African explorer Tower Resources is nearing the point where it will be ready to drill the giant Delta prospect in Namibia which is estimated to contain 9 billion barrels of oil.

Today Tower published its half year results saying that with Repsol now on board as block operator for the 0010 licence area where the Delta prospect is located, work is underway to source a rig for drilling the giant prospect.

“The quality of the licence, which includes the Delta prospect with gross unrisked potential of 9 billion barrels, is set out in detail in last year’s CPR [competant person’s report],” noted Tower chairman Jeremy Asher.

The CPR was completed in June 2010 by Oilfield International Consultants, suggested Delta could contain 9 bn barrels of oil and 14.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Repsol has just farmed into the 0010 licence area, taking 44% and has become operator.

“This potential is heavily underscored by Repsol’s entry: Their rigorous due diligence work provides further validation, by one of the world’s foremost Atlantic margin drilling experts, of the technical work already completed,” Asher added in the company’s results tatement today.

He said Repsol is currently looking at a variety of rig options, while also consulting with the Namibian government, Arcadia and Tower.

Repsol entered the 0010 licence area in June, with 44%. Previously the licence was operated by Arcadia Petroleum with 85%, and Tower held the remaining 15% equity. The deal leaves Arcadia with 41% and Tower 15%, although Tower also had a carried interest, through a first and optional second exploration wells on the licence area, which were unaffected by the transaction. And the company has recently increased its equity in the licence from 15% to 30%.