July 30, 2022
Windhoek – SNC Incorporated secured a landmark judgement for its client ReconAfrica and joint-venture partner the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), which enables the joint venture to continue with oil and gas exploration activities in Namibia.
Our client ReconAfrica through its Namibian subsidiary Reconnaissance Energy Namibia (REN) and NAMCOR, the joint holders of petroleum exploration licence number 73 (PEL 73) were cited as Respondents by third parties (the “Applicants”) in a matter lodged in the High Court of Namibia, Main Division, Windhoek (the “Court”).
The Applicants were seeking an order from the Court for an Interim Interdict to restrain REN from continuing any oil and gas exploration activities which have been authorized by the Environmental Clearance Certificate Amendments issued by the Environmental Commissioner. On behalf our client and other Respondents we raised preliminary points i.e., 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. The preliminary points were argued on the 13th of July 2022 before Justice Thomas Masuku and the matter was postponed for judgment.
On the 29th of July 2022, Justice Thomas Masuku delivered the judgement. He upheld our preliminary points, in that the Applicants failed to meet the requirements for the matter to be heard on an urgent basis and that the Court had no jurisdiction to grant the relief sought by the Applicants. The Court therefore dismissed the Applicants case, ordered the Applicants to pay the legal costs for our client and other Respondents, removed the matter from the court roll and considered it finalised. ReconAfrica will therefore continue with the oil and gas exploration activities for PEL 73 as per agreed work programme with the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia.
Commenting on the case, Shakwa Nyambe, the Managing Partner of SNC Incorporated, said “This is 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”.
The SNC Incorporated team who represented ReconAfrica in the matter was led by Shakwa Nyambe (Managing Partner) together with Shafimana Shimakeleni (Senior Associate).