Oil discovery will help re-image economy, Alweendo

• By Hilary Mare

MINISTER of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo has commended Shell, Qatar Energy and NAMCOR on their recent oil discovery offshore Namibia highlighting that this discovery gives the country a clear shot at re-imaging its economy.

NAMCOR and its partners, Shell Namibia Upstream B.
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V and Qatar Energy, this week announced that the Graff-1 deep-water exploration well had made a discovery of light oil in both primary and secondary targets.

“When the time comes, we would need to think boldly in structuring a recovery model that is in the best interest of all stakeholders,” Alweendo further stated this week.

The Graff-1 well has proved a working petroleum system for light oil in the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia, 270 km from the town of Oranjemund. Drilling operations commenced in early December 2021 and were safely completed in early this month.

“In the coming months, we will perform extensive laboratory analyses to gain a better understanding of the reservoir quality and potential flow rates achievable.

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Whilst we can learn a great deal from the results of Graff-1, we anticipate that further exploration activity, including a second exploration well, will be required to determine the size and recoverable potential of the identified hydrocarbons.
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“We hope that this discovery puts to rest doubts about the hydrocarbon potential of Namibia and opens a new dawn in the country’s future prosperity,” said managing director, Immanuel Mulunga of NAMCOR.

This week, it was reported that Namibia aims to fast track the development of its first oilfield to have production by 2026 following a significant offshore discovery.

“If we do this within the next four years that will be excellent for us, so as the Namibian government we have pledged our commitment to the joint venture team to walk hand-in-hand with them … to ensure we expedite the field development so that we can produce as quickly as possible,” Maggy Shino, petroleum commissioner at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said.

Shino said it was too early to provide exact volumes of oil encountered at the Graff-1 well or whether the new discovery was sufficient to be a standalone project or will require further exploration in the area.

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Shell holds a 45 percent stake in Petroleum Exploration License 39 (PEL 39) where the well is located. Qatar Energy also holds a 45 percent interest and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) holds the remaining 10 percent.