Privately owned Rhino Resources has set out an application to drill up to 10 wells in Namibia’s keenly watched Orange Basin.
The company holds Block 2914B, next to Shell’s Block 2914A. Galp is to the north, at PEL 83, where it intends to begin drilling on the Mopane complex this month. The Hercules rig has arrived offshore Namibia recently.
The nearest discovery to the company’s block is less than 20 km away.
Rhino’s block covers 5,338 square km. It is 140 km offshore and has water depths ranging from 200 to 1,800 metres.
Rhino is taking the first step towards drilling. The company must acquire an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA), as part of it its environmental clearance certificate. SLR Environmental Consulting is carrying out the ESIA.
SLR is holding public meetings, in Luderitz on November 14 and Walvis Bay on November 15. The consultants have identified 275 parties that may be interested in the process, including governments, fishing operators and environmental NGOs.
The company has not provided any information on timing of exploration in Block 2914B.
Rhino says it has been working in Namibia for more than a decade. It has a 75% stake in Block 2914A, also known as PEL 85. The company bought a 20% stake from Namcor, which retains a 10% carry.
Local Korres Investments, a unit of a diamond company, has the remaining 15% stake in Block 2914A. Rhino has not provided a public comment but would likely seek a farm-out before committing to its two-well plan.
The company designed and funded a 3D seismic survey in 2022, covering 1,700 square km. Early analysis of the seismic “gives confidence in the multiple play types identified and the abundance of drillable prospects”.
A first step would be to drill, and test, a two-well exploration programme.
A Namcor farm-out brochure, from 2019, on the licence noted HRT Participações em Petróleo had shot 3D seismic on the block in 2012. The seismic found potential Cretaceous turbidite targets, it said, with which Shell has had some success.