TotalEnergies has been forced to delay by two months a critical appraisal drilling campaign on its huge Venus light oil discovery offshore Namibia because the rig it aims to use is tied up working for another major in Europe.

Drilling operations in about 3000 metres of water in Namibia Block 2913B were due to start this month, but the two well-campaign is now only expected to begin in November or December, said an executive familiar with the supermajor’s plans.

The official added that the operator may want to secure an alternative drilling unit, but the recent steep rise in dayrates could negate that option.