Shell, QatarEnergy, and Namibia’s state oil firm NAMCOR have discovered light oil in a deepwater exploration well drilled offshore the West African country, the UK-based supermajor said on Monday.
Drilling operations at the Jonker-1X exploration well established the presence of a reservoir with light oil, Shell said, adding that further appraisal activities with dynamic data gathering are necessary to determine the size and recoverable potential of the oil discovery.
“We are encouraged by a further deep-water discovery, our third in Namibia, and pleased to confirm the safe conclusion of the well. Jonker again demonstrated the Joint Venture’s strong commitment to advancing oil & gas exploration in Namibia and to progressing follow-up opportunities after last year’s discoveries,” said Dennis Zekveld, Shell’s Country Chair in Namibia.
Last year, Shell and its partners made two discoveries in the same basin, the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia. Shell is the operator of the PEL 0039 license in the Orange Basin with a 45% working interest, QatarEnergy has another 45%, and Namibia’s NAMCOR holds the remaining 10%.
French supermajor TotalEnergies also made a significant discovery of light oil with associated gas on the Venus prospect in the Orange Basin early last year. Venus in Namibia could be a “giant oil and gas discovery,” TotalEnergies said in an investor presentation last September. Appraisal and testing are slated for 2023.
The giant discoveries offshore Namibia could make the country the next producer of oil.
Namibia could consider joining OPEC if recent offshore oil discoveries prove to be large enough for commercial development, Namibian petroleum commissioner Maggy Shino told Bloomberg in October. Namibia is the southern neighbor of OPEC member Angola.
Namibia also hopes that the major oil finds could help it double its economy in the next two decades. The economy of Namibia is currently valued at around $11 billion.