Namibia’s Petroleum Commissioner Immanuel Mulunga says there is still hope of finding oil despite the latest setback after Brazilian oil company HRT announced that the second well drilled off the coast of Namibia is dry. HRT Participações SA made a low key announcement last Friday that their second attempt at the Murombe 1 well failed, two months after they discovered oil which is not enough for viable commercial extraction.
The statement said their second search “reconfirmed the presence of an Aptian marine source in the Walvis Basin despite failing to find the presence of quality reservoir in the primary Murombe objective”.
Mulunga told The Namibian yesterday that the announcement was disappointing as they had hoped for a better discovery.
He however insisted that such news is common because of the nature of the industry and that they were still confident of finding oil.
Mulunga said there are four wells scheduled to be drilled in the next 12 months, adding:
“We are still confident that will make the discovery”.
About 18 wells drilled in past decades have failed to produce commercial oil deposits in Namibia.
Business news agency Bloomberg yesterday reported that Chariot Oil & Gas, a United Kingdom energy company led declines among explorers in Namibia after a competitor’s well failed to find crude.
“Chariot fell as much as 14 percent to 16.5 pence in London trading, the lowest intra-day price since September 2009. Serica Energy Plc (SQZ), also operating in Namibia, dropped 5.4 percent. Tower Resources Plc (TRP) retreated 7.7 percent,” said a news report.
Meanwhile, senior officials in government are also not pleased with the manner the announcement was made as they were not informed about the results before a public announcement was posted on the Internet.
A source told The Namibian that it was uncomfortable as they were officially informed about the failed attempt three days after the initial announcement had been made.
In May this year HRT held a media conference at State House to announce that they had found oil although not in viable quantities.
That event was attended by Prime Minister Hage Geingob and many senior government ministers. Two HRT top representatives were present with their local partner Knowledge Katti.
However this time, only a press release was posted on the Internet announcing their failed attempt.
Bloomberg reports that Namibia has attracted attention from the world’s biggest oil companies, with BP and Repsol SA snapping up assets on a belt whose coastal shelf may mirror that of Brazil across the Atlantic Ocean, where the Lula discovery in 2007 was the Americas’ biggest offshore oil find in three decades.
The setback is not the end of HRT’s quest to find oil off the coast of Namibia as the Brazilian company plans to drill their third well soon.
Explaining their attempt in the Murombe-1 which is located 200km north-west of Walvis Bay, Chief Executive Officer of UK’s independent oil and gas exploration company Tower Resources, Graeme Thomson, said the results, although disappointing for HRT, offer further evidence of a working source in the Walvis Basin.
“The question remains: To where has the oil from these source rocks migrated? The multiple structural reservoir targets due to be tested by the upcoming Welwitschia-1 well all lie on a possible oil migration path given the regional structural closure provided by the Walvis Ridge”.
HRT said the well was drilled to a depth of 5 729 metres with the objective of penetrating two target reservoirs.
The company is the operator of 10 blocks offshore Namibia, which are contained in four petroleum licences.
Source: The Namibian
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