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Africa’s Energy: Namibia becomes oil drilling hot spot with 13 percent of Africa’s rigs

Namibia’s status as an #oil #exploration hot-spot was bolstered by the arrival of a third #rig, following discoveries last year by #TotalEnergies SE and #Shell Plc.

The Deepsea Mira entered Namibian waters and is preparing to start work for TotalEnergies, according to ship-tracking #data compiled by #Bloomberg. The three rigs are a record for the country, according to Victoria Sibeya, head of upstream for the National Petroleum Corporation of #Namibia.

The French oil major is already using the Tungsten Explorer for a multiwell program in Namibia’s waters, spending almost half of its exploration budget in the southwest African nation this year. Shell has the other rig, Deepsea Bollsta, under contract until June 2024, according to owner Northern Ocean Ltd.

Namibia now accounts for about 13% of all #offshore rigs operating in the #continent, according to Baker Hughes Inc. Activity has grown steadily since a slump in 2020, when just single drill was operating in African waters.

Sporadic drilling by #explorers off the dune-covered coastline has resulted in dozens of misses through the decades, but the three recent discoveries could hold an estimated about 7 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Gail Anderson, research director at Wood Mackenzie, said in a phone interview.

If the discoveries move on to a development stage it will mean even more activity in Namibia, she said.

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