8 July 2011

Namibia: Oil And Gas Exploration Moves to Drilling Stage

Photo: Tullow Oil
An oil rig off Ghana: Could Namibia be the next African country to develop a new oil industry?

After many years of intensive data acquisition in Namibia, oil and gas exploration operations have reached a stage where information is available on the location of drillable targets. This is according to Isak Katali, Minister of Mines and Energy.

During his ministerial briefing in parliament this week, Katali said the country has to prepare itself for rigorous drilling activities in the oil and gas exploration sector starting November this year.

He said that the pace at which oil and gas exploration activities are taking place in the country is commendable.

"Enigma Oil and Gas, a company owned by Chariot Oil and Gas, has identified five prospects in its northern blocks of 1811A & B. The company again has contracted Senergy GB Limited to design a first well to test one of these prospects in the Tapir area, which lies in a 2100m water depth. Target reservoirs range in depth from 3900m to 4800m and most likely reserves, in the event of success, are estimated to be nearly 500 million barrels.

"Enigma is currently actively seeking a deep water rig to drill this well during the fourth quarter of this year. Enigma expects to find oil rather than gas and would develop a discovery through a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel on a fast track basis with first production planned for 2015/16. Currently, Enigma holds 100% equity in the blocks but is seeking industry partners to share the well cost or risk in this venture," the minister said.

He added that Enigma has identified 11 prospects as a result of acquiring 3000km 2 or 3D seismic data in the southern block 2714A. The largest of these is the Nimrod prospect which lies in a depth of 350m.

Katali pointed out that the target reservoirs for the southern block, 2714A, which range in depth from 2550m to 3000m are estimated to be greater than 4 billion barrels in the event of success of oil discovery.

The minister further stated that HRT Oil & Gas, a Brazilian company has managed to raise about US$1.3 billion from the Brazilian stock market, of which US$300million is earmarked for oil and gas exploration in the country.

Katali said that HRT Oil and Gas's commitment in Namibia is strongly focused on discovering not only gas but also liquid hydrocarbons.

"To date, the company has conducted step by step critical geological and geophysical studies, allowing them to demonstrate the existence of at least two active petroleum systems which can generate and favour the trapping of liquid hydrocarbons in commercial quantities. This finding could turn offshore Namibia into a great producer of oil and gas in a short period of time," the minister explained.

He added that the company will drill a series of three to four wells between 2012 and 2013, that could lead to a new discovery in offshore Namibia.

Arcadia Expro Namibia and Tower Resources through its affiliate, Neptune Petroleum Namibia Limited are the joint venture interest holders of License 0010 offshore Namibia.

Katali said Arcadia, as operator and holder of an 85% interest in the license, is in the process of a farmout campaign as a precursor to undertaking a drilling campaign as soon as possible. "License 0010 incorporates the offshore of Walvis Ridge high 200km from the Skeleton coast, located between the Walvis and Namibe Basins.

"The exploration focus is a large regional four-way closure, comprising four large anti-clinal structures and a number of associated stratigraphic plays," the minister said.

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