Multinational oil and gas company, Shell, has spudded the Graff-1 oil exploration well in Block 2913A, located in the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia, where it serves as operator, partnered with Qatari state-owned petroleum company, QatarEnergy, and Namibia’s national oil company (NOC), Namcor. The well is being drilled using the Valaris-owned Ensco DS-10 drillship.
The Valaris drillship had previously been hired by Shell for two well-drilling operations in August this year, with the rig having recently won two one-well contracts to operate offshore Namibia and the island-nation of Sao Tome and Principe, with each contract lasting for an estimated 60 days. The deal specified that Namibian operations had been scheduled to commence first, starting its contract in November 2021, with its end-date set for January 2022.
Shell has been partnered with QatarEneries since April this year, operating in Namibia’s offshore Blocks 2913A and 2914B, both of which are located within the Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) 39, covering an area of approximately 12,300km2, and located in ultra-deepwater depths of up to 2,500m.
“We are sitting at the mouth of the Orange Basin; it is a major delta system with all the plays that you typically can expect in a delta system. This looks exactly like (some) huge discoveries that have been made (elsewhere). I think we are on to a world-class, prolific mixed turbidite-contourite system that should soon be drilled,” Shell indicated in a statement.
Namcor added that the spudding is indicative of a huge milestone for both the NOC itself and the southern-African country as a whole.
The announcement of the spudding, made by Namcor on 13 December, comes two weeks following the announcement by TotalEnergies that it has commenced its own drilling operations in the deepwater well, Venus-1X, located in Namibia’s offshore Block 2913 in PEL 56.