Namibia May Be On The Way To Joining OPEC Membership

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If recent offshore oil discoveries prove to be large enough for commercial development, may be on its way to joining the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC].

The Namibian petroleum commissioner Maggy Shino, told Bloomberg yesterday that oil majors, who made recent discoveries, are preparing for appraisal drilling.

It will be recalled that in February, TotalEnergies made a significant discovery of light oil with associated gas on the Venus prospect offshore southern Namibia.

The initial results are “very promising” in the so-called Orange Basin, Kevin McLachlan, senior vice president of exploration at TotalEnergies, said at the time.

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Venus in could be a “giant oil and gas discovery,” TotalEnergies said in an investor presentation last month. Appraisal and testing are slated for 2023.

Last April, Shell said that it was “very encouraged” by the early results from the deep twater Graff-1 exploration well in the same Orange Basin offshore Namibia, completed earlier this year. 

“Over the coming months, we’ll need to conduct further evaluation of the well results, and additional exploration activity, in order to determine the size and recoverable potential of the hydrocarbons that were identified,” said Dennis Zekveld, Shell’s country chair in Namibia.

Shell also made a second discovery in the Orange basin in April.
Analysts at Wood Mackenzie said earlier this year that Shell’s Graff and TotalEnergies’ Venus discoveries could be transformational for Namibia.

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“There’s a new kid on the block in Sub-Saharan ’s upstream industry. After two successive giant offshore discoveries, is the hottest play in the region right now,” WoodMac said in March.

Reuters report said yesterday in a report that Namibia, as well as Shell and TotalEnergies, may have to wait until the appraisal and testing programs are completed next year to see if the early promising results really meant that the oil discoveries are giant.

The economy of Namibia, neighbor to the south of OPEC producer Angola, is currently valued at around $11 billion. If the discoveries are developed, they could double the country’s GDP, Reuters said. 

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