Namcor anticipates more oil discoveries

Steve Nashama

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) has made a third oil discovery with partners Shell and QatarEnergy in the Jonker-1X deep-water exploration well in Block 2913A & 2914B in the Orange Basin, offshore southern Namibia.

Namcor’s Managing Director, Immanuel Mulunga, says they have proven beyond reasonable doubt that the Orange Basin contains multi-billion barrels of oil and gas reserves. The company’s Spokesperson, Paulo Coelho, reveals that the drilling operations commenced in December 2022 and were completed safely early this month. The Jonker-1X discovery is the third well drilled on the license held by Shell within a year. It is located on the coast of Namibia about 270 kilometres, in the deep-water offshore, he says.

According to Coelho, the acquired data is being evaluated, and further appraisal drilling is planned to determine the size and potential of the discovery. Shell Namibia B.V and QatarEnergy each hold a forty-five per cent stake in the joint venture while state-owned Namcor has ten per cent, he says.

Mulunga adds that they are delighted to announce the third oil discovery after the success of the Graff-1X and Venus-1X discoveries by Shell and TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) in 2022. This discovery has proven the exciting and world-class potential of the deep-water Orange Basin, he adds.

Mulunga further explains that the ‘light oil discovery’, which is now referred to as the third oil discovery is basically the best type of oil an exploration company would want to discover because it fetches good prices in the market since it is very easy to refine.

He adds that the third discovery in this particular license of Shell, QatarEnergy and Namcor is positive news after the initial discovery the subsequent two wells also yielded discoveries. Last February TotalEnergies announced the initial discovery in Namibia, weeks after Shell Plc also drilled a successful offshore well in the country’s territory – Graff-1X.

Meanwhile, Namcor announced the second discovery, the Venus-1X discovery, which is located approximately 290 kilometres off the coast of Namibia, in the deep-water offshore exploration block. The well was drilled to a total depth of 6,296 metres, by the Maersk Voyager drillship, and encountered a high-quality, light oil-bearing sandstone reservoir of Lower Cretaceous age.

Mulunga last year said following the recent success of the Graff-1 well by Shell, the second light oil discovery by TotalEnergies has demonstrated the world-class potential of the new play in the deep water of the Orange Basin, which could be a major game changer for Namibia’s economy and its people.

Former Minister of Mines and Energy, Obeth Kandjoze, said oil discovery is all good for Namibians, adding that he could not comment more since he is now far from the Ministry of Mines and Energy. “There is a minister and a deputy minister, perhaps you get a response from them,” he says.

Executive: Upstream Exploration, Victoria Sibeya, says Namcor has appreciated its partners, Shell (Operator) and QatarEnergy, for safely drilling the Jonker-1X deep-water well, adding that the encouraging results from the well are a geological testimony of the significant hydrocarbon potential in the deep-water play of the Orange Basin.

“We look forward to the appraisal activities and our collaborative relationship with our Joint Venture partners and our shareholder, the Government of the Republic of Namibia, to fully assess the commerciality of this discovery,” Sibeya says.

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