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Representing one of Africa’s final exploration frontiers, Namibia offered a comprehensive overview of its upstream exploration and green hydrogen production opportunities at the Invest in African Energy reception, hosted by the African Energy Chamber in London 

Maggy ShinoMaggy Shino, petroleum commissioner of Namibia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy during the Invest in African Energy event. (Image Source: Energy Capital & Power)

The emerging producer is uniquely implementing an integrated hydrocarbon strategy that seeks to achieve first oil, while prioritising the global energy transition and a diversified energy matrix, with two sister discoveries in 2022 positioning the country at the forefront of Africa’s upstream revival.

“The beauty of Namibia [is that it] will give you the opportunity of a lifetime,” opened Maggy Shino, petroleum commissioner of Namibia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, during her presentation, delivered under the theme, Namibia: Beyond Venus and Graff.

Last February, both Shell and TotalEnergies and their joint venture partners led commercial discoveries of light oil in the Graff-1 well and Venus-1X wildcat well, respectively, with combined volumes of 835 mn barrels – with even more scope of increasing volumes to 1 bn barrels due to Venus’ prospectivity. Now, the Namibian Government is inviting new entrants to accelerate exploration of its Orange Basin – home to a proven working petroleum system with five wells committed to date – offering an open licensing regime and availability of high-quality data.

One of the country’s most prolific assets is the Kudu Conventional Gas Field, operated by BW Kudu and currently in its feed stage, with commercial production set to start in 2024. Comprising nearly 600 bn cu/ft of natural gas reserves, the development is expected to reach a peak production of 64 mn cu/ft per day. Exemplifying Namibia’s integrated energy strategy, the project not only leverages existing infrastructure and targets regional energy security, but also supports energy transition solutions and provides for baseload power enabling renewable energy IPPs.“Kudu is the only field able to give you the solutions that you need. The product is ready,” stated Shino, speaking to investors. “It will give you a clean energy solution amid the energy transition.”

Meanwhile, Namibia is expected to become a leading player and regional hydrogen ecosystem, with competitive production costs – estimated as low as two dollars per kilogram – that make it an attractive partner for energy-hungry countries in the midst of the energy transition. As a result of hydrogen production, Namibia could boost its GDP by US$15-20bn per year, create over 100,000 domestic jobs, export 14 GW of clean power to the Southern African Power Pool and reduce GHG emissions by 45-60 mn tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2040. Home to co-located onshore solar and wind power potential, as well as abundant platinum group metals, Namibia aims to utilise hydrogen as a building block for associated downstream industries and by-products, including ammonia, methane and jet-fuel.

“Hydrogen creates an opportunity for Africa like no other,” said James Mnyupe, presidential economic advisor of Namibia, noting that hydrogen production represents a “US$100bn opportunity for Africa in the next decade”.

In terms of incentivising investors, Mnyupe noted, “We’ve tried to make it simple for all interested investors. We’ve put together a blended financing infrastructure platform – possibly the first of its kind in Africa. We are going to build a one-billion-dollar fund that will be investing in all pieces of hydrogen infrastructure – pipelines, transmission lines, and so forth.”