Namibian Prime Minister Dr. Hage Geingob standing in for President Hifikepunye Pohamba this morning announced that offshore exploration by Brazilian oil giant HRT Participacoes em Petroleo, “found oil but not in commercial volumes on 25 March 2013."
These were the fourth samples to confirm oil discovery in Namibia, said Geingob at State House flanked by Joe Paul, HRT's head of exploration at State House this morning.The first test cost N$810 million.
HRT's results are from a well off Namibia’s Skeleton Coast that may revive interest in oil exploration after two failures last year in Namibia.
The Wingat-1 well has been drilled by Transocean Ltd.’s semi-submersible Transocean Marianas rig.
BP Plc, Chariot Oil & Gas Ltd. (CHAR) and Repsol SA (REP) all have stakes in offshore blocks in Namibia, where 18 wells in past decades have failed to find commercial crude deposits.
“A successful oil well in Namibia would be very positive for all companies involved in Namibia as there is considerable skepticism over the oil potential,” Anish Kapadia, a senior research analyst for Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. International, told local media last month.
HRT is the operator in 10 of the 12 blocks it holds in Namibia, covering almost 69,000 square kilometers (26,600 square miles) and holding 6.9 billion barrels in prospective resources, according to the company website, citing a third-party assessment.
Chariot and Eco Atlantic have interests in blocks neighboring the prospects being drilled by HRT. About half of Chariot’s 60,000 square kilometers of acreage is in Namibia.
The Skeleton Coast, a barren stretch of land south of the border with Angola, became notorious among European navigators after ships wrecked on its rocks or ran aground in fog. The name is said to come from the bones left behind from whale and seal hunts, and from the stranded sailors who perished there.
Chariot Oil, HRT, Eco Atlantic, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Repsol and Signet Petroleum Ltd. have local offices while others are in the process of setting up, Mulunga said. Namibia is still considered a frontier area, unlike Mozambique where major natural gas deposits have been found.