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Home / Equatorial Guinea to upskill Namibians for oil industry…local engineers to work and train in West Africa

Equatorial Guinea to upskill Namibians for oil industry…local engineers to work and train in West Africa

2022-09-02  Edgar Brandt

Equatorial Guinea to upskill Namibians for oil industry…local engineers to work and train in West Africa

Namibia hopes to gain valuable experience and skills for its burgeoning oil industry by tapping into the knowledge of Equatorial Guinea, where Mobil Oil (now ExxonMobil) discovered the elusive black gold more than 25 years ago. To achieve this much-needed skills’ development and a thorough understanding of the lucrative oil industry, Namibian engineers will undergo training in that country for the next four months. 

The agreement was announced this week by media in Equatorial Guinea during a visit by a Namibian delegation led by mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo, who was in the west African country to meet with high-level industry executives, and to tour the country’s liquefied natural gas facilities.

“We have an African country that has the experience and the means, which is why we are here. We have young Namibian engineers who will be attached to the ministry here so that they will have more on-the-job and practical lessons. This way, it will accelerate the process for us to build the skills. It is a new industry for us, so we need to start building those skills. This agreement will really help us, and we are thankful for that. As Africa, we need to start increasing collaboration among ourselves,” said Alweendo.

The Namibian engineers are expected to work and train alongside Equatorial Guinean nationals. This is as Namibia prepares to unlock the economic potential of discovered oil and gas resources. 

The aim of the Namibian visit was to strengthen energy ties and expand local content dialogue with Equatorial Guinea. It included a series of bilateral meetings, site visits and collaborative discussions to pave the way for further cooperation between the two nations. The visit stems from two separate oil discoveries offshore Namibia that were confirmed by TotalEnergies and Shell. The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) holds a 10% stake in each of the resources. While the volumes of the discoveries still need to be confirmed, it is estimated that the combined recoverable reserves for both these finds are approximately four billion barrels. If confirmed, these substantial reserves have the potential to double Namibia’s GDP by 2040. 

Alweendo was joined on the visit by Namibia’s Petroleum Commissioner Maggy Shino, Namcor managing director Immanuel Mulunga, and other ministerial officials. The delegation conducted a site visit at Equatorial Guinea’s Punta Europa Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) complex, where they gained insight into facility operations, challenges and successes. 

“Namibia has very recently had two discoveries in February, and it is time for us as a country to be able to engage and have collaboration with Equatorial Guinea so that we can embark on the next phase in our industry and understand how best we can do it, lessons we can tap into, and see what Equatorial Guinea has done already, especially in terms of local content, human development and industry on the ground. These are skills and lessons that we want to be able to take from them to develop our industry,” said Shino. 

2022-09-02  Edgar Brandt

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