Mopane-1X well hints at oil discovery

Galp Energy on Monday told investors it has seen positive indications of hydrocarbons from the Mopane-1X exploration well in the Orange Basin.

“The first well, Mopane-1X, indicates preliminary signs of hydrocarbon presence,” Galp said.

Although hopeful, Galp said it would be premature to reach any conclusions until the completion of operations in the block.

“Drilling and data acquisition campaigns are underway, making any conclusion premature before operations are completed and results assessed,” the company’s report said.

Galp initiated the drilling campaign on 17 November last year after it contracted the Hercules semi-submersible rig.

Mopane-1X is located at the southern end of PEL 83, a curious position as it is a mere 30km away from Shell’s unsuccessful, high-risk Cullinan-1X probe.

In September last year, Shell announced that the company did not yield a commercial oil and gas discovery at the Cullinan probe.

Energy and natural resources law expert Shakwa Nyambe says Galp’s move to explore in the Orange Basin was a sign of the industry’s confidence in Namibia’s oil and gas potential.

“The increased exploration drilling and appraisal activities will have the potential to further derisk the geology in the Orange Basin and provide vital data for other offshore basins.

“The increased drilling activities will also inject more revenue into the country and create opportunities for local entrepreneurs to provide services,” he says.

The Hercules is licensed to drill two wells plus an optional test well under a 115-day contract with SFL Corporation.

The Portuguese energy corporation Galp is the operator of PEL 83, where the Mopane-1X probe is located offshore Namibia, and holds an 80% stake in the block.

Galp operates in a consortium with the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia and Custos, who both have a 10% stake in PEL 83.

Custos is owned and managed by Namibian entrepreneur Knowledge Katti.

Katti has previously expressed his faith in the block’s profitability.

“The significant prospectivity of PEL 83, together with its relatively shallow water depth, positions it to be one of the most significant and profitable opportunities in the Orange Basin,” Katti has said.

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