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Oil exploration boom in Namibia

There have been discoveries in the Orange Basin and there are other prospective areas, including Luderitz, Kavango and Walvis basins

Namibia has become an oil exploration hotspot after several discoveries in recent years along its coast.

It has not yet produced any oil or gas, but oil majors such as TotalEnergies and Shell have made discoveries estimated at 2.6 billion barrels, with production in the southern African country expected from about 2030.

There have been discoveries in the Orange Basin and there are other prospective areas, including Luderitz, Kavango and Walvis basins.

Below are details on the latest developments (in alphabetical order):


The U.S. oil major is expected to begin exploration later this year.

It signed a development deal in April that will see it take an 80% operating working interest in an offshore block in the Walvis Basin.

Chevron Namibia Exploration Ltd is also the operator of PEL (Petroleum Exploration Licence) 90, an offshore deepwater block in the Orange Basin.

Azule Energy, a joint venture between Italy’s Eni and BP for their Angolan assets, and exploration firm Rhino Resources Namibia have agreed a farm-in agreement for a 42.5% interest in an offshore Orange Basin licence, the companies said in May.

In early 2024 the Portuguese energy group carried out tests at its Mopane-1X and Mopane-2X wells and estimated in April that the Mopane field could hold at least 10 billion barrels of oil following a first phase of exploration.

The find at Mopane, which is located at PEL 83, appears to be one of the largest made in the Orange Basin following successful exploration campaigns by TotalEnergies and Shell in recent years.

Galp has launched the sale of half of its Mopane stake.

The company has an 80% stake in the PEL 83 block, while the remaining 20% is split between Namibian state firm Namcor and Sintana Energy’s (SEI.V), opens new tab Namibian unit Custos Energy.

The oil major and its partners made what it described as an “encouraging” discovery in an exploration well off the coast of Namibia in February 2022.

Shell is exploring the offshore oil and gas in PEL 39, opens new tab in the Orange Basin with JV partners QatarEnergy and Namcor.

PEL 39 covers an area of 12,000 square kilometres and includes seven wells where drilling has taken place. Its Graff well could hold 2.38 billion barrels of oil and its Jonker-1X well another 2.5 billion.



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