Another ‘significant’ oil discovery springs up offshore Namibia

Galp set the stage to spud a well in license PEL 83 after entering into a 115-day contract with SFL Corporation for the Odfjell Drilling-managed Hercules rig in May 2023. The Mopane-1X prospect, spudded on November 17, 2023, was the first of two wells planned to be drilled with the rig.

Shortly after disclosing that the Mopane-1X well had shown preliminary signs of hydrocarbon presence, the Portuguese firm confirmed a “significant” discovery of light oil in reservoir-bearing sands of high quality. Afterward, the Hercules rig was moved to the Mopane-2X well location to evaluate the extent of the Mopane discoveries.

According to Galp, the Mopane-2X well has now been drilled to its designed depth, encountering “a significant column” with light oil in high-quality reservoirs. With the AVO-3 exploration target, the AVO-1 appraisal target, and a deeper target fully cored and logged, the AVO-1 appraisal target found the same pressure regime as in the Mopane-1X discovery located around 8 km to the east, confirming its lateral extension.

Maggy Shino, Petroleum Commission for the Ministry of Mines and Energy, remarked: “The announcement of another significant discovery and the appraisal success at the upper target is further testament to the hard work and dedication of the partners involved, as well as another demonstration of the potential for further growth in our oil industry. With this discovery, we are one step closer to harnessing the full potential of this campaign. We are proud to have achieved this milestone.”

Galp, which will continue to analyze the acquired data during the coming weeks to assess the commerciality of the discoveries, highlights that the Hercules rig will now return to the Mopane-1X well location to conduct a DST until early April. The license partners in PEL 83 are Galp (80%, operator), NAMCOR (10%), and Custos (10%) while Sintana has a 49% indirect interest in Custos.

Knowledge Katti, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Custos, commented: “The continuing success of the exploration campaign further demonstrates the scope and potential of PEL 83. We extend our further congratulations to our partners Galp and NAMCOR. This is another significant milestone for Custos positioning us for further growth and continued success underpinned by our unmatched position in the heart of the basin.”

The PEL 83 license is located immediately north of Shell’s PEL 39 where the basin opening discoveries at Graff-1, La Rona-1 and Jonker-1 were drilled, and close to TotalEnergies’ multi-billion-barrel Venus-1 oil discovery on PEL 56.

Robert Bose, Chief Executive Officer of Sintana, stated: “This third light oil discovery in the Mopane complex and the appraisal results at the AVO-1 reservoir 8 km away from the 1X location provide further evidence of the scale and quality of our exploration portfolio held through our local partners, including Custos.”

The 2008-built Hercules sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible rig, which is of GVA 7500 design, was constructed by DSME in South Korea. With accommodation capacity for 180 people, the rig can operate in water depths of 10,000 ft and its maximum drilling depth is 35,000 ft.

Aside from this rig, two more Odfjell Drilling-managed semi-submersible rigs are working in Namibia, off the southwestern coast of Africa, for Shell and TotalEnergies.

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