New Qatar MoU to boost Namibia’s fledgling oil industry

Niël Terblanché

Creating synergies between Namibia and the State of Qatar is pivotal to the development of Namibia’s promising petroleum industry.

To strengthen the cooperation between the two countries, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Qatari Minister of Energy, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi who is also the Chief Executive Officer of QatarEnergy, the state-owned corporation which operates all oil and gas activities in that country.

At the signing ceremony, Alweendo said that the new MoU is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two nations, initiated by the business relations already existing between the Namibian Government and the national oil company of Qatar through their participation in the exploration of oil and gas resources and their resultant discoveries of light crude oil in the Orange Basin.

“The MoU will serve as a consensus to cooperate further than the current petroleum exploration and production undertakings were strengthened. The agreement is also cognisant of the advancement of the State of Qatar in deploying its oil and gas resources into the development of its country, and the effective administration of their petroleum sector by QatarEnergy as a national oil company,” Alweendo said.

In the new agreement, both countries undertake to cooperate under the principles of the development of the Namibian workforce and ensure that the Namibian people, especially the youth, are capacitated to serve the developing Namibian oil and gas industry.

Through this MOU, both parties agreed to cooperate on a deeper level by sharing industry knowledge, expertise, and technical know-how to promote the advancement of the Namibian petroleum sector,” Alweendo said.

The leaders agreed that both countries are devoted to working together, to enhance the deployment of strategic investments for the advancement of the Namibia oil and gas industry.

The new MoU was signed after numerous discussions on the areas of cooperation which included a visit to Namibia by al¬-Kaabi, in Doha on 16 April 2023.

At the signing ceremony, al-Kaabi stated that QatarEnergy is pleased to further enhance cooperation with Namibia and to build on our recent successes.

“This agreement further strengthens our relationship as we work jointly towards a prosperous future,” the Qatari energy minister said

QatarEnergy recently announced a light oil discovery in the Jonker-1X well in the Orange Basin, offshore southern Namibia, adding to the previous two separate oil and associated gas discoveries in the same basin in 2022.

The State-owned company holds interests in three Exploration Licenses offshore Namibia that cover an area of over 28 000 square kilometres.

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