Namibia’s Graff and Venus discoveries are important projects for the country, the region and the majors involved in operating and developing the initiatives.
Both TotalEnergies’ Venus Orange Basin and Shell’s Graff discoveries which were made during the first quarter of 2022 have not only left Namibia with world-class oil and gas findings but also represent important discoveries for the majors themselves. The value of these discoveries is evident in several ways.
Firstly, the importance of the discoveries lies in the massive amounts of recoverable resources. The Graff and Venus projects are among the world’s top 20 discoveries of the past ten years in terms of volume with Venus ranking as the world’s second largest project after Russia’s Marshal Zhukov – with 4,500 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) of recoverable reserves – while Graff, with its 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent of reserves, is ranked 16th.
Secondly, the discoveries meet all seven aspects and requirements for advantaged barrels, and hence, will rank among the top ten assets for both Shell and TotalEnergies. The discoveries rank high in terms of good rocks, low carbon footprint, timely developments, good fiscals, low breakeven, ready markets and acceptable above ground rick, and therefore, have encouraged majors including TotalEnergies, Shell, Eni and ExxonMobil to increase exploration activities and spending in the region.
Thirdly, the Graff and Venus discoveries will enable the Namibian government to improve domestic and regional energy security while driving gross domestic product (GDP) and wider economic growth. By prioritizing monetization, the Namibian government could add up to $5.6 billion in its annual revenue from the two projects. At the same time, the projects could expand government spending on infrastructure and local content development resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs.
While the importance of the Graff and Venus discoveries is clear, the contribution of these projects towards socio economic development in Namibia relies on the government’s ability to fast-track project developments. The discoveries provide an opportunity for Namibia to further strengthen its fiscal, tax, regulatory and business policies to kickstart exploration and ensure the country’s 11 billion barrels of oil and 2.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves are exploited to address energy poverty and to fuel industrialization growth.
Therefore, as the voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) calls for the Namibian government to accelerate partnerships with private and public sector companies to drive local content development and capacity building, while opening up investment opportunities that would enable the accelerated deployment of infrastructure and an increase in exploration activities to unlock the full potential of the country’s hydrocarbons sector.
In this regard, the AEC’s African Energy Week (AEW) provides the ideal platform for Namibia to learn best market and project development practices, as well as tax and policy reform mechanisms from other leading hydrocarbons producing countries such as Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea and Angola, that had similar sizeable discoveries like Namibia’s Graff and Venus.
Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy of the Republic of Namibia will lead the Namibia delegation to Cape Town which will include the national oil company and also many local companies that will be looking at entering into potential partnership agreements with strong service companies.
“Namibia is on the right track to ensure the importance of the Graff and Venus discoveries are fully realized. What remains now is the strengthening of policies and fiscal reforms that will push for the rapid development of these projects. Namibia needs to attract investments to build infrastructure such as refineries, storage, gas-to-power plants and pipelines to ensure the energy security benefits of these discoveries is enjoyed by the local people,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
Under the theme, Exploring and Investing in Africa’s Energy Future while Driving an Enabling Environment, AEW 2022, Africa’s premier event for the oil and gas sector, which will take place from 18 – 21 October, 2022 in Cape Town, will feature various representatives from Namibia’s energy industry including the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia, and oil and gas companies who will promote investment opportunities across the country’s burgeoning energy sector.
AEW 2022 will host panel discussions, investor and ministerial forums and high-level meetings to discuss the future of Namibia’s energy industry and the role the sector will play to make energy poverty history across the continent by 2030.
AEW 2022 is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2022 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments. Key organizations such as the African Petroleum Producers Organization, as well as African heavyweights including Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, have partnered with AEW, strengthening the role the event will play in Africa’s energy future.