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Thursday, 11/09/2023 9:13:00 AM

Thursday, November 09, 2023 9:13:00 AM

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Hercules oil rig arrives at Walvis Bay

H I G H LY E F F I - CIENT’ ... The Hercules semi-submersible oil rig has arrived at the coast. The rig, which boasts a stateof- the-art, highly efficient drilling system, will drill in PEL 83.
Suzie Shefeni
8 November 2023

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) welcomed the arrival of the Hercules semi-submersible rig last week.

The rig arrived at Walvis Bay last Tuesday.

Namcor spokesperson Utaara Hoveka said the company welcomes progress towards the exploration of oil reserves in Namibia.

“This is a positive build-up to the oil discoveries already made, and an opportunity to potentially further discover more oil reserves on Namibian territory.

“As the country is largely underexplored, we see every exploration activity as an opportunity to gain insight in Namibia’s hydrocarbon prospectivity from well data to be acquired, which would ultimately amplify potential hydrocarbon discoveries in future,” she said.

The Hercules rig has been contracted by Galp Energia, operating in a consortium with Namcor and Custos Investments.

Galp holds an 80% interest in the project, while Namcor and Custos Investments both hold 10% shares individually.

The rig will explore offshore in the Petroleum Exploration Licence 83 (PEL 83) area. The exploration zone is located in the Orange Basin, 150km off the Namibian coast.

The Hercules rig has been contracted for 115 days. The contracting period will cover two well explorations and optional well testing. The initial target will be the Mopane complex at the southern end of PEL 83.

Custos Energy is owned by Namibian entrepreneur Knowledge Katti, who has a 51% share in the company.

Katti noted the significance of the Mopane complex in a press release from Custos Energy.

The oil-in-place estimations show that Mopane may contain 10 billion barrels of oil.

“Mopane represents one of the most significant and attractive known opportunities in the basin today. The significant prospectivity of PEL 83, together with its relatively shallower water depth position it to be one of the most significant and profitable developments in the Orange Basin,’’ Katti said.

The basin is one of the world’s most prospective oil and gas regions.

It is the site of several appraisal and exploration wells operated by Shell, including Jonker-1X, Venus-1X and Graff-1X.

Maggy Shino, the petroleum commissioner in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, says the ministry is enthusiastic about the upcoming drilling campaign.

“This drilling marks Namibia’s commitment to advancing energy exploration and our contribution to the ever-growing global energy demand.

“As we are taking strides towards a more sustainable and energy secure future, we will embark on this journey with the objective of unlocking the vital energy resources located within the prolific Orange Basin.

“We are looking forward to the potential these blocks hold for our country and the industry at large.”

Galp concluded its three-dimensional seismic acquisition campaign in 2019.

In June last year, the mines ministry approved an extension of the first renewal exploration period for PEL 83.

The initial exploration period will expire in January.