06 April 2014, Windhoek – Spanish oil and gas company Repsol Namibia, and its partners Tower Resources and Arcadia Expro Namibia, will start the drilling of the Welwitchia-1 well on 14 April, in their licence blocks 1810A, 1911 and 2011A offshore Namibia, the Ministry of Mines said yesterday.
The well will be drilled by the drill ship, Rowan Renaissance which Repsol has contracted for a period of three years to drill wells in Namibia and other parts of the world, a statement said.
Licence 0010 was one of the first licences issued in 2005 and has seen several changes in ownership. It was initially issued to Neptune Petroleum who later brought in Arcadia Petroleum, who after a successful 3D seismic campaign, in turn brought in Repsol.
The drilling is expected to be completed towards the end of May with hopes of finding commercially viable amounts of oil this time around.
This will be the seventh offshore well to be drilled in Namibia since 2008 and the 22nd offshore well since exploratory drilling started in Namibia in 1974.
The ministry has been very aggressive in its promotion and licensing efforts in the last 10 years with thousands of 2D and 3D seismic data collected over the lengths and breaths of the Exclusive Economic Zone that there is hardly a block that has not been intersected by a seismic line offshore Namibia.
Over the same period US$1 billion (N$10 billion) has been spent in Namibia on oil and gas exploration.
Last year the first oil sample in Namibia was discovered by a Brazilian Oil and Gas Company HRT, though not in commercially viable amounts, proving the existence of two mature source rocks in the oil generating window and confirming that there is an active petroleum system in the basins where the wells were drilled.
This has attracted additional interest from other big exploration companies such as Tullow, Shell, Murphy, OMV and Impact who have all bought shares in various blocks in Namibia over the past few months.
“We expect more international oil companies to enter Namibia in the next few months to participate in 3D seismic surveys and drilling of more wells. Even in the unfortunate event that the Welwitschia-1 well comes up dry the country is at least assured of more drilling of exploratory wells in the foreseeable future,” the ministry said.