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Shell drilling the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia

18th February 2014

Shell will drill the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia, for oil and gas exploration

Shell drilling the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia (Photo: courtesy of the South African Journal of Geology)

Shell will be drilling offshore Namibia, an African nation that has become the latest focus for oil and gas exploration, reports Reuters.

The company has taken ownership of exploration blocks 2913A and 2914B in the Orange Basin from Signet Petroleum. Shell will acquire a 90 per cent stake in the two blocks and Namibia’s national oil company, Namcor, will hold on to 10 per cent carried interest.

Signet Petroleum shareholder, Polo Resources, revealed last week that Signet had sold its interests in the two blocks, “to a major international oil company in a confidential transaction.”

Polo did not disclose how much interest had been sold, but they did divulge that it expected a “significant return”.

Namibia is attracting interest from oil and gas companies that are excited about exploring the country’s offshore potential, which is believed to be similar to Brazil's Santos basin.

Isak Katali, Namibia’s mines and energy minister said that “The Ministry of Mines and Energy is very excited about the interest shown by a super-major such as Shell Exploration and Production in Namibia.”

Shell has also been involved in exploration work around the Kudu gas field in the Orange Basin, which is considered the only fossil fuel discovery in Namibian waters that is economically viable. However, the company left in 2002.

Spain’s Repsol announced last October  that it would begin drilling its first well in Namibian waters as early as February or March, the Welwitschia-1 well in the Walvis Basin, which it will do in conjunction with the UK oil and gas firm Tower Resources.


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