Oil found off coast of Namibia for first time: Namibian Government

WINDHOEK (Namibia) (AFP) - The Namibian government and a Brazilian energy company on Tuesday announced the first discovery of oil off the coast of Namibia, although not in commercial volumes.

Reporting findings from an exploratory well in the Walvis Basin off the south-west African country's central coast, the Rio de Janeiro-based HRT said there were promising signs.

The company discovered "two well-developed source rocks" and "several thin-bedded sandy reservoirs that are saturated by oil".

Work will begin within 15 days at a second exploration location 15km to the west, HRT added.

The find, although not commercially viable, will raise hopes that Namibia could become the latest southern African country to strike oil reserves.

Angola to the north is Africa's second-biggest producer of crude, after Nigeria.

Namibia currently has no oil production and no proven reserves.

However, it does have proven gas reserves of 56.6 billion cubic metres.

HRT is just one of a number of companies with concessions in Namibia's deep Atlantic waters.

Spain's Repsol and Brazil's Petrobras also have production licences.