Key takeaways from 2023 Namibia Oil and Gas Conference

19 August 2023

Key takeaways from the 2023 Namibia Oil and Gas Conference

To say the 2023 Namibia Oil and Gas Conference was a massive success would be a great understatement. From the opportunity to network with a wide range of experts from various fields such as Energy, Technology, Banking & Finance, etc., to the vast amounts of knowledge shared by stakeholders within the global oil and gas industry, this conference officially marked the dawn of a new beginning for Namibia and the continent of Africa as a whole.

During the two-day oil and gas conference held at Mercure Hotel (formerly Safari Hotel) in Namibia's capital, Windhoek, a wide range of information and data was shared with Namibia by experts from around the world.

Ileni Kiiyala, Namibia Oil and Gas Conference 2023.
Ileni Kiiyala, Namibia Oil and Gas Conference.

Some of the key countries that contributed invaluable insights to Namibia's oil and gas conference include, Angola, Norway, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Egypt, amongst others.

This exposure presented Namibians the valuable opportunity to engage seasoned experts and gain a deeper understanding about certain successes, challenges and failures encountered by those who were once in our shoes in regards to oil discovery.

In regards to specific organizations, we hosted representatives from Norwegian Energy Partners (NORWEP), the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, SONILS (a subsidiary of Sonangol), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), PetroSA, Shell, TotalEnergies, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, Ghana Gas, Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) and the South African Oil & Gas Alliance (SAOGA), to name a few.

Without any bias whatsoever, our favourite presentation at the conference would be the one held by Namibia's National Oil Company, NAMCOR.

For most Namibians, there seems to be this eagerness to find out when we'll finally get a taste of this lucrative pie and most citizens would like to know what sort of jobs they could potentially take up and how their quality of life can be further improved as a result of the our country's new-found oil wealth.

NAMCOR can, therefore, be applauded for providing a logical and more realistic overview of where we've come from, where we are currently and where we can expect to go as time progresses.

For the average citizen who had no idea about the complex workings of Namibia's upstream oil industry, the National Oil Company provided an excellent presentation in regards to Namibia's oil blocks and licensing system in the highly sought-after Orange Basin, specifically Block 2913A (PEL 39) owned by Shell, NAMCOR and QatarEnergy, and Block 2913B (PEL 56) owned by TotalEnergies, Impact Oil & Gas, NAMCOR and QatarEnergy, which hold the massive Graff-1X, Venus-1X and Jonker-1X oil discoveries, respectively. A brief overview and future plan was also provided on the La Rona and Lesedi oil discoveries within Namibia's Orange Basin.

Another highlight of the event was the Ministry of Mines and Energy's presentation on the draft Local Content Policy which, in a nutshell, is the need for international oil comapnies to, amongst others, transfer skills and technology to Namibia and her people, as well as give preference to local Namibian-owned companies in the procurement of good & services as far as possible.

Additionally, another vital presentation at the esteemed conference was by NAMPORT. This presentation gave us a broad understanding of the current affairs at both the Walvis Bay and Lüderitz ports, specifically in regards to their current capabilities as well as challenges in handling oil industry activities. It was very exciting to see plans of the imminent massive expansion of both ports and the positive economic effect this will bring to Namibia.

For those not directly involved in Namibia's oil and gas activities, the future also looks to be fairly bright as there will be an abundance of opportunities availed in other sectors essential to the functioning of the oil and gas sector.

These opportunities include hospitality (construction of homes, hotels, apartments, restaurants, etc.), retail (shopping malls, convenience stores, etc.), logistics (transportation of people and/or goods, car rentals, etc.), entertainment (guided tours, etc.), healtcare (hospitals, clinics, medical equipment, etc.), as well as the provision of safety gear and various other industry essentials.

We are greatly overjoyed with the fact that Namibia is on the brink of a major positive socio-economic shift and are equally excited about the professionals from all corners of the world getting ready to relocate to Namibia in order to assist us in bringing forth this great socio-economic change.

The people of Namibia welcome you to our beautiful land and may God bless us and guide us along this journey as we laern from one another and build a greater future for all.