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Namibia Emerges As Key Oil Exploration Hotspot

NAMIBIA has become a focal point for oil exploration following several significant discoveries along its coastline in recent years. While the country has not yet commenced oil or gas production, major oil companies, including TotalEnergies and Shell, have uncovered reserves estimated at 2.6 billion barrels, with production anticipated to begin around 2030.

Key exploration areas:

  • Orange Basin: Site of numerous discoveries, including Shell’s Graff and Jonker-1X wells.
  • Luderitz, Kavango, and Walvis Basins: Prospective areas with ongoing exploration activities.

Latest developments

The US oil giant is set to begin exploration later this year. In April, Chevron signed a deal to acquire an 80 percent operating interest in an offshore block in the Walvis Basin and operates PEL 90 in the Orange Basin.


Eni and BP
Azule Energy, a joint venture between Eni and BP for their Angolan assets, has partnered with Rhino Resources Namibia. They agreed on a farm-in agreement for a 42.5 percent interest in an offshore Orange Basin license in May.

The Portuguese energy group conducted tests at its Mopane-1X and Mopane-2X wells in early 2024, estimating in April that the Mopane field could hold at least 10 billion barrels of oil. Galp has an 80 percent stake in the PEL 83 block, with the remaining 20 percent split between Namcor and Custos Energy.

In February 2022, Shell and its partners made an ‘encouraging’ discovery in an exploration well off the Namibian coast. Shell is actively exploring the offshore oil and gas in PEL 39 in the Orange Basin with partners QatarEnergy and Namcor.

In January, TotalEnergies acquired additional interests in Block 2913B and Block 2912. The company plans to allocate about 30 percent of its $1 billion exploration and appraisal budget in Namibia for 2024. TotalEnergies operates two deep offshore exploration blocks and aims to approve its first oil development in the Venus 1-X well by the end of 2025. Namibia is expected to begin production from Venus, estimated to hold about 5.1 billion barrels of oil, between 2029 and 2030.

With these developments, Namibia is poised to become a significant player in the global oil industry, attracting substantial investments and paving the way for future production.

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