Economic activities supporting oil and gas more impactful

Tujoromajo Kasuto

Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy, said economic activities in the oil and gas sector have a greater economic impact than direct revenue from petroleum extraction activities and licences issued by the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR).

‘’To me, local content has a greater economic impact than direct revenue from the oil sector because, if done well, it can generate more value than direct revenue from the oil sector.

Consider the engineering services that must be provided to these companies, transportation, catering, and so that must be built, and I believe that is where the value will be found,’’ said

Alweendo at the Namibian University of Science and Technology Public Lecture on Petroleum activities yesterday.

Alweendo said this is where the issue of local content comes in, much value can be created within the economy in goods and services that must be provided to the oil industry. However, he questioned if Namibia has the necessary human resources and skills to take up the work and if there is the required skill set needed for the industry.

‘’The question is whether Namibians, through their entrepreneurs, will be able to provide those services to the oil industry by the time they are required. It makes no sense for us to demand that engineering services be provided by a Namibian company when we know full well that we do not have such companies ready to take on such jobs,’’ he quizzed.

Thus, he stated that the question we must begin to ask ourselves is how we can position ourselves to be able to provide more technical services.

He thus urged local businesses to look closely into the matter and ensure the services are local and are not bought from other countries.

The oil industry has a wide spectrum of job opportunities, over the past few months Namibians have been urged to start acquiring the necessary skill sets and knowledge of what the industry would require and the opportunities that could arise, in particular during the production phase.

This follows the discovery of a working petroleum system for light oil by NAMCOR and its partners, Shell Namibia Upstream B.V and Qatar Energy, in the Orange Basin, 270 kilometres from the town of Oranjemund, where drilling operations began in early December 2021 and completed in early February 2022.

TotalEnergies, QatarEnergy, and Impact Oil and Gas, the company’s other partners, have also announced the Venus-1X discovery, which is located approximately 290 kilometers off the coast of Namibia in the deep-water offshore exploration Block 2913B.

Meanwhile, amongst other ReconAfrica through its exploration in the country, is hoping to discover the world’s largest and last ever onshore oil discoveries – after the company bought up the government licences to conduct exploratory drilling in 35,000 square kilometres across both Namibia and Botswana.

According to the company’s conclusions, there could be up to 120 billion barrels of crude oil lying beneath an area roughly the size of Belgium.

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