Namcor Out to Lure Investors

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By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) is busy promoting the country’s hydrocarbon potential to lure investors in the oil and gas sectors. Recently at the 10th Oil and Gas, Trade and Finance Conference and Exhibition held in Algiers, the petroleum company booked a booth through which it promoted its oil and gas activities and the exploration potential of the country, both onshore and offshore. The country’s basins which have hydrocarbon potential include the Owambo and Nama basins, in which exploration activities are ongoing at present. According to Namcor’s Annual Report 2005, the petroleum company has a 10 percent stake in the Owambo Basin Reconnaissance licence. Airborne gravity and magnetic surveys were carried out in this basin, which provided valuable data on the regional structure of Namibia, INA Namibia holds the Nama basin licence. All together, Namcor has given out eight licences to explore for oil in Namibia. In Algiers it also promoted the competitiveness of the country’s good fiscal standing and legal terms on offer to would-be upstream investors in the sector. A display booth aimed at luring investors in the sector to Namibia based on the country’s working hydrocarbon system as well as other competent investment and political regimes that the country provides. Managing Director of Namcor, Joe Vatanavi Mazeingo, who attended the conference said the meeting was important to Namcor, which is seeking to be a world-class petroleum organisation. The company met with important continental industry players. “Not only did Namibia promote its hydrocarbon potential, but Namibia is most likely to join the exclusive oil producing nations club should the Kudu Gas Field come on stream early 2009,” Mazeingo said, adding that its was therefore important for Namcor to network on the future of the industry and hence stay abreast of new developments. A joint development agreement for the project was signed in July 2004 between Nampower, Energy Africa and Namcor, which has a 10 per cent interest in the licence. Amongst Namcor’s downstream projects are plans to establish strategic storage for oil and also plans to supply oil to southern Angola. The company is awaiting further instructions from the Ministry of Mines and Energy in establishing the 60 days oil reserves, which it wants to do in partnership with the domestic oil industry. The managing director said both West and East Africa have seen a proliferation of downstream activities in the form of refineries, pipelines and gas-fired power stations. “Several downstream expansion projects are planned for the region (East Africa) ranging from oil and gas pipelines to upgrading the existing refinery’s capacity,” he said. The current refinery in Mombasa, Kenya has a capacity of 22 000 barrels per day and it serves a large market. Plans are however underway to upgrade the current capacity to 200 000 barrels per day. “All of these represent a significant potential for the region and the future growth of the downstream business could open many more doors for Namcor to take our business elsewhere in the region,” he added. The purpose of the annual African energy conference was to provide an opportunity to key decision-makers and stakeholders in the fields of oil and gas, and the electricity and finance sectors in order for them to exchange views and share information on current issues. Topical issues such as high oil prices, how best to develop resources within the current energy market constraints, financing techniques in bringing projects to fruition, risk management and partnerships as well as cooperation were among the conference’s agenda items. The conference, which was organised by the United Nations Conference and Trade and Development, the Government of Algeria and the International Trade Exhibitions Group, was attended by ministers of mines and energy, national oil companies, international bankers and project financiers, oil majors, small independent oil companies and national power utilities from the African continent.