Source: Namibian Sun

AEW2023

With four major discoveries already under Namibia’s belt, the country holds great potential for further developments in oil and gas, attracting other international oil companies.

Namibian national oil company Namcor is setting its sights on drilling two gas and oil wells in collaboration with international oil companies in the last quarter of this year and into the first quarter of 2024.

The state-owned enterprise (SOE) holds a unique position as both an upstream and downstream player in Namibia. The company operates in various basins in Namibia, including the Orange Basin, Lüderitz Basin and Walvis Basin.

Speaking at the recent African Energy Week 2023 (AEW2023) in Cape Town, the executive: upstream exploration at Namcor, Victoria Sibeya, said the discovery of light hydrocarbons in Namibia in 2012 had set the development of its hydrocarbons sector in motion.

“This discovery challenged previous assumptions that the nation’s resources were primarily composed of gas. Among these regions, the Orange Basin stands out with multiple opportunities for industry players,” stated Sibeya.

Players

During September, Africa Oil Corp announced positive drill stem test results for the Venus-1X well, the major light oil discovery on Block 2913B, located in the Orange Basin.

Meanwhile, Impact Oil & Gas, a privately-owned Africa-focused exploration company also announced the successful drilling of the Venus-1A appraisal well and a flow test on the Venus-1X re-entry in Block 2913B (PEL 56).

Earlier this year, Namcor announced that it was seeking potential partners or investors for three permits, PEL 67, 72, and 79 it operates in the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia.

Namcor operates PEL 79 comprising of blocks 2815 and 2915, where it has a 67% working interest and local partner Giraffe Petroluem has 33% equity in this license, which boasts 4 760 km 2D seismic data coverage.

Proactive role

Sibeya highlighted Namcor’s proactive role in providing essential data and conducting appraisal work for industry players, a key contribution to sustainable growth within the sector. Namcor’s strategic partnerships with companies like PGS for 2D and 3D data acquisition reinforce its status as an emerging energy player.

“With four major discoveries already under our belt, Namibia holds great potential for further developments in oil and gas, attracting other international oil companies (IOCs) like Shell and Total.”

Sibeya said Namcor’s would remain an active player in the industry.

“We hold a 10% stake in all the key projects and act as a catalyst for speeding up the development of the oil and gas industry in Namibia,” she said Sibeya.

Projects

Maggy Shino, Namibia’s petroleum commissioner, provided a comprehensive update on the nation’s oil and gas sector during a workshop session at the AEW2023.

Shino highlighted the promising opportunities in Namibia, particularly regarding the arrival of Total’s Deepsea Mira rig.

“Total’s Deepsea Mira rig departed from Bergen, Norway, at the beginning of April 2023, and it is expected to reach Namibia on 15 November. This rig is an enhanced and extended CS 60 E harsh environment design semi-submersible delivered by Hyundai Heavy in South Korea.”

Shino explained that preparations and logistics are underway for drilling new wells.

“We are expecting to have five wells that will be drilled in 2024 offshore in the Orange Basin.” To enhance exploration further, she expressed plans to acquire a 3D volume for onshore prospecting.

In light of the ongoing energy transition, Shino emphasised Namibia’s commitment to exploring oil and gas resources while concurrently developing renewable energy sources. She assured that the nation is dedicated to environmentally friendly practices in all projects.

“We have a basket full of resources and the focus remains on safeguarding the environment,” she said.

Investors

Furthermore, Shino outlined the country’s development scenarios aimed at maximising the use of gas.

Plans include the implementation of gas-to-power projects and the establishment of a petrochemical industry. The nation also aims to produce blue hydrogen and fertilizer to bolster the agricultural sector while contributing more megawatts to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).

Namibia is actively seeking investors to unlock its oil and gas potential. Shino expressed openness to various types of investors, including those with substantial resources and those possessing specialised technologies tailored to the region’s unique challenges.

“We are open for business,” Shino said.

‘Unique future’

“In relation to the energy transition, our green hydrogen strategy is one of the most important activities that we are carrying out. It is our mission to become a world-class green hydrogen hub,” mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo said at the AEW2023.

“With our new discoveries made this and last year, we are on the cusp of something special. It is our intention to manage our oil and gas sector to transform our economy. We are set to introduce a lot of market policies to ensure that in-country, value is being generated from these oil and gas resources,” Alweendo said.

The Invest in Namibia Energies session at the AEW2023 featured an impressive slate of policymakers and company executives who provided an in-depth insight into the region’s upstream exploration opportunities.

“The future of the world starts with Africa; one of the richest continents in the world,” stated Dr. Marcio Rocha Mello, president of petroleum system modeling company, Brazil Petroleum Systems, adding: “The future of Namibia is unique.”

Gas

Meanwhile, on the gas front, oil and gas exploration company, ReconAfrica, announced in June 2023 an updated prospective resource estimate of 22.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Namibia’s onshore PEL 73 license area in the Kavango Basin.

“Gas demand will follow supply,” stated Dr. Klaus Endressen, general manager for engineering company and operator of the Kudu Conventional Gas Field, BW Offshore, adding: “We have companies coming to us saying they would like to establish beneficiation initiatives if Namibia has the energy, and we are on track to have first gas-to-power from Kudu in 2027.”

The session closed with the panel discussing Namibia’s renewable energy potential, highlighting the country’s role in the global energy transition.

“Namibia is very progressive,” stated Ndapqilapo Selma Shimutwiken, CEO of strategic advisory firm, RichAfrica Consultancy, adding: “We are one of the few countries in the world where our environment is protected by the constitution.” – African Energy Chamber

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