London, UK (PRWEB UK) 14 April 2014
Nigeria and Namibia set to build joint oil refinery to strengthen bilateral ties and boost cooperation in the energy sector.
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan recently visited Namibia to discuss and sign off on 11 memoranda of understanding (MoU) in a bid to strengthen and diversify bilateral cooperation between the two nations. Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer (est 2.2million bpd) and with Namibia yet to be classified as an oil and gas frontier and underexplored this signing of an MoU to build a refinery in the Walvis Bay comes and a critical time for both nations.
In an interview with Dr. Emmanuel Enu, Executive Director of Exploration at First E&P (Nigeria) the major challenges sited for the future of Nigeria's oil and gas industry were that the industry is suffering from “inadequate funding of projects: lack of support from banks in the country as they will not extend loan facilities to oil companies.”
Measures are being taken to deal with these on going issues, currently there is a re-organisation taking place within the NNPC's (National Oil Company) top management positions as internal instability in decision making is to blame for slow paced on-going projects and decision making on future project applications.
If we compare the current struggles of Africa's largest oil producer to that of Namibia who are yet to produce a drop of oil we can begin to see why the two countries are interested in strengthening ties in the energy sector. For some time now there has been a hype of activity surrounding Namibia's oil and gas prospectivity (estimated 11 billion barrels of oil & and proven 1.3tcf of gas). The company HRT & Petrobras have also stated that Namibia has similar geological formations to Brazil which means that like Brazil there could be highly prospective pre-salt basins.
We interviewed the petroleum commissioner at the Ministry of Mines in Namibia Mr. Immanuel Mulunga to find out the latest on Namibia's energy industry. Mr. Mulunga stated that "Significant progress is being made with the Kudu gas to power project. The project has reached an unprecedented level of progress with the Final Investment Decision (FID) expected to be made reached by June 2014 while financial close is expected by December 2014.”
Mr. Mulunga said that the Namibia is seeing new operators coming on board to participate in exploration for both oil and gas. “Companies such as Tullow, Shell, Murphy, OMV and Impact have all recently farmed into several licenses to carry out 3D seismic surveys that will lead to the drilling of more wells in the next few years.”
In a recent interview for Namibia’s Observer Newspaper with Nigeria's High Commissioner to Namibia Dr. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi the mutual benefits of the refinery were made clear. The project is expected to provide a host of different economic benefits to both Nigeria and Namibia. Firstly the refinery will create jobs in Namibia and as a result will also give birth to a fully functioning downstream industry and all its tributaries.
Both Governments agree that there is an acute shortage of Namibian professionals in the disciplines of Mining and Geology as well as other technical practices in oil & mineral extraction. And with Mr. Mulunga and Namibia hopeful of a viable oil discovery on the horizon Dr. Olorunfemi explains that Nigeria can help Namibia with technological training as Nigeria has been an oil producing nation for over five decades. Dr Alorunfemi also stated that Nigeria had a lot to learn in return from Namibia, plans to invest in a join refinery allow Namibia to start producing oil products without having to import them thus over time becoming very profitable and Nigeria will also see shared profits from the refinery are an added investment. MoU's were signed in various different sectors to help boost political ties and improve profitability and cooperation between the two countries.
Mr. Mulunga and Dr. Enu are both scheduled to give detailed presentations at the Africa Oil & Gas Summit 2014 which will be held in Johannesburg alongside the largest oil and gas exhibition in Africa. The event will take place over two days and will cover investment opportunities, farm-ins, financial perspectives and the very latest exploration activity from across the African continent plus much more.
For more information please contact E(dot)mcdonaugh(at)oliverkinross(dot)com.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
The Africa Oil & Gas EXPO will be held in Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg on 9th & 10th October 2014.
The Summit is co-organised by Oliver Kinross. For more information please visit the event website, http://www.africaoilexpo.com.
For all media and press enquiries please contact Eoghan McDonaugh e.mcdonaugh(at)oliverkinross(dot)com.