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88 Energy starts 2D seismic acquisition programme for PEL 93 in Owambo Basin, Namibia

Australia-based oil and gas exploration and production company 88 Energy has announced the start of the 2D seismic data acquisition programme for Petroleum Exploration Licence 93 (PEL93) within the Owambo Basin in northern Namibia.

The programme has been designed to acquire approximately 200-line km of 2D seismic data to identify potential onshore drilling sites, with completion expected in Q3 2024, the ASX- and AIM-listed explorer said in a statement on July 8.

Through its wholly owned Namibian subsidiary, 88 Energy holds a 20% working interest in PEL93, which covers 18,500km2 of underexplored sub-surface.

Additionally, 88Energy can earn up to a 45% non-operated working interest in PEL93 via its existing three-stage farm-in agreement with a subsidiary of Monitor Exploration Ltd. (MEL), a UK private company focused on onshore oil and gas exploration in Africa.

The contract for the 2D seismic acquisition services was awarded to Canadian exploration firm Polaris Natural Resources Development in May 2024. Polaris mobilised vibroseis units and recording equipment to the location in late June 2024.

Polaris expects to finalise data processing from the completed programme in Q4 2024, with results from the new 2D seismic acquisition to be integrated with existing historical exploration data to refine current prospect interpretation.

“The outcome of this programme will be the quantification of the size of the prospective resource through a certified Prospective Resource estimate, as well as the identification of future potential drilling locations,” 88 Energy said.

According to the statement, subsurface investigations completed from 2018 to date on PEL 93 by MEL (Namibia) included a range of geophysical and geochemical techniques to assess and validate the potential of the acreage with an active petroleum system.

Initial exploration in the Owambo Basin has focused on the shallow Karoo Play, says 88 Energy, with recent attention turning to the deeper and largely untested Damara Play. The significant potential of the Damara Play is attributed to large, anticlinal structures providing exploration targets of equivalent size to those discovered offshore Namibia.

“The Damara Play is characterised by several coherent, mappable, large fold and thrust structures which generated 19 prospects and 4 leads certified by third-party resource auditor, NSAI [the National Standards Authority of Ireland],” 88 Energy said in an update on the Damara Play exploration drilling.

On July 7, Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica), a Canadian oil and gas explorer, spudded the Naingopo exploration well, the first of four planned wells to test in the Damara Play, as part of an initial exploration drilling campaign in PEL73 on the flanks of the Owambo basin.

According to 88 Energy, the start of drilling of the first well by a nearby operator in the Owambo Basin represents a significant catalyst for understanding the onshore resource potential in Namibia.