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Oil Moves Higher on Crude, Fuel Inventory Draw

Oil Moves Higher on Crude, Fuel Inventory Draw

Crude oil prices ticked higher…

Shell Looks To Drill Ultra-Deepwater Wells Off South Africa

Oil and gas supermajor Shell is applying for authorizations to drill ultra-deepwater wells offshore South Africa, looking to expand the recent discoveries off Namibia into South Africa’s west coast, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a draft environmental assessment from independent environmental consultancy SLR.

Analysts believe that some offshore formations that South Africa shares with the offshore areas of Namibia – the latest deepwater exploration hotspot – could hold great resource potential.

Shell’s local subsidiary and its joint venture partners will need governmental environmental authorization before they can start drilling in the Northern Cape Ultra Deep Block (NCUD) in the Orange Basin offshore South Africa.

Shell and another supermajor, TotalEnergies, have already made large discoveries offshore Namibia, kicking off the Namibian oil rush in 2022.  

Over the past two years, Shell has made four oil and gas discoveries in the Orange Basin offshore Namibia.

The basin extends to South African waters to the south and the majors are now looking to tap into these areas hoping to find huge resources similar to the ones in the Namibian portion of the Orange Basin.

However, red tape and court challenges to drilling offshore South Africa have impeded the majors from exploration off the country’s west coast.

TotalEnergies has already bet on future exploration in the Orange Basin in South Africa. Earlier this year, TotalEnergies and QatarEnergy expanded their efforts to explore for oil and gas in the Orange Basin by acquiring a nearby license in the basin in South African waters. 

“Following the Venus success in Namibia, TotalEnergies is continuing to progress its Exploration effort in the Orange Basin, by entering this promising exploration license in South Africa”, Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice-President Exploration of TotalEnergies, said in March.

At the same time, TotalEnergies is reportedly considering exiting its natural gas discoveries Brulpadda and Luiperd offshore South Africa to prioritize exploration in other areas that are closer to Namibia, sources with knowledge the plans told Bloomberg last week.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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