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Namibian oil exports could underpin new tanker trades by 2030

Photo: AdobeStock Front view of tanker at sea
File photo of tanker
Namibia, a potentially energy-rich West African country, could stimulate new crude oil trades for tankers including VLCCs and Suezmax vessels by the end of this decade.

In its latest market report, New York-based Poten & Partners reveals that some analysts have compared Namibian energy export potential with that of Guyana, a South American country which is currently undergoing an energy-based economic transformation.

Oil companies including Shell, TotalEnergies, and Portugal’s Galp Energia have all discovered oil in Namibian offshore waters recently. Other energy majors, including Chevron and ExxonMobil, control offshore acreage in the country, which lies between Angola and South Africa.     

Offshore energy development there is likely to follow the Guyana model in which deepwater energy reserves will be developed using FPSOs. These units are likely to be serviced by large tankers, Poten said.

The West African country, like Guyana, is not a member of OPEC. But energy production in Guyana is climbing quickly. Current output in Guyana is about 600,000 barrels a day, according to Poten estimates, mostly shipped to markets in Europe and Asia. The broker believes that Namibia could follow a similar trajectory. 

There are now four drilling rigs working in Namibia’s offshore waters. However, based on current discoveries, the African country could be producing 500,000 barrels per day of crude within the next decade and double that volume in the longer term.

Namibia and other West African countries including Angola and Nigeria, have similar geologies to those on the east coast of South America. In fact, experts believe the two regions were once part of one land mass: they believe that the two regions split quite a long time ago – more than 140 million years.