Shell and its partners have made a light oil discovery in the offshore Namibia exploration license PEL 0039 following the drilling of the Jonker-1X well.

The company is the operator of the Namibian block with a stake of 45%. Its partners include QatarEnergy and National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), which hold stakes of 45% and 10%, respectively.

According to Shell, the Jonker-1X well was spudded by the Deepsea Bollsta semi-sub rig to a total depth of 6,168m in 2,210m water depth.

Drilling operations at the deep-water exploration well confirmed the presence of a reservoir containing light oil.

Shell and its partners plan further appraisal activities. The company said that gathering of dynamic data is needed to characterise the variability of rock properties and to understand the size and recoverable potential of the light oil discovery.

Shell Namibia country chair Dennis Zekveld said: “We are encouraged by a further deep-water discovery, our third in Namibia, and pleased to confirm the safe conclusion of the well.

“Jonker again demonstrated the Joint Venture’s strong commitment to advancing oil & gas exploration in Namibia and to progressing follow-up opportunities after last year’s discoveries. We look forward to continuing our excellent collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Namibia.”

The Jonker-1X well was drilled 270km off the Namibian coast. Drilling operations at the well commenced in December 2022 and were concluded safely recently, said QatarEnergy.

The Deepsea Bollsta rig will continue to stay in the PEL 0039 block to drill more wells as part of the consortium’s current exploration and appraisal programme.

For QatarEnergy, the Jonker discovery follows last year’s oil discoveries made through the drilling of the Graff-1 well and at the Venus-1X prospect. Both oil discoveries were made in the Orange Basin in Namibian waters.

Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs and QatarEnergy president and CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “We are pleased with this encouraging discovery, which is our third in Namibia. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our partners Shell and NAMCOR, and to congratulate and thank the Government of the Republic of Namibia, which has been very supportive of this exploration effort.”