ChevronTexaco Takes Over Operatorship of Kudu Field

ChevronTexaco has taken over as operator of the Kudu gas field located offshore Namibia following the withdraw earlier this year by Shell. ChevronTexaco's subsidiary, Texaco Namibia Resources holds 60% and Energy Africa now holds 40% in the gas field.

Energy Africa chief operating officer Adrian Nel said his group has limited its investment in Kudu to "technical and commercial" involvement and would decided later on whether to maintain or dilute its holding in the field. Nel said bringing in a third partner was a consideration, but this was not part of its plans at present. Petronas, the major stockholder of Energy Africa, said it would invest in Kudu if further funding is requested by Energy Africa. But it would only consider funding if Energy Africa could demonstrate that Kudu was viable.

While Kudu may have been too small for the type of project Shell wanted, gas reserves on the west coast are being viewed as a possible energy source for Western Cape and for Namibia. ChevronTexaco spokesperson Jonathan Lifa said they would work with Energy Africa to evaluate the commercial viability of the Kudu field and consider mutually beneficial development options. "As part of this effort, additional studies will be carried out to access the field's gas resource base and the regional gas markets," according to Lifa. Shell believed there were enough exploitable reserves to support a local power station, but the company did not think such a scheme would be viable.