When you mention Shell, many people think of service stations, but did you know that Shell is also exploring for oil and gas offshore Namibia? Shell has been exploring here for five years, and in November 2019 hosted a celebration in Windhoek, welcoming guests including the Honourable Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo.

In Namibia, Shell and its partners NAMCOR and, at the time of writing, Kosmos Energy (now Qatar Petroleum) are in the early stages of exploring for oil and gas. Between 2014 and 2019 we completed three seismic surveys, and having analysed the data, we are preparing for a drilling campaign. This will determine whether oil or gas is present in quantities that could be extracted commercially. Our hope is that we will make a “material” discovery, with a significant positive impact on the economy.

So, with all this in mind, there was a lot to be proud of and to look ahead to at our celebration, five years to the day since we opened our small representative office in Namibia. We were pleased to welcome Minister Alweendo and many dignitaries and industry representatives, including from Shell headquarters, NAMCOR and Kosmos. Shell’s Vice President for Exploration in Africa and the Middle East, Colette Hirstius was visiting Namibia, with her colleagues Shell’s Vice President Government Relations, Ben Ring and Regional Exploration Manager, Menno de Ruig. All were delighted to join this milestone event.

The host for the evening was Shell’s Country Chair in Namibia, Dennis Zekveld. Dennis reflected on the efforts of Shell and its partners, but noted also the importance of partnering with all sectors of society. He said: “It is a privilege for me to live and work in Namibia. One thing that really stands out is the strong collaboration and partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, NAMCOR, other ministries, government agencies and enterprises and the private sector.” He also talked with pride about how Shell has partnered with communities and wider society to make a difference on issues such as road safety and pre-school education.

Dennis told the guests that while it is not possible to influence what lies under the seabed, he hopes that the continued exploration activities will enable Shell to have a long-term presence in Namibia which results in a thriving oil and gas industry that benefits all Namibians.

Shell Namibia Team

Pictured L-R: Shell’s Vice President Government Relations – Ben Ring; Kosmos Energy France’s VP and Country Manager – Guillaume Defaux; Shell’s Vice President for Exploration in Africa and the Middle East – Colette Hirstius; the Honourable Minister of Mines and Energy – Tom Alweendo; MME Petroleum Commissioner – Maggy Shino; Shell Country Chair Namibia – Dennis Zekveld; Governor of the Bank of Namibia (now, Hon. Minister of Finance) – Ipumbu Shiimi.


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