Offshore petroleum exploration activities planned

09 February 2018 | Environment

Otis Finck

Two companies posted public notifications via the printed media about their intentions to apply for environmental clearance certificates that would enable them to conduct offshore exploration drilling and well drilling operations near Terrace Bay in the north central area of the Walvis Bay basin

Tullow Namibia Limited and ECO Atlantic Oil and Gas Limited appointed and mandated environmental consultants Risk Based Solutions (RSB) to obtain all the pre-drilling, drilling and post-drilling consent endorsements, permits, authorisations and certificates for the proposed drilling operations.

RBS invited the public, interested and affected persons to register for the ongoing environmental assessment and consultation process or to submit written comments and inputs or objections with respect to the proposed drilling operations.

The deadline for written submission for the applications has been set for 23 February 2018.

While both companies intend to tentatively use Windhoek as their local headquarters, the shore operations will be based in Walvis Bay and the aviation support bases will be stationed at Terrace Bay.

Tullow Namibia is the holder of the proposed Cormorant 1 Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) No 37 which consists of blocks 2012B, 2112A and 2113B. The company intends to conduct exploration drilling operations in a water depth of -545m approximately 120km of the coast, 327km from Walvis Bay and 130km form Terrace Bay. The drilling operations will last between 35 and 50 days and will be undertaken using a semi-submersible drilling rig.

Tullow Namibia is a subsidiary of Tullow Oil Plc and partners ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), Pancontinental Namibia and Pantagon Oil and Gas.

According to the company website, interpretation of the 3D survey across the PEL30 and PEL37 licence areas has yielded significant prospectivity in shallow water. Tullow focused on interpreting previously acquired seismic surveys to prepare prospects in advance of making the decision on whether to drill in 2016. Encouraging oil plays have been identified in the PEL30 and PEL37 licences in Namibia.

Eco Atlantic intents to drill an exploration well in PEL No 30 covering block 2012 A which falls within the Walvis Bay basin and is located offshore north centrally. Drilling operations will last between 45 and 60 days and will be conducted using a drillship or semi-submersible rig.

Eco Atlantic is the operator of the Copper License which covers a 5 800km² area and holds a 32.5 % participating interest in the license. Tullow Oil (24% with optional increase to 40%), Azi Nam (32.5%) and National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor 10%) are the other partners.

The Group completed the execution, processing and interpretation of a 1 100km² 3D seismic survey in November 2014. Tullow Oil paid US$4.103 million towards the Eco Namibia’s share of costs whilst AziNam paid US$2.08 million towards the Eco Namibia’s share of costs.

The committed work programme indicates the off-take / production engineering assessment and planning for the first renewal period was scheduled for March 2017. An additional seismic acquisition survey of 500km², geological assessment and target assessment is planned for March 2019. The exploration well could be drilled after identification to target post 3D, no later than March 31, 2020.

Eco Atlantic is an oil and gas exploration company focused on the acquisition and development of unique upstream petroleum opportunities around the world. The company currently holds interests in Namibia through wholly owned subsidiaries, of which some are carried by Tullow Oil and Azinam, in four offshore petroleum licenses. These cover more than 32 000km² in the Walvis and Lüderitz basins and are located in close proximity to major blocks controlled by Repsol and Tullow Oil.

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