Western investors can be forgiven for having the perception that China has bought Africa's energy assets lock, stock and barrel.
Last month however, a new oil frontier opened in South West Africa, which as yet represents a level playing field, with no Chinese investment as yet. Accordingly, investors should watch developments in Namibia, which earlier this month announced massive offshore oil finds.
On 6 July Namibia's Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali announced the discovery of vast oil reserves off the southern Namibian coast in the South Atlantic.
During his ministerial briefing to Parliament Katali said, "Enigma Oil and Gas, a company owned by Chariot Oil and Gas, has identified five prospects in its northern blocks of 1811A and B. The company again has contracted Senergy GB Limited to design a first well to test one of these prospects in the Tapir area, which lies in water 2,100 meters deep. Target reservoirs range in depth from 3,900 meters to 4,800 meters and most likely reserves, in the event of success, are estimated to be nearly 500 million barrels. Enigma is currently actively seeking a deep-water rig to drill this well during the fourth quarter of this year. Enigma expects to find oil rather than gas and would develop a discovery through a floating production, storage and offloading vessel on a fast track basis with first production planned for 2015/16. Currently, Enigma holds 100 percent equity in the blocks but is seeking industry partners…