commitment to advancing oil and gas exploration in Namibia and to progressing follow-up opportunities after last year’s discoveries. We look forward to continuing our excellent collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Namibia”.

Shell had contracted the Deepsea Bollsta semi-sub rig, which it said will remain in the vicinity to drill further wells as part of the joint venture’s ongoing exploration and appraisal campaign.

Shell is the operator of PEL 0039, with a 45% working interest, together with QatarEnergy (45%) and Namcor (10%). PEL 0039 covers approximately 12 000 square kilometres in deep water offshore Namibia. 

According to the global oil company, “exploration remains a vital part of shaping Shell’s Upstream future business, which in turn plays a pivotal role in delivering the energy needs of today, and the funding necessary to support our dividend and investment into our growth businesses”.

Shell added that frontier exploration requires a multi-phase process to establish a successful case and after which it usually takes a number of years prior to reaching the first production of commercial hydrocarbons.

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