The High Court of Namibia has issued a judgment that allows Canadian oil and gas company, Reconnaissance Africa (ReconAfrica), along with its joint venture partner, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), to continue with its oil and gas exploration campaign in Namibia.
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Represented by Namibian-based law firm, SNC Incorporated, the judgment will see ReconAfrica continue exploring petroleum exploration license number 73 (PEL 73), a key frontier prospect in the high potential northeastern region of Namibia.
Last month, a group of environmental organizations lodged a case against the ReconAfrica joint venture – Reconnaissance Energy Namibia (REN) - along with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Environmental Commissioner, the Commissioner for Petroleum Affairs and the Attorney General for the Republic of Namibia, seeking an order from the court for an Interim Interdict to restrain REN from continuing with exploration activities, despite such activities having been authorized by the Environmental Clearance Certificate Amendments issued by the Environmental Commissioner.
SNC Incorporated raised preliminary points including that the matter was not urgent to be heard on an urgent basis; the applicants lacked the legal standing to bring the matter before court; and that the court had no powers to grant the relief sought by the applicants. On July 29, Justice Thomas Masuku delivered the judgment, upholding SNC Incorporated’s preliminary points.
“This was a big win for our client ReconAfrica and its joint-venture partner NAMCOR because it enables them to continue with the ongoing drilling program for well 8-2 and other oil and gas exploration activities for PEL 73.
"The positive court outcome for our client bears witness to SNC Incorporated’s ability to advise and represent international energy and mining companies undertaking projects in Namibia and the rest of Africa,” stated Shakwa Nyambe, Managing Partner of SNC Incorporated. ■
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