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Wednesday, 05/17/2023 8:40:04 AM

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 8:40:04 AM

Post# of 265
From the Hot copper board V10: NEWS BULLETIN, 17 May 2023
Woodside hopeful of Namibian play following recent discoveries
WOODSIDE Energy Group chief Meg O’Neill told Energy News at the APPEA Conference 2023 in Adelaide that recent oil discoveries offshore Namibia could be just the beginning of a wave of investment in the region.
The oil and gas giant signed an option agreement with ASX-listed minnow Pancontinental Oil & Gas recently, giving it the right to acquire a majority 56% interest in offshore block PEL 87 offshore Namibia.
The permit is located north of the 2022 Venus discovery - which was declared the largest ever deep-water oil find in Sub-Saharan Africa by analysts.
Speaking to Energy News on Tuesday, O'Neill said the company was hopeful of a seismic campaign being undertaken across the block and said offshore Namibia was highly prospective for the company.
Woodside recently expanded the campaign to The campaign is underway and should be finished next month.
"When we think about our exploration business we want to make sure that it does a few things, first off that it strategically meets where we want the business to go," she said.
"The real imperative for exploration is we've got to be exploring for things that we can commercialise rapidly."
When the move was first announced it left industry watchers scratching their heads given Woodside's recent insistence frontier exploration and elephant hunting is off the table.
Late last year O'Neil maintained exploration would be targeted and close to existing operations that could offer tie-back options, such as within its Gulf of Mexico portfolio.
"Where we explore needs to be with a clear pathway to commercialisation...the oil industry has a track record of technical success and the commercialisation side takes tremendous time," she said then.
The Orange Basin has been home to some stunning oil discoveries in recent years but all are at the very earliest stages of development.
Woodside is paying for the full cost of the seismic survey estimated US$35 million in exchange for the option to join Pancon in the future. If it exercises its option it will carry the junior's drill costs.
On the broader potential of the basin, O'Neill noted that recent discoveries including Venus may just be the start for the African nation.
"Namibia is a country that, in the offshore, has been underexplored, but there were a couple of quite significant discoveries in the last few years," she told Energy News.
"We think the prospectivity is broader than that, and that's why we entered that agreement with Pancontinental."