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TotalEnergies and Qatar Expand Namibia Oil Exploration Into South Africa

TotalEnergies and QatarEnergy are expanding their efforts to explore for oil and gas in the Orange Basin offshore Namibia by acquiring a nearby license in the basin in South African waters.  

TotalEnergies and its partner QatarEnergy have signed an agreement to buy participating interests in Block 3B/4B offshore South Africa from the companies Africa Oil South Africa, Azinam, and Ricocure, the French supermajor said on Wednesday.    

Following completion of the transaction, TotalEnergies will hold a 33% participating interest in Block 3B/4B and assume operatorship, while QatarEnergy will hold a 24% stake. The remaining interests will be held by the existing license holders – Africa Oil, Ricocure, and Azinam.

“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”, said Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice-President Exploration of TotalEnergies.

QatarEnergy’s president and chief executive, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, said,

“The farm-in to Block 3B/4B builds on our presence in the prolific Orange Basin.”

“We look forward to working together with our partners and the relevant government entities in South Africa to further assess this block’s potential,” said Al-Kaabi, who is also Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs.

Block 3B/4B covers an area of more than 17,500 square kilometers (6,757 square miles) within the Orange Basin offshore the western coast of South Africa in water depths ranging between 300 and 2,000 meters (985 ft to 6,562 ft).

South Africa is one of TotalEnergies’ two targeted frontier exploration areas offshore Africa—the other one is offshore Namibia, which analysts say could have the potential to become the new Guyana for oil and gas exploration and discoveries.

TotalEnergies, as well as Shell, have already made large discoveries offshore Namibia.


TotalEnergies made a significant discovery of light oil with associated gas on the Venus prospect in the Orange Basin in early 2022. Venus in Namibia could be a “giant oil and gas discovery,” TotalEnergies said in an investor presentation in September 2022.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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