TotalEnergies hits new oil well, acquires new drillship

Total Energies

French oil and gas company TotalEnergies says its latest deepwater drilling effort offshore Namibia has yielded positive results, suggesting another potential oil discovery.

In a report by, the company says this new development comes as assessments regarding its commercial viability remain underway.

According to reports, the drilling operation also targeted a northern extension of Total’s extensive Venus oil discovery.

In 2022, Total made a significant discovery of light oil with associated gas on the Venus prospect, located in block 2913B, which covers approximately 8,215 km2 in the Orange Basin offshore southern Namibia.

According to reports, the Venus 1-X well encountered approximately 84 metres of net oil pay in a good-quality lower cretaceous reservoir.

The breakthrough follows a recent collaboration between TotalEnergies and Vantage Drilling International.

The companies have signed a binding agreement to establish a new joint venture that will acquire the Tungsten Explorer drillship from Vantage.

Under the terms of agreement TotalEnergies will pay US$199 million (N$3,78 billion) for a 75% interest in the joint venture that owns the rig, with Vantage retaining the remaining 25%.

Leveraging Vantage’s extensive experience in deep offshore drilling and its longstanding partnership with TotalEnergies, the joint venture will engage Vantage to operate the Tungsten Explorer for 10 years.

Patrick Pouyanneg, the chairman and chief executive of TotalEnergies, has expressed satisfaction with the agreement: “TotalEnergies is pleased with this agreement with Vantage to take shared ownership of a drillship, the Tungsten Explorer, which we already used in exploration and development activities in Namibia, Cyprus and Congo.”

He says the innovative partnership would provide Total with both value and flexibility, allowing them to manage deep-offshore drilling costs effectively.

Ihab Toma, the chief executive officer of Vantage Drilling International, describes the joint venture as a transformative event for the company.

“This joint venture underscores TotalEnergies’ confidence in Vantage and our client’s belief in the value of collaborating with a flexible and efficient drill contractor,” he says.

He says the proceeds from the sale of the Tungsten Explorer would significantly reduce the company’s debt, while establishing a long-term revenue stream.

The Tungsten Explorer, built in 2013, is a renowned offshore drillship designed for deep offshore drilling, with a proven track record of safe drilling operations worldwide.

Currently deployed in Namibia on the Mangetti-1X well, the Tungsten Explorer utilises Excellium additives, a premium fuel developed by TotalEnergies to optimise consumption and reduce emissions – marking a pioneering effort for the company.

TotalEnergies and Vantage Drilling International anticipate that Tungsten Explorer, with its hook load capacity of 2,5 million pounds, offline capabilities and state-of the art managed pressure drilling equipment, is well equipped to meet TotalEnergies’ envisaged future global drilling needs.

TotalEnergies has a 40% working interest, alongside QatarEnergy on 30%, Impact Oil and Gas with 20%, and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia owning 10%.

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