Chevron has contracted SLR Environment Consulting to undertake an environmental and social impact assessment for an oil exploration project in the Orange Basin.
The impact assessment project leader, Nicholas Arnott, says the exploration project will continue to the development phase should the company find a substantial deposit of hydrocarbons in block 2813B.
“The proposed exploration project is intended to inform the extent, nature, and economic feasibility of pursuing the production of hydrocarbon resources.
“The purpose of the project is to drill exploratory wells to assess the potential to develop oil and gas resources,” he says.
The assessment is conducted as part of the requirements to obtain an environmental clearance certificate from the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.
This certificate is a prerequisite for the project to commence drilling.
SLR Environment Consulting also conducted the environmental assessment for Chevron’s 3D seismic survey last year.
The project will be led by Arnott and supported by Sue Reuther and Jeremy Blood as environment consultants.
Chevron is working on the block with its affiliate, Harmattan Energy, which holds an exploration licence for block 2813B off the southern coast of Namibia.
The company intends to drill up to five exploration wells and five appraisal wells within the block.
The block is in close proximity to recent oil discoveries by Shell and Total Energies.
The block is to the right of Galp’s exploration in collaboration with Sintana Energy and Namcor.
Harmattan already holds an environmental clearance certificate to conduct a three-dimensional seismic survey.
The certificate was issued in June.
Oil commissioner Maggy Shino emphasised the need for environmentally sustainable approaches in the face of a high global energy demand at a public seminar on navigating oil sustainability last Wednesday.
“Our collective duty is very clear: We need to meet these energy needs while doing so, safeguarding our planet and also its precious ecosystem,” she said.
The environmental and social impact assessment will assess the potential impact of the project on the marine and coastal environment during normal drilling operations.
It will also assess the impact of upset conditions like small accidental and large blow-up spills.