Namibia is bracing for the launch of its first crude production after major offshore oil discoveries and needs substantial investment to build new port infrastructure, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
The recent finds hold an estimated 7 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie.
Significant discoveries made in the southern African country’s Orange Basin in 2022 and 2023 have attracted oil and gas supermajors, including TotalEnergies, Shell, Chevron, and ExxonMobil, as well as multinational energy corporations such as Galp and QatarEnergy.
In early March, Namibia made its third major oil discovery in the Orange Basin, with Shell and QatarEnergy having successfully drilled the Jonker-1X exploration project, leading to increased exploration and appraisal activities in the country.
Now, it wants 40 billion Namibian dollars ($2.1 billion) in private capital to develop a project in Walvis Bay and Luderitz, which includes the construction of new docks and quay walls to support drilling services, according to Ports Authority Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kanime.
“We are hoping to commence with the operation in the last quarter of next year, which will take about three years at most,” he said in an interview.
About 13% of rigs working in African waters are currently involved in offshore activity, making Namibia an exploration hot-spot.
As part of the expansion, the country’s authorities are planning to build a second port in Luderitz, as well as infrastructure for multiple-platform vessels. Namport, the National Port of Namibia, will provide land for the project and invite private investors to establish operations, Kanime added.
“As a port authority we are moving toward a landlord model,” he said. “We want private companies with both technical expertise and financial resources to invest in this space.”
State oil company Namcor expects its first crude production to start as early as 2029.