Following several offshore oil discoveries in recent months, Namibia hopes that the major oil finds could help it double its economy in the next two decades, the head of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) told Bloomberg on Tuesday.
Since the beginning of the year, oil majors Shell and TotalEnergies have announced discoveries offshore the African country.
“More than 30 years of exploration and we finally we hit the jackpot,” Jennifer Comalie, NAMCOR’s chairperson, told Bloomberg in an interview.
“At peak, these two discoveries could bring $5.6 billion to a very small economy,” Comalie said.
The economy of Namibia, neighbor to the south of OPEC producer Angola, is currently valued at around $11 billion.
Namibia could begin production around 2030 or a little bit earlier if appraisals for the recent discoveries support initial estimates and, of course, majors commit to developing those discoveries while they look to become net-zero energy companies by 2050.
In April, Shell said it was “very encouraged” by the early results from the deep-water Graff-1 exploration well completed earlier this year.
“Over the coming months, we’ll need to conduct further evaluation of the well results, and additional exploration activity, in order to determine the size and recoverable potential of the hydrocarbons that were identified,” said Dennis Zekveld, Shell’s Country Chair in Namibia.
Shell also made a second discovery in the Orange basin in April.
In the same basin offshore southern Namibia, TotalEnergies has made a significant discovery of light oil with associated gas on the Venus prospect, the French supermajor said in February this year. TotalEnergies also needs to proceed with appraisal drilling operations in the area in order to assess the commercial prospects for the discovery.
“This discovery offshore Namibia and the very promising initial results prove the potential of this play in the Orange Basin, on which TotalEnergies owns an important position both in Namibia and South Africa” said Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration at TotalEnergies.