Deepsea Mira (former West Mira) semi-sub rig; Credit: Seadrill

TotalEnergies boosts its stake in Namibian oil discovery with acquisition of more interests in two offshore blocks

French energy giant TotalEnergies has inked an agreement with Impact Oil and Gas Namibia to get its hands on additional interests in two blocks located offshore Namibia. One of these blocks contains the Venus discovery, which the oil major made in February 2022.

Deepsea Mira (former West Mira) semi-sub rig; Credit: Seadrill

Once the acquisition of an additional 10.5% participating interest in block 2913B and 9.39% participating interest in block 2912 has been completed, the French oil major intends to share the additional participating interest with its strategic partner and joint venture member, QatarEnergy. This deal is subject to customary third-party approvals from the Namibian authorities and joint venture parties.

Following the acquisition, TotalEnergies will own a 45.25% interest in block 2913B, containing the Venus discovery, and a 42.5% interest in block 2912 while Impact will retain a 9.5% interest in each license. Based on the agreement to transfer these interests to the French giant, Impact will be reimbursed for the past costs incurred for these interests, through a $99 million payment at closing. In addition, the firm will also be carried for its remaining interests until it receives the proceeds of the first sale from hydrocarbon production, secured via a repayment mechanism based on the company’s share of production.

Commenting on this acquisition, Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at TotalEnergies, remarked: “This transaction not only increases our share in the Venus discovery and remaining prospectivity on these blocks, but also represents a key step toward the development of Venus by consolidating the partnership and securing financing of all partners which will add value to all stakeholders.”

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Africa Oil Corp. also confirmed the farm-out transaction related to its offshore Namibia interests held through its investee company, Impact Oil and Gas Limited. The company explains that this farm-out agreement provides it with the opportunity to continue its participation in the Venus oil development project with no upfront costs and to retain further upside in the highly prospective exploration and appraisal activities on the blocks that have the potential to significantly grow the existing discovered resource base.

Roger Tucker, Africa Oil President and CEO, highlighted: “The farm-out agreement allows Africa Oil to retain a very attractive growth opportunity in a major energy project, that is expected to add significant reserves and production to our portfolio from the late 2020s through the 2030s and beyond, without stretching our balance sheet or exposing ourselves to the execution risk on a large-scale deepwater project. It also reinforces our view of TotalEnergies’ confidence in the development outlook for the Venus oil discovery and the follow-on prospectivity of the two blocks.”

The PEL 56, encompassing block 2913B, is located offshore southern Namibia and covers approximately 8,215 km² in water depths between 2,450 m and 3,250 m. Impact currently holds a 20% interest in this block while TotalEnergies, as the operator, holds a 40% interest, QatarEnergy 30%, and NAMCOR, the Namibian state oil company, has the remaining 10% interest.

This block contains the Venus light oil and associated gas field that was discovered by the Venus-1X well drilled in 2022, which encountered a high-quality light oil-bearing sandstone reservoir of Lower Cretaceous age. The well was re-entered, side-tracked, and tested in the third quarter of 2023, achieving positive test results. These results are being interpreted and incorporated into the development studies for the field.

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Further appraisal of the Venus structure was undertaken with the drilling and testing of the Venus-1A appraisal well. A third appraisal well on the Venus structure, Venus-2A, is currently being drilled by Northern Ocean’s Deepsea Mira rig while a second rig, Vantage Drilling’s Tungsten Explorer, is currently drilling the Mangetti-1X exploration well, targeting a prospect located in the northern part of Block 2913B. Mangetti-1X will then be deepened to appraise the northern area of the Venus structure.

In addition to the ongoing drilling operations, a 3D seismic acquisition program over the southern part of Block 2913B is currently underway. This program will cover an area where further follow-on prospectivity has been identified from existing 2D seismic data sets. These include Damara and Damara South prospects.

On the other hand, the PEL 91, entailing block 2912, is adjacent and to the west of block 2913B, covering an area of approximately 7,884 km2 in water depths between 3,000 m and 3,950 m. While Impact currently holds an 18.9% interest in this block, TotalEnergies operates the block with a 37.8% interest. Other partners include QatarEnergy with a 28.3% interest and NAMCOR, the Namibian state oil company, which holds a 15% interest.