Home » Namibian oil discovery boosts South African tycoon’s fortune

Namibian oil discovery boosts South African tycoon’s fortune

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Johnny Copelyn

South African business magnate Johnny Copelyn has seen his wealth significantly increase following the discovery of oil in Namibia by a company he owns an indirect interest in. The find has boosted his fortune by roughly $67 million, positioning him among the primary beneficiaries in the rush for Namibia’s potential oil resources.

According to a report by The Namibian, Copelyn, who owns a 7.6-percent stake in Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Hosken Consolidated Investment Limited (HCI), saw his stake surge from $30.9 million in 2021 to $94 million this year.

HCI owns a 49.9-percent stake in Impact Oil and Gas Limited. In February 2022, Impact announced the discovery of light oil and associated gas following the drilling of the Venus-1X well in Block 2913B offshore Namibia. The discovery well was drilled by TotalEnergies on behalf of the joint venture group comprising TotalEnergies (Operator, 40 percent), QatarEnergy (30 percent), Impact (20 percent), and state-owned NAMCOR (10 percent, which the remaining joint venture partners carry in proportion to their equity shares).

The “Venus discovery” sits in the Orange Basin, approximately 290 kilometers off the coast of Namibia, in the deep waters offshore. Impact Oil & Gas wants to sell its 20-percent stake in the block. The company has since hired investment bank Jefferies to prepare a sale process for its stake in Block 2913B, which is reportedly estimated to be worth $500 million to $1 billion. If the deal goes through, HCI could earn anywhere from 8.5 billion to 17 billion Namibian dollars, a catalyst that has seen HCI’s share price soar.

Copelyn’s diverse investment portfolio spans various sectors in South Africa, including media, hospitality, and entertainment.

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