Namibia gears up for drilling in Q4 2018

The Walvis Basin is showing great prospects for Namibian oil exploration. (image Source: Captain Smurf/Flickr)Oil exploration activity is expected to increase by the end of 2018 with drilling operations scheduled in the southern African country for September and December, according to speakers at this week's Africa E&P Summit


Garrett Soden, president and CEO, Africa Energy Corp, said the company, along with its partner, Tullow, will drill in the PEL 37 block in September, as part of its commitment to "near-term, high-impact oil exploration".

Mr Soden described Namibia as "a hot zip code" for exploration, describing the leads as "underexplored" despite the promising news from the HRT wells in 2014. He added that Namibia's two major ports made the country attractive for oil development.

Gil Holzman, president and CEO, Eco Atlantic, was also upbeat about the prospects for Namibian oil exploration. The company has stakes in four blocks - PEL 30 (32.5 per cent), PEL 33 (60 per cent), PEL 34 (50 per cent), and PEL 50 (72 per cent), all in "strategic locations" in the Walvis Basin. Africa Oil Corp is a 20 per cent owner of Eco Atlantic with a US$14mn cash infusion, and the company has more than US$400mn cash-in-hand. 

Namcor, the Namibian NOC, is a 10 per cent partner with Eco Atlantic and Mr Holzman told delegates "joining forces with an NOC is the right way to do business". He said the focus is on minimising financial risk and derisking through partnerships.

Paul Howlett, exploration adviser, Global Petroleum, told the confererence that the company is "hunting giants in Namibia" with the focus on the Gemsbok prospect. Global Petroleum's licence has been extended to allow plenty more time for surveying, drilling and appraisal, and a farmout campaign with Stellar Energy is in progress. Subject to the farmout being successful, a 3D seismic survey is planned for the end of 2018 to define a drilling location in Aptian source rocks. The area was drilled between 2012 and 2014 and subjected to a seismic survey in 2017.

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