Shell Estimates Large Gas Reserves Offshore Namibia

Shell hopes to raise proven reserves at its Kudu gas field in Namibia from the current 1.3 trillion cubic feet to 5 trillion cubic feet by the third quarter of 2002. The company said in a statement that they a have substantial reserves right now of 1.3 tcf and are aggressively drilling more wells to increase this number. Shell expects to bring the proven reserves up to 5 tcf by second or third quarter of 2002. Shell is the majority shareholder of the Kudu field, one of Africa's largest untapped offshore gas fields. Production at Kudu is expected to begin around 2005.

The gas from Kudu will be used to convert an existing coal-fired power station near Cape Town to gas. It will also feed a gas-to-liquid plant, via an export pipeline and supply cleaner environmentally friendly gas to a host of industrial users. Shell and the South African government will be looking into how they can help develop a gas infrastructure in South Africa. They will also evaluate the best way to bring the gas to South Africa. The exercise is expected to be complete within six months after which both parties would make recommendations.

In 1993 a Shell-led consortium, was awarded a license after independence in 1990, when South West Africa became Namibia. Shell has a 75 percent stake in Kudu, ChevronTexaco 15 percent and Energy Africa 10 percent.