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New oil and gas players flock to Namibia

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Oil and gas discoveries off the coast of Namibia has resulted in an influx of new players in the energy market. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

New oil and gas players flock to Namibia

Major oil and gas discoveries off the coast of Namibia has resulted in an unprecedented influx of new players in this promising market.

In 2022, Namibia witnessed its first two major oil and gas discoveries made by global majors TotalEnergies and Shell in the Venus and Graff-1 wells, respectively.

Potentially holding billions of barrels worth of reserves, these discoveries have not only made clear the sizable hydrocarbon resources available in the country’s offshore basins but have laid the foundation for widespread sectoral growth as new players flock to the promising market.

Shell has announced another potential discovery in the Jonker-1 well which may complement previous finds.

New explorations campaigns kick off (New oil and gas players flock to Namibia)

Following TotalEnergies and Shell’s discoveries, a number of other exploration campaigns have kicked off, with frontier explorers hoping to mirror the success of Venus and Graff-1.

Canadian oil and gas explorer, ReconAfrica, is conducting upstream activities in the deep Kavango Sedimentary Basin in the north-eastern part of the country while independent French explorer, Maurel & Prom, is set to join the Namibian upstream drive with a potential five-well drilling campaign, kicking off with the spudding of the Aurora wildcat this year.

When WhyAfrica visited Namibia as part of its Southern African Raod Trip last year, we visited Recon Africa’s drilling campaign in the Kavango East Region (Video by Leon Louw for WhyAfrica).

Canadian oil and gas company, Sintana Energy, has approved the extension to its Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) 87 in the Orange Basin which is expected to contain similar characteristics to that of the Shell and TotalEnergies discoveries.

Energy major Chevron acquired an interest in PEL 90 in the Orange Basin in October 2022 while ExxonMobil is increasing its exploration acreage in the country with an agreement for Blocks 1710 and 1810, as well as farm-in agreements for Blocks 1711 and 1811A.

Hydrogen hub opens opportunity for suppliers  (New oil and gas players flock to Namibia)

Meanwhile, notwithstanding opportunities across the hydrocarbons space, the country’s pursuit of becoming a global green hydrogen hub on the back of large-scale projects opens up critical prospects for businesses and service providers across the green energy landscape.

Projects such as the Hyphen Hydrogen-led USD9.4-billion green hydrogen project as well as the various green hydrogen pilot projects launched by the Ministry of Mines and Energy lay the foundation for new opportunities across the market.

According to NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC), new discoveries are in sight for Namibia, and as a result, new opportunities for the accelerated growth of the domestic market.

Ayuk says that the AEC will establish an office in Namibia which will be dedicated to promoting local content development efforts. “We will engage with various stakeholders across the Namibian energy industry, including national and international oil companies, the government and service companies, utilising a multi-tiered approach to scaling up local content and capabilities,” says Ayuk.

He adds that the AEC’s Namibian office aims to ensure the workforce keeps up with the growth of the energy market. As such, the office will offer courses, seminars and partnership programs that cover the renewable energy space, thereby positioning the domestic workforce at the forefront of the country’s green hydrogen expansion.

“The AEC Namibian office aims to ensure that as sizable discoveries translate into large-scale development, the Namibian workforce is ready and capable to cope with the workforce demand.

“The AEC is currently working on a supplier development and registration database that will ensure Namibian businesses and service providers are identified, registered and funded.

“The Chamber will also be scaling up various oil and gas courses and seminars, as well as business mentorship and partnership programs to ensure credible local partnerships exist. This way, the AEC is committed to helping develop a competitive workforce in Namibia in collaboration with key stakeholders,” says Ayuk.

“The AEC firmly believes that Namibia needs to move beyond free markets and work with oil companies to drive investment into communities, driving up sustainable development. Namibia needs to approach the development of its oil, gas and broader energy industries with a mindset of building a globally competitive workforce and supply chain. Only then will the country ensure long-term and sustainable economic growth.”

New oil and gas players flock to Namibia

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New oil and gas players flock to Namibia

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