Video: Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo addressing the Namibia International Oil and Gas Conference in Swakopmund. – Footage: Niël Terblanché
THE current economic slump in which Namibia finds itself will definitely be counteracted by a major discovery of a viable offshore oil reserve.
The Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, said during the official opening of the Namibia International Oil and Gas Conference in the coastal town of Swakopmund that shoud such a discovery be made, that the collective effort of both Government and the Private sector to foster mutually beneficial partnerships would hold the key to the future prosperity of the country.
“Oil and gas are the world’s most important and valuable commodities and constitute a major source of revenue for governments and corporations that control production and distribution. A major discovery is important for Namibia in these times of a volatile and challenging business environment characterised by a slowdown in the Namibian economy.”
Minister Alweendo called for investment in the Namibian oil industry and said with petroleum legislation that is attractive and based on international best practices and a stable security situation as well as well developed infrastructure that the country is the best place in Africa for investments.
“A key point aspect of investing in a new country is to look at the infrastructure. You will find that Namibia’s infrastructure is excellent with a modern telecommunications system, a well-developed road network, and extensive electricity distribution grid as well as modern ports at Walvis Bay.”
The minister said Namibia values investment in itsr oil and gas sector both upstream and downstream and as of recent, about 18 exploration wells have been drilled offshore Namibia and although with no major discovery, yielded an excellent geological understanding of the Namibian offshore margin.
“Namibia has one of the most favourable petroleum fiscal regimes and incentives in Africa which is aimed at encouraging equitable sharing of economic benefits when a major discovery is made.”
With regards to the fiscal regime Namibia fosters to invite investment in the oil exploration sector Minister Alweendo said its key features include a 35 per cent petroleum income tax levy, State royalty of only five percent and negotiable additional profit tax when the internal rate of return is greater than 15 percent. The incentives offered to the oil sector include the off-road marine diesel fuel rebate, no capital gains tax, lowest royalty in the region, customs exemptions on importation of equipment and consumables and ease of conducting business in Namibia as indicated by the Fraser Competitiveness Index.
The two-day conference is taking place under the theme ‘Building partnerships to transform Africa’s oil and gas industry and is aimed at ensuring investor understanding of Namibia’s geological database of information, facilitating investment links between project owners and investors, as well as gaining an understanding of the country’s upstream and downstream petroleum landscape.
Gathered at the oil and gas conference was all the major investors currently busy with oil exploration as well as prospective investors which might make the discovery that Namibia so desperately needs.