Vanco signs offshore Namibia licensing agreement

Houston-based Vanco Energy Co. on Thursday said it has signed a petroleum agreement with the government of Namibia through its subsidiary Vanco International Ltd. This is the first license awarded since Namibia converted to an open bidding system last year and Namibia's only offshore license, except for Kudu, in the southern part the country's offshore territory.


Houston-based Vanco Energy Co. on Thursday said it has signed a petroleum agreement with the government of Namibia through its subsidiary Vanco International Ltd. This is the first license awarded since Namibia converted to an open bidding system last year and Namibia's only offshore license, except for Kudu, in the southern part the country's offshore territory.

The license covers 2.207 million acres and is situated in the Namibe basin off the northern coast of Namibia on the international boundary with Angola. Although some of License Area 1711 lies onshore, the primary area of interest lies offshore in water deeper than 200 m.

Early seismic covering the northern sector of the block shows at least one huge structure, says Vanco, probably Cretaceous in age. Vanco intends to acquire more 2D and 3D seismic during the initial 2-year period and has the option to pursue a second 2-year exploration period with work requirements consisting of 2D seismic and one well.

"License Area 1711 has many of the geological characteristics of the deepwater basins in neighboring Angola that have produced a number of major discoveries," says Vanco Pres. Gene Van Dyke.

Vanco is operator of the area, holding an 88% interest. The National Petroleum Corp. of Namibia (NAMCOR) and Pamue Investment Corp. own interests of 9% and 3%, respectively.

The license award serves Namibia's and Angola's mutual interest in the Namibe basin, which extends into Angola and which has never been tested on either side of the border, says Vanco. NAMCOR and Sonangol, the national oil company of Angola, are conducting a joint study of common plays with a view toward future exploration. When completed, results of the study will be presented jointly to the international oil community.

As operator, Vanco will establish an office in Windhoek, headed by Klaus Endresen.

Vanco has licenses in Gabon, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Equatorial Guinea. It plans to conduct a regional 3D seismic program later this year on all of its licenses, including Namibia's 1711.

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