Namibia has approved an extension to Reconnaissance Energy Africa’s environmental clearance certificate (ECC), covering the PEL 73 area.
The Office of the Environmental Commissioner granted the extension for three years, to run until August 26, 2025. The authorities approved the ECC on August 11.
“The extension of the [ECC] was underpinned by extensive on-the-ground and research based data gathering by our technical teams working in combination with our third-party technical partners,” said ReconAfrica CEO Scot Evans.
“The extension further demonstrates how ReconAfrica is working collaboratively with our interested and impacted stakeholders in Namibia including local and national government entities/representatives, as well as with the Traditional Authorities, as we pursue the commercial development of the Kavango Basin.”
Evans went on to say the extension allowed ReconAfrica “to plan and execute our current stratigraphic drilling and sidetrack programmes”.
Activists filed a court case against ReconAfrica in July. This intended to stop ReconAfrica from drilling over amendments to the ECC, which were approved by the Environmental Commissioner.
The Namibian court dismissed the application in early August.
ReconAfrica said it would “take all steps to oppose” the activists’ efforts from appealing the ECC amendments. These amendments allowed the company to go ahead with its drilling, including the 8-2 well.
PEL 73 covers 25,000 square km in northeast Namibia.
As a result of the ECC, ReconAfrica may continue drilling its stratigraphic test wells, in addition to the completion of a sidetrack to the Kawe 6-2 well. ReconAfrica drilled the 6-2 well first, in 2021.
The Canadian company launched its campaign this year with the 8-2 well. It began drilling this at the end of June, with the expectation that it would take up to 60 days to reach total depth.
The 8-2 well should reach a depth of 2,800 metres. The well will test the oil fill in the Karoo Rift, but will also test deeper formations in the Pre-Karoo Mulden and Otavi. The 8-2 is around 6.5 km from the 6-2 well.