Namibia not ready to consider Opec membership yet

Discoveries elevate country’s profile as hydrocarbon basin
Namibia's neighbour Angola is a member of Opec, while other African countries with membership include Libya, Algeria, Gabon, Congo, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
Ogone Tlhage
Mines minister Tom Alweendo says Namibia is not yet in a position to determine whether it would like to apply for membership to the Organisation of Petroleum Countries (Opec).

This despite the discovery of the Venus X1 and Graff-1 oil wells by TotalEnergies and Shell respectively earlier this year.

The two discoveries have elevated Namibia’s profile as a hydrocarbon basin, but despite the significance of the potential of the two spudded wells, Alweendo said Namibia would only make its position clear once it has reached production status.

"That is a matter that should be considered only after we start to produce oil and have had a chance to weigh the benefits of joining," he said in response to a Namibian Sun query.

Membership interests

Opec is a grouping of oil-producing countries established to coordinate and unify petroleum policies. Its goals include ensuring the stabilisation of oil markets to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income for producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.

Namibia’s neighbour Angola is a member of Opec, while other African countries with membership in the oil-lobbying group include Libya, Algeria, Gabon, Congo, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

Eager to develop oil finds

Qatar minister of energy, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, said his country is eager to bring the two recently discovered wells off the coast of southern Namibia into production in the shortest time possible.

He made the comments following an interview with Network Television on the sidelines of a courtesy call to President Hage Geingob last week.

Qatar is involved in the recently discovered wells through its national oil and gas company, QatarEnergy.

"We are working very hard to try and expedite the appraisal, which proceeds to development and submission to government for developing the finds, and we are trying to expedite that as fast as possible," Al Kaabi said.

He said further drilling would continue in 2023 to allow for more studies to be conducted.