Oil major Shell has discovered a significant oil and gas find in the Graff-1 well offshore Namibia. Confirmed by the Namibian government, the discovery is estimated to contain between 250 and 300 million barrels of oil, representing a turning point for the country’s energy sector while ushering in a new wave of investment for the southern African nation.

The discovery was made on the Petroleum Exploration License 39 – owned by Shell (45%), Qatar Petroleum (45%) and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (10%) – with Shell as the operator. Despite the Ministry of Energy and Mines and Shell awaiting the results on the commercial viability of the find, the discovery has demonstrated a working petroleum system as well as the potential of the country’s oil and gas basins.

Representing one of the final frontiers for hydrocarbon exploration, the discovery has further positioned Namibia as a premier destination for upstream investment as well as a potential oil producer. The country has seen an array of exploration campaigns undertaken over decades, yielding little results.

Meanwhile, the company released its Q4 results, revealing the highest profits in eight years. In the final quarter alone, the company reported adjusted earnings of $6.4 billion. In addition to exceeding analysts’ expectations, the oil major has announced an $8.5 billion share buyback program that will take place during the first half of 2022.

According to Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, the company “delivered very strong financial performance in 2021, and our financial strength and discipline underpin the transformation of our company.”