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Home / Another Orange basin discovery for TotalEnergies…as supermajor buys into drillship stake for N$3.7 billion

Another Orange basin discovery for TotalEnergies…as supermajor buys into drillship stake for N$3.7 billion

2024-02-09  Edgar Brandt

Another Orange basin discovery for TotalEnergies…as supermajor buys into drillship stake for N$3.7 billion

THE hits keep coming off the Namibian coast for French multi-energy and exploration company, TotalEnergies with industry insiders reporting another success in the Orange basin. 

This is after Upstream Online this week reported the company has made another oil discovery offshore Namibia, although whether or not it is a commercial find is still too early to tell. 

The online publication reported an ultra-deep-water exploration probe was drilled deeper to intercept a northern extension of the company’s massive Venus discovery.

“TotalEnergies Mangetti-1X probe is being drilled in Block 2913B by the drillship Tungsten Explorer and was targeting a prospect located at a shallower geological depth than Venus,” the publication stated. 


Drillship JV

Meanwhile TotalEnergies, which is already active in nearly 130 countries, has increased its ability for hydrocarbon exploration by paying millions of dollars for a joint venture to own a part of the Tungsten Explorer drillship.  

According to a TotalEnergies statement, the supermajor has entered a 75/25 stake joint venture (JV) with the drillship owners, Vantage Drilling International.  

As such, TotalEnergies and Vantage have agreed to create a joint venture to acquire the Tungsten Explorer drillship, built in 2013, from Vantage. For this, TotalEnergies will pay US$199 million (more than N$3.7 billion) for a 75% interest in the JV that owns the drillship. Vantage will retain the remaining 25% ownership. 

The Tungsten Explorer is specifically designed for deep offshore drilling and can operate in a wide range of meteorological conditions. The rig has a proven track record of safe drilling operations around the globe. Interestingly, it uses a premium fuel specially developed by TotalEnergies to optimise consumption and reduce emissions. TotalEnergies has stated that with state-of-the-art managed pressure drilling equipment, the Tungsten Explorer drillship meets envisaged future global needs.

Also, because of Vantage’s extensive deep offshore drilling experience and longstanding collaboration with TotalEnergies, the JV company will contract Vantage to operate the Tungsten Explorer for 10 years.

“TotalEnergies is pleased to enter this agreement with Vantage to take shared ownership of a drillship, the Tungsten Explorer, which we already used in exploration and development activities in Namibia, Cyprus and Congo. Through this innovative partnership, TotalEnergies will be able to hedge deep-offshore drilling costs: the JV will provide us with both value and flexibility. We look forward to continuing our journey together with the experienced Vantage team that will continue to oversee the rig’s operations”, said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

Commenting on the joint venture, Ihab Toma, chief executive officer of Vantage Drilling International stated: “This is a transformative event for the company. This joint venture underscores TotalEnergies’ confidence in Vantage, and our client’s belief in the value of collaborating with a flexible and efficient drilling contractor. We very much look forward to strengthening our longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship with our esteemed client, TotalEnergies.

“The proceeds from the sale of the Tungsten Explorer will completely deleverage our balance sheet while putting in place a meaningful, long-term revenue stream leveraging our strong management expertise,” Toma added.

2024-02-09  Edgar Brandt

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