Windhoek – Namibia has light oil and natural gas deposits in the Okavango Delta, according to findings by Canadian company Reconnaissance Africa (ReconAfrica), which is spearheading exploratory drilling in the region.
After getting a briefing from ReconAfrica, President Hage Geingob said the discovery in the Kavongo Basin could be an epoch-defining moment for the country.
The exploration work has faced opposition from environmental activists, but President Geingob has said investment in the nascent oil and gas sector is welcome. At Independence in 1990, Namibia was the first country in the world to enshrine environmental protection in its constitution.
“We need the investors coming to our country to improve our economy. The Kavango Region (in which the Okavango Delta is located) is a poor region and needs the jobs so we need to welcome investors coming to us not discourage them,” President Geingob said.
He said undue alarm being raised by activists threatened foreign investment at a time Namibia’s economy really needed it.
ReconAfrica is conducting a low impact 2D seismic operation in the basin to acquire, process, and interpret the petroleum system for identification of hydrocarbon accumulations for commercialisation.
The Kavango Basin is potentially one of the largest onshore undeveloped basins in the world.
ReconAfrica founder Mr Craig Steinke told President Geingob that progress in exploratory had thus far been encouraging.
Mr Steinke also dismissed claims by activists who accused the company of using the Namibian drilling work to manipulate its share price.
“There has been a sentiment that has been created mostly by the United States stock markets that we are not revealing important information on our operations. This is not correct and we are determined to operate in the country in the set laws and,” he said
ReconAfrica was licensed to drill in the Kavango Basin in the Kavango East and Kavango West regions. It has so far drilled two stratigraphic wells in the basin.
Namibian Minister of Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo said the Namibian Government was closely monitoring the exploration work to ensure adherence to the country’s laws and environmental regulations.
“We are making sure that every stage of the project is done according to the law and also applied for through an environmental clearance certificate. The reason for that certificate is that everything done is approved and done by the book,” Minister Alweendo said.