Alweendo assures WEF over Namibian oil

Ogone Tlhage
Mines minister Tom Alweendo says government will do all it can to ensure its latest oil discoveries are managed for the benefit of all Namibians. He made the comments during an investor session about Namibia’s recent oil finds ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit in Davos, Switzerland.

Shell and TotalEnergies - together with their equity partner Qatar Energy - made recent finds off Namibia’s coast, signalling renewed interest for drilling in the area. Shell’s find is believed to contain as much as two billion barrels of oil, while TotalEnergies’ discovery is believed to be in the region of one billion barrels, according to past reports.

Responsible resource management

“We are going to manage this resource, knowing it will not only be beneficial to the current generation. It is in the Sovereign Wealth Fund that we will invest revenue. I don’t see how this could not be beneficial to the Namibian economy,” Alweendo said.

Namibia would also not backtrack on its efforts to help fight climate change because of the discovery of oil off its coast, the minister added. Instead, it would help the country gain net neutrality faster, he said. “We are not reneging on our commitment to fight climate change, but simply, it will put us in a better position to even accelerate our pathway to more renewable energy. There is no contradiction whatsoever - we are going to make sure this resource is managed properly.”

Expedite process

Alweendo said it was now up to the oil companies to ensure the oil discovered could enter the market in the fastest possible time. “We are looking forward to the process now that we made the discovery to where eventually the oil starts to flow. It’s one thing having found the discovery; there are still some processes that must be completed,” he said. “What we would want from our investors is that we accelerate this process from discovery to production to make sure we do not waste time.”