Source: Offshore energy

Portuguese oil and gas company Galp has kicked off drilling operations at a well in license PEL 83 offshore Namibia, located close to Shell’s Graff and TotalEnergies’ Venus discoveries. On the other hand, the U.S. oil major Chevron is looking to drill up to ten new wells in PEL 90. These licenses are located in the heart of Namibia’s Orange Basin which is emerging as one of the world’s most prospective oil and gas regions.

Galp set the stage to spud a well in license PEL 83 in the heart of Namibia’s Orange Basin after entering into a contact with SFL Corporation for the Odfjell Drilling-managed Hercules rig in May 2023. The 115-day contract is for two wells plus optional well testing. Fugro recently confirmed the completion of the fieldwork for an environmental and geophysical survey offshore Namibia, which was ordered by the Portuguese energy player.

Galp, as the operator of PEL 83, secured an extension for the license last year. The company holds an 80% interest in this asset while its partners, National Petroleum Company of Namibia (Namcor) and Custos Investments, each hold a 10% stake. Sintana has a 49% indirect interest in Custos.

According to Sintana, the Mopane 2X exploration well has been spud. The Mopane prospect complex is located at the southern end of PEL 83. This exploration well is the first of two wells that are scheduled to be drilled by the Hercules semi-submersible rig.

Knowledge Katti, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Custos Energy, and a Director of Sintana, commented: “The significant prospectivity of PEL 83, together with its relatively shallower water depth, position it to be one of the most significant and profitable opportunities in the Orange Basin.”

This license is located immediately north of Shell’s PEL 39 where the basin opening discoveries at Graff-1, La Rona-1 and Jonker-1 were drilled, and close to TotalEnergies’ multi-billion-barrel Venus-1 oil discovery on PEL 56. Shell continues to progress exploration and appraisal activities on its blocks with an ongoing multi-well campaign through the rest of 2023 and throughout 2024.

Maggie Shino, Petroleum Commissioner at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, remarked: “We are excited to test the extension of the proven Upper Cretaceous plays into PEL 83. We believe PEL 83 will continue to demonstrate the world-class scale and quality of plays in Namibia’s Orange Basin.”

The 2008-built Hercules sixth generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible rig, which is of GVA 7500 design, was constructed by DSME in South Korea and can accommodate 180 people. The rig can operate in water depths of 10,000 ft and its maximum drilling depth is 35,000 ft.

“We look forward to a safe and successful campaign on PEL 83 for the JV partners and for the people of Namibia,” stated Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy.

In addition, TotalEnergies is also working to progress multi-rig exploration and appraisal activities offshore Namibia. During the third quarter of 2023, the Deepsea Mira rig was drilling for the oil major to appraise the Venus discovery.

Meanwhile, an affiliate of Chevron Corporation has filed an application with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism for the Republic of Namibia for an environmental clearance certificate, which would provide for the drilling of up to five exploration and five appraisal wells beginning in the fourth quarter of 2024 on block 2813B within PEL 90.

Robert Bose, President and Director of Sintana, said: “The continuing activity on all our Namibian Orange Basin blocks demonstrates the unmatched quality of our position in the heart of this world-class opportunity.”

Sintana, through its investment in InterOil, maintains a 49% indirect interest in Trago Energy (Pty) Ltd, a 10% working interest owner in PEL 90.

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