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Qatar to Fast-Track Namibian Hydrocarbon Developments

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Following the announcement of two large-scale oil and gas discoveries offshore Namibia earlier this year, Qatar’s Energy Minister and CEO of state-owned Qatar Energy, H.E. Eng. Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi, has made clear his country and company’s commitment to accelerating the development of these highly-anticipated discoveries.

Speaking during a visit to the southern African country this week, H.E. Eng. Al Kaabi emphasized that Qatar Energy – as joint venture partner of both the Venus X1 and Graff-1 wells, where the discoveries were made – is looking at speeding up the development of these oil wells in collaboration with project partners.

In this regard, and according to H.E. Eng. Al Kaabi, drilling works for the discoveries are being set for 2023 to provide improved clarity regarding the finds’ deliverability and capability. 

“We are trying to expedite that as fast as possible to ensure we can get the development finalized,” stated H.E. Eng. Al Kaabi as reported on Reuters, adding that, “These developments always take years to develop, it is not something that can be done very fast and this is deep offshore development, so it has its complications.”

The visit itself centered around fast-tracking development with H.E. Eng. Al Kaabi meeting with H.E. Tom Alweendo, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, about Qatar Energy’s strategy for the development of the discoveries.

According to H.E. Eng. Al Kaabi, “the talks during the visit concerned bilateral relations and cooperation between Qatar and Namibia in the field of energy and ways to further strengthen them. The talks also focused on Qatar Energy’s plans as the largest international shareholder in the Orange Basin coastal zone and its partners in relation to the recently discovered significant Venus and Graff deposits, including prioritizing their development and further research.”

For Qatar Energy, the development of these discoveries will expand the company’s already strong upstream portfolio while for Namibia, bring online critical oil and gas supplies that will help alleviate the southern African region’s energy crisis. For their part, the discoveries represent one of the largest in Africa this year, with H.E. Minister Alweendo stating, during the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 conference in September, that “We have been lucky to make two substantial discoveries. This was after 30 years of exploration. What helped us was that we never gave up. Our licensing systems are attractive for people. Our turnaround time for evaluating applications for licensing has been really efficient. We persevered and the exploration companies were with us during this time.”

The 2023 edition of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power conference and exhibition is set to take place next year in Mauritania, and will once again unite public and private sector executives from both the West African and wider continental region. Representing southern Africa, and with Namibia making a strong play for investment at this year’s MSGBC conference, the country is set to provide updates on the development of its two sizeable discoveries at the 2023 edition. With Qatar Energy looking at accelerating the development of these discoveries, Namibia’s oil and gas future is highly optimistic.

For more information about MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023, keep watching for updates!

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Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands is the Deputy Editor at Energy Capital & Power. She holds a Higher Certificate in Professional Photography and Masters in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town. Charné writes content for ECP's website and events as well as co-authored African Energy Chamber: Road to Recovery.