The multi-national United-States-based energy corporation, Chevron, has reportedly paid US$100 million (around N$1.7 billion) for a stake to explore oil in the Orange basin offshore Namibia.
Online global energy publication Energy Voice this week reported Chevron invested after the US super-major acquired an 80% working interest in Petroleum Exploration License 90 (PEL90), which covers Block 2813B – about 200 to 250km offshore – close to the Venus and Graff discoveries by TotalEnergies and Shell, respectively.
The licence area is reported to be around 5 433 square km with water depths between 2 300 to 3 300 metres.
Meanwhile, Energy Voice quoted an unnamed Chevron official, who confirmed that Chevron Namibia Exploration Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron, acquired the working interest in PEL90.
“This acquisition further strengthens the company’s upstream exploration portfolio,” the Chevron official said.
The online publication further stated that before the deal, Harmattan Energy, the operator, had a 37.06% stake in the Orange Basin licence, while Trago Energy had 52.94% and Namcor 10%.
Harmattan increased its stake in the block from 14% to 37.06% in February this year.
“According to farm-out plans, Harmattan and Trago were seeking a partner to drill a wildcat exploration well. The companies have identified an Albian basin floor fan, they said. Moyes & Co. was overseeing the farm-out process,” Energy Voice stated.
About a month ago, mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo confirmed Chevron’s interest in acquiring a majority stake in Namibia’s offshore deep-water exploration block.
According to sources at the time, Chevron was particularly intent on securing exploration Block 2813B due to its proximity to recent oil discoveries.
This latest deal signifies Chevron’s first southern Africa entry since a few years ago when it unsuccessfully attempted to enter South Africa’s onshore shale gas industry.
The increased interest in Namibia’s Orange basin comes after two significant discoveries were confirmed earlier this year.
The first was Shell, who confirmed a discovery at its Graff-1A well, while the second light oil and associated gas discovery was made through the Venus prospect, located in block 2913B, operated by TotalEnergies.
“Following the recent success of the Graff-1 well by Shell, this second light oil discovery by TotalEnergies has demonstrated the world-class potential of this new play in the deep-water of the Orange Basin, which could be a major game changer for Namibia’s economy and its people. We look forward to the upcoming appraisal programme to quantify the extent of this major discovery,” said Immanuel Mulunga, CEO of the National Petroleum Corporation (Namcor) at the time.
The Venus discovery is located approximately 290 kilometres off the coast of Namibia in a deep-water offshore exploration block.
“The well was drilled to a total depth of 6 296 metres by the Maersk Voyager drillship and encountered a high-quality, light oil-bearing sandstone reservoir of Lower Cretaceous age,” read a statement from Namcor.
Meanwhile, the petroleum commissioner in the mines and energy ministry Maggy Shino also told the media that Namibia aims to fast-track the development of the first oilfield to commence with production by 2026.
Said Shino: “If we do this within the next four years, that will be excellent for us; so, as the Namibian government, we have pledged our commitment to the joint venture team to walk hand-in-hand with them... to ensure we expedite the field development so that we can produce as quickly as possible”.