“At the helm of a new golden block”: TotalEnergies to spend $300m on Namibian exploration

TotalEnergies has decided to mobilise almost 50% of its global exploration budget to Namibia this year as it hopes to confirm a multi-billion barrels discovery on block 2913b within the Orange Basin. CEO Patrick Pouyanné made the announcement during the company’s 2022 Results & 2023 Objectives presentation this week.

The French major will spend $300m on appraising its Venus discovery in the Orange Basin with the mobilization of two drilling rigs and the drilling of several wells.

Hawilti’s Offshore Rigs Tracker shows that the Tungsten Explorer is finally on its way to Namibia where it is expected to start drilling this quarter. The drillship will start with the Venus-1A appraisal well before moving to drill new exploration wells into the adjacent Block 2912, also operated by TotalEnergies. Drilling on that second block will target the Nara-1 well and a potential Nara-1A appraisal well, which will both include drill stem tests (DSTs).

Map: TotalEnergies

The second rig, Deepsea Mira, is not expected before the middle of this year and will be mobilized for DSTs operations both at Venus-1A and Venus-1.

“We want to accelerate the time to market (…) if we confirm the volumes discovered, there is room for a fast-track development,” Pouyanné added, explaining that the company could be at the helm of a new golden block that would be “a new chapter of the old business”.

TotalEnergies hopes to replicate the tremendous success it has had on Block 17 offshore Angola, where it was able to start producing only five years after its initial discovery there. Block 17 is referred to as its “Golden Block” with a total of four floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels commissioned between 2001 and 2014.

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