Namibia asks SA for help to develop oil industry

• Beneficiation strategy ‘at an advanced stage’
Namibia is engaging oil-producing countries on the continent and beyond to "learn from their best practices".
Ogone Tlhage
International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has appealed to South Africa to help Namibia develop its recent oil discoveries, as the country seeks to benefit from its oil riches.

She made the comments at the opening of the third bi-national commission between Namibia and South Africa. “Namibia recently discovered oil off the coast. This finding is commercially viable, and together with joint venture partners, Namibia is in the process of ascertaining the volume of the resources,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

Namibia is at an advanced stage of developing its mineral beneficiation strategy, which seeks to encourage local value addition. Meanwhile, the country is also looking to learn from best practices, Nandi-Ndaitwah said. “Namibia is at an advanced stage of developing local content policy for maximum benefit. In this regard, we are engaging oil-producing countries on the continent and beyond to learn from their best practices,” she said.

Mutual benefit

South Africa’s minister for agriculture, Thoko Didiza, said the recent discovery of oil off the Namibian coast is reason for the two countries to further collaborate in the energy space.

“The recent discovery of oil and gas in Namibia should thrust us to conclude modalities for increased cooperation in energy and green hydrogen for mutual benefit. This important sector will potentially enhance regional economic growth and integration. This can be realised through the implementation of sustainable developmental projects,” she said.

Oil giants Shell and Total last year both announced significant oil discoveries off the Namibian coast. The discoveries are estimated to be worth at least 11 billion barrels of light oil and up to 8.7 trillion cubic feet of gas.