TotalEnergies completes critical flow tests on huge Namibian discovery

TotalEnergies has completed more than a dozen flow tests on an appraisal well at its multibillion barrel Venus oil and gas discovery in Namibia’s prolific Orange basin.

For the time being, results are being kept under wraps by the secretive supermajor but any sign of hydrocarbons flowing to surface in a well is positive.

One knowledgeable source last week said that “big” flares had been reported at the Deepsea Mira. This was confirmed by Africa Oil’s recently appointed chief executive Roger Tucker, who said there were “major flares” at the well location. These flares, he explained, disappeared and reappeared on satellite images as TotalEnergies switched the flow of hydrocarbons off and on to assess pressure build-up in the reservoirs.

“So, we’ve tested hydrocarbons to surface at the Venus appraisal well,” Tucker told analysts during the company’s third-quarter conference call late last week. It is understood that the flares were visible on about a dozen separate occasions between 9 and 12 November.

Tucker said: “We would expect to see results in the next couple of weeks.”

The Venus-1X exploration well was spudded at the beginning of December 2021, utilising the Maersk Voyager drill ship.

The Venus discovery is a light oil and associated gas field, situated in the Orange River Basin, approximately 290 km off the southern coast of Namibia, and at a water depth of approximately 3 000m.

The French energy giant has allocated almost 50% of its global exploration budget, totaling US$300 million, to Namibia this year, with the aim of confirming the multibillion-barrel discovery in Block 2913B (PEL 56), located in the Orange River Basin.

Block 2913B covers approximately 8,215 km² offshore Namibia, and TotalEnergies is the operator with a 40% working interest, alongside QatarEnergy with 30%, Africa Oil’s Impact Oil and Gas with 20%, and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) with 10%.

Business Express/Upstream

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