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ReconAfrica’s ECC extended

2022-08-24  Edgar Brandt

ReconAfrica’s ECC extended

Canadian oil and gas explorer ReconAfrica has received a three-year extension on its Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) from Namibia’s environmental commissioner in the environment ministry. The extended ECC is valid from 26 August 2022, until 26 August 2025, with the extension having been approved on 11 August 2022.

ReconAfrica is engaged in oil and gas exploration in northeast Namibia and north west Botswana with the Namibian permit covering a 25 000 square kilometre area in the northeast of the country. 

The ECC authorises ReconAfrica to continue drilling stratigraphic test wells to depths approved by the mines and energy ministry and the national petroleum corporation, Namcor. The ECC further approves completing a side-track of ReconAfrica’s first well, Kawe 6-2, in the Kavango basin. 

“The extension of the Environmental Clearance Certificate was underpinned by extensive on-the-ground and research based data gathering by our technical teams working in combination with our third-party technical partners,” said Chief Executive Officer of ReconAfrica Scot

He added that the extension further demonstrates how ReconAfrica is working collaboratively with interested and impacted stakeholders in Namibia, including local and national government entities and representatives, as well as with traditional authorities, as it pursues commercial development of the Kavango basin. 

ReconAfrica recently won a court ruling over environmental permitting for exploration in the Namibian portion of the Kavango basin. A judgement by the High Court of Namibia, issued towards the end of July 2022, dismissed complaints against the company. This is after environmental campaigners sought an interim interdict at the beginning of July this year to prevent ReconAfrica from continuing with any oil and gas exploration activities in the region.

Specifically, environmental campaigners sought to challenge recent amendments to the company’s ECC that were approved by the environmental commissioner and that enabled the company to proceed with its exploration campaign.

ReconAfrica has been facing staunch resistance from local and international environmental groups since it commenced with exploration activities in the region. However, the company was allowed to continue activities authorised by the ECC amendments while the court hearing was being decided, including the drilling of its 8-2 well. The court had initially deferred judgement until the beginning of August but the judgement at the end of July dismissed the case and applicants ordered to pay ReconAfrica’s legal costs.

Earlier this year, ReconAfrica confirmed an increase in its participating interest in its Petroleum Exploration Licence 73 in the Kavango basin after signing a letter of intent with Namcor. This agreement would see the company acquiring 5% of Namcor’s carried participating interest, thereby strengthening the company’s presence in Namibia’s key onshore basins.

The acquisition was to comprise five million common shares, which were subject to a hold period of four months and eventually US$2 million in cash. The agreement was described as critical, both for the company as it moves to expand its presence in Namibia, and for Namibia as it accelerates exploration and production across key

“We are delighted to enter into this strategic and mutually beneficial transaction with ReconAfrica,” said Namcor managing director Immanuel Mulunga, at the time. 

“The transaction, is not only less onerous but adds significant strength to Namcor’s balance sheet, as well as providing Namcor with exposure to the entire Kavango sedimentary basin in Namibia and Botswana. We have the utmost confidence in ReconAfrica as the company has proven to be a responsible operator in our country with an excellent track record in the performance of its work obligation,” said Mulunga. 

Photo: Recon

Caption: Continued drilling…ReconAfrica’s extended Environmental Clearance Certificate is now valid until 26 August 2025. Photo: Contributed

2022-08-24  Edgar Brandt

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