Galp restarts oil exploration off Namibian coast

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Knowledge Katti’s company Custos Investments, together with Portuguese public listed group, Galp Energia, and Namcor, will take a new stab at finding commercially viable petroleum reserves off the Namibian coast.

This time, they say, they hope to use the knowledge gained from the previous exploration results of the drilling that yielded non-commercially viable reserves in 2013.

Those results were obtained through drilling carried out by Brazilian company HRT (High Resolution Technology).

HRT farmed those assets out to Galp in 2012 – a Portuguese publicly traded energy company that has announced the commencement of new exploration activities.

“Although no commercial discoveries were made, these wells provided encouraging technical information, which has led Galp to renew its commitment to pursuing exploration efforts in the country by acquiring the two new licenses,” the company said in a public statement.

Galp acquired two new offshore blocks off the Namibian coast last year – one in the Walvis Bay Basin and the other in the Orange Basin just a shout from the Kudu gas fields.

The interests in the blocks are held through a consortium that includes the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) and Katti’s Custos Investments, each owning 10 percent while Galp holds 80 percent. Galp has also assumed the role of the operator in the consortium.

“Initial exploration activities will include geological and geophysics studies and the acquisition of new 3D seismic surveys [in water as deep as 2500 metres), during the initial exploration period,” the company says in the statement.

They will carry out the exploration activities over a period of three to four years.
“If these efforts are successful and the consortium moves on to the subsequent exploration stages, further activities may include the drilling of exploration wells,” the statement reads.

The statement says the blocks are located in what the industry considers “frontier basins”, where someone has yet to make a first commercial discovery, in reference to the HRT discovery of non-commercially viable oil reserves in 2013.

Galp says it has also managed to set up a permanent office in the country since the formalisation of the joint venture agreement between Custos and Namcor.

“These developments pave the way for a new exploration campaign due to start at the end of the year,” the statement said.

Galp employs about 6,500 people around the world and has a market capitalisation of around N$170 billion.

The statement say Namcor, Custos and Galp have all signed two joint operating agreements.
The agreements govern how they “will work together during the project and allows the companies to focus on moving ahead with exploration activities in Namibia, which include preparations for the start of seismic operations and applying for the required environmental permits.”

Galp has been present in Africa since the mid of last century. Current African operations include activities in Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe, with operations that encompass oil and gas exploration and production, and downstream distribution of oil products to end users.

In addition, elsewhere around the world, Galp is one of the biggest oil producers in Brazil, where it has important positions in offshore pre-salt fields in the Santos Basin, which rank among the world’s most prolific. Galp is also present in the giant gas discoveries in the Rovuma basin in Mozambique.

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