US energy giant Chevron completes Namibia oil block acquisition

American multinational energy corporation Chevron has completed a major deal worth N$1.8 billion in Namibia that sees it take control of a coveted exploration licence close to the Venus and Graff discoveries by TotalEnergies and Shell respectively. 

“Chevron Namibia Exploration Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron, confirms it acquired an 80% working interest in PEL90, in the Orange Basin offshore Namibia. This acquisition further strengthens the company’s upstream exploration portfolio,” a Chevron official said. 

The transaction will mark Chevron’s first entry into southern Africa since its aborted foray into South Africa’s nascent onshore shale gas play some years ago. 

The California-headquartered player, whose revenues surged to US$215.974 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2022, currently has its African portfolio centred on Angolan assets offshore Cabinda. 

Before the deal, Harmattan Energy had a 37.06% stake in the Orange Basin licence, while Trago Energy had 52.94% and Namcor 10%. 

According to farm-out plans, Harmattan and Trago were seeking a partner to drill a wildcat exploration well. The companies have identified an Albian basin floor fan, they said Moyes & Co. was overseeing the farm-out process. 

The licence covers Block 2813B, which is around 5,433 square km. It is around 200-250km offshore, with water depths from 2,300 to 3,300 metres. 

“Chevron has had a strong and enduring presence in Africa’s energy sector for more than a century,” the US company representative said.  

“We look forward to working together with our partners and supporting the development of Namibia’s energy sector through this exploration program.” 

In March, a Harmattan executive said the plays from the Venus and Graff discoveries extend into PEL90. The first step, he said, was to acquire a 3D seismic survey. 

Tullow Oil had begun the process of securing approvals to acquire seismic in 2021, but dropped out in January 2022. 

The Namibian government accepted the scoping report on the seismic plan in April.

SLR Environmental Consulting (Namibia) then began work on the environmental impact assessment. The period for comments closed on September 28. 

According to SLR, Harmattan intends to shoot seismic over the entire area plus an area to the south, east and west of the block, giving a total area of 6,175 square km. Acquisition should take around three months


Shell and TotalEnergies announced offshore drilling success in February this year. In April, Shell made a second Orange Basin discovery, also on PEL39, with the La Rona-1 well. 

Both Shell and Total are planning to return to their Namibian blocks, but progress has been slower than expected. Total had hoped to drill an appraisal on Venus around now but this has been pushed back until early 2023. 

Galp is also working on plans to drill a well in PEL83. 

According to the Namibia Petroleum Operators Association, exploration companies have sunk in over N$30 billion in the country since independence searching for commercially viable oil finds. -TheBrief/Energy Voice

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Last modified on Wednesday, 05 October 2022 23:53

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