More than 20 wells come up dry in oil exploration: Utjavari

WINDHOEK: Namibia has so far drilled 22 wells in its quest to find oil on the country’s 1 500-kilometre coastline, but all wells have come up dry.

Repsol’s Welwitschia-1A well offshore Namibia was the last to come up dry two weeks ago after the Spanish energy giant failed to find any hydrocarbons in the oil well.

In an interview with Nampa on Tuesday, the Executive Director of the Exploration and Production Department at the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor), Uaapi Utjavari said the drilling of wells is continuing, and there is still hope that Namibia will one day be an oil-prone country.

“Namibia is a gas-prone country, but the country has that source of rock which generates oil,” he enthused.

He mentioned the Brazilian petroleum exploration firm HRT, which has found oil in the first of four wells off the coast of the country, but not in commercially-viable quantities.

“We have proven that our rocks contain oil. It is just a matter of time to find the right place,” a proud Utjavari said.

He noted that so far, about 53 exploration licences have been issued.

Namibian prospects may hold about 10 billion barrels of oil.

Although mineral-rich, Namibia does not have any proven oil reserves yet. Angola, which lies to the north of the country, is Africa’s second-largest producer of oil after Nigeria.