Shell in Third Consecutive, But “Moderate Win” in the Rush for Namibia

By Maxwell Xhumale, in Windhoek

The multi-well campaign continues…First oil unlikely in a hurry

UK based major Shell, has announced the conclusion of safe and successful operations to drill a further exploration well – Jonker-1X – in Namibia’s deepwater Orange Basin.

The company’s third consecutive wildcat in PEL 0039 license was drilled to a total depth of 6,168metres in water depth of 2,210metres.

Shell is quite cautious in stating the hydrocarbon encounter: “Drilling operations established the presence of a reservoir with light oil”.

The Deepsea Bollsta semi-submersible rig will remain in PEL 0039 to drill further wells as part of the ongoing exploration and appraisal campaign.

But while clearly signaling its encouragement “by a further deep-water discovery, our third in Namibia”, a sentence like “Drilling operations established the presence of a reservoir with light oil”, is a euphemism for “don’t get too excited”.

Shell cautions that “further appraisal activities with dynamic data gathering are required to characterize the variability of rock properties and to determine the size and recoverable potential of the discovery”.

The company contends in its press release: “Frontier exploration requires a multi-phase process to establish a success case and after which it usually takes a number of years prior to reaching first production of commercial hydrocarbons”.

Shell’s JV partners in the campaign include Qatar Energy (with 45% working interest, like Shell) and NAMCOR (the state hydrocarbon company, with 10% carried interest).

“Jonker again demonstrated the Joint Venture’s strong commitment to advancing oil & gas exploration in Namibia and to progressing follow-up opportunities after last year’s discoveries. We look forward to continuing our excellent collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Namibia,” the operator delares.



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