Kenya Moves To Solve LPG Cylinder Crisis

The government has approved new LPG regulations to restore safety to the LPG market by closing down opportunities for illegal refilling, illegal rebranding, and counterfeiting of gas cylinders.

The changes come as part of a government drive to position LPG as Kenya's primary cooking fuel to end the health and environmental problems caused by cooking with firewood and charcoal. 

Unveiling the new regulations today, Mr Pavel Oimeke Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said it will no longer be mandatory for LPG retailers to swap any brand of cylinder.

"The mandatory interchange of LPG cylinders has seen brands lose track of 90 per cent of the cylinders they had invested in, stalling investment in further cylinders, and seeing legal checks set aside as nameless refillers resold cylinders, but could not be made accountable for safety breaches," said Mr Oimeke.

LPG brands will now be responsible for guaranteeing the safety of every cylinder. The brands, which will only swap their cylinders for new ones through their own branded retail points, must also now add safety instructions onto each cylinder, including guides on what to do if consumers smell a gas leak.

"Elsewhere in the world, LPG dominates in rural areas as a clean and safe fuel. Moving to regulations that will see the end of illegal cylinder refilling in Kenya will open the way for a projected seven-fold increase in LPG usage," said Mr Olagoke Aluko Chairman of the Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA).

The PIEA, which represents the country's oil and gas industry, is now working with government and regulators to achieve a widespread switchover to LPG, at a time when more than 70 per cent of Kenyans are still using firewood and charcoal for cooking. 

"The pollution that dirty cooking fuels are creating in the home is killing tens of thousands of Kenyans a year," said Mr Aluko. "Estimates suggest some 21,650 Kenyans are dying every year from air pollution, and 40 per cent of childhood deaths are being caused by respiratory diseases triggered by indoor cooking pollution."

The country's dependency on firewood and charcoal, which has remained larger than for other countries in Africa as a result of the recent disorder in the Kenyan LPG market, has also eroded the country's forests, with illegal logging damaging its main water catchment forests, and the nation now suffering a 16m m3 shortfall in its wood supply each year.

"LPG is actually a cheaper cooking fuel than firewood, charcoal or kerosene on a meal-by-meal sum and gets families back to clean homes and good health, saving our forests and our water supply too," said Mr Aluko.

Government, industry and regulators are therefore now working to make LPG the primary cooking fuel in Kenya. In addition to the new regulations, government plans to increase LPG imports and storage at Mombasa, while the industry is increasing its investments in LPG cylinders six-fold.

"To this end, the EPRA will no longer tolerate any gas cylinder that has not been properly checked between refills and is not fully labelled for safety and traceability," said Mr Oimeke.

Oil Companies Ready For Angola's New Licensing Rounds

Angola is at the centre of global energy deals this week as its capital Luanda hosts a plethora of global CEOs and energy investors, and over 1,000 oil industry stakeholders at the Angola Oil & Gas 2019 Conference, organized by Africa Oil & Power.

The summit was open by President João Lourenço, who highlighted the various reforms made by his administration to revitalize the industry and insisted on the role of gas monetization to spur industrialization and economic growth.

The spotlight was given to exploration on an exciting panel sponsored by Schlumberger and moderated by NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group.

The "Restructuring and Remodeling of Upstream Angola" panel gave the opportunity for leading Angolan and international executives to look at the status of current exploration efforts globally amidst reduced spending and decreasing production across most African oil producing nations.

Joining state-owned Sonangol E&P's CEO Ricardo Van-Deste on the panel were Stephen Willis, Regional President, BP Angola & President ACEPA; Guido Brusco, Executive VP sub-Saharan Africa at ENI; Carri Lockhart, Senior VP at Equinor; Derek Magness, Executive Manager at Chevron; Pedro Ribeiro, Deputy General Manager at Total Angola; and ExxonMobil Angola General Manager André Kostelnik.

As he highlighted the reduced exploration spending from $7bn in 2013 to a current $2bn, Steven Willis insisted that reduced exploration is not only an 'Angola effect' but a global one. He also reminded the audience that Angola has a very high exploration success rate. "Despite reduced exploration, Angola's success rate is over 50%, against a global average of 30%," he explained.

Proof that exploration in Angola is a rewarding venture, ENI's Executive Vice President talked about finding close to 2 billion barrels of oil in the country over the past 12 months with two major discoveries.

"Continuous belief in exploration and its ability to create and transform industries really matters," Guido Brusco said. "Our recent discovery in Block 15/06 is a testament to the potential Angola has to yield world-class discoveries in the coming years."

The series of reforms enacted by the Angolan administration since 2017 has also been lauded as the result of a purpose-driven government focused on restoring investors' trust. "What the Angolan government has done over the past years is nothing short of a revolution," declared Stephen Willis. "We are witnessing a complete revitalization of the contractual and governmental framework which will show up in the form of increased market activity."

Equinor's comments on the importance of competitive tenders, attractive acreages and well-negotiated contracts echoed previous statements from Angolan Mineral Resources and Petroleum Minister H.E. Diamantino Azevedo, who highlighted the landmark reforms made by his government to boost exploration.

These notably include a new oil-licensing strategy until 2025, new fiscal terms for the exploration and exploitation of marginal fields, and the establishment of the National Agency for Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG) as the country's new concessionaire.

Exploration has overall remained a key theme throughout the day. "Angola has generated tremendous excitement for upstream opportunities," said Africa Oil & Power CEO Guillaume Doane. "New entrants are looking at acquiring licenses and existing operators have renewed their commitment to the country. These are concrete first steps in Angola's quest to reverse oil production decline."

Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, had also earlier emphasized on the need to not only conduct regular bidding rounds and award blocks, but to drill.

"The world's two largest producers, the United States and the Russian Federation, have built their industries and maintained themselves at the top because they never stop drilling," he declared. "In Africa we need drill or drop policies."

Equally significant was the discussion that NJ Ayuk launched on the empowerment of women in the oil & gas industry. In the presence of First Lady Ana Afonso Dias Lourenço and Pam Dawin, Vice President for Africa at ExxonMobil, operators on the panel made strong commitments to encourage more diversity in their workplace by skilling women and promoting them to leadership roles.

As exploration intensifies in Angola, the Chamber continues to believe that when governments and oil companies work hand in hand, the right reforms get implemented and discoveries are made.

Such a dialogue has renewed spark in Angola where lots of companies and investors are now ready to invest and explore. The Chamber is determined to continue being a strategic partner of Angola and its oil industry, and advocating for better practices for the industry.

Centurion CEO Agrees To Write Book About Africa's Oil And Gas

Centurion Law Group Founder and CEO NJ Ayuk has been saying for years that Africa's oil and gas resources can fuel socioeconomic revitalization throughout the continent. Now he's writing a book that explains how it can be done.

The book, "Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy", which is slated for release in October 2019, will be packed with captivating, useful ideas, stories, examples and information that Africans can use to take command of their future, from new oil revenue management models, gas to power, to the deal-making techniques and behind the scene strategies that Ayuk has successfully employed with multinationals and African governments.

Additional topics covered in the book include the importance of including women in oil and gas leadership, monetizing petroleum resources, American investment in Africa oil and gas in the era of President Trump, local content, addressing energy security concerns, new African gamechangers, and the value African countries achieve by participating in The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), among others.

"We've heard more than enough about the challenges facing Africa," said Ayuk, who also is the co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity and Executive Chairman of the Africa Energy Chamber .
"Instead of dwelling on our problems, we should be working together to reverse Africa's Resource Curse. Don't get me wrong, this book will not be an idealistic treatise for a better world. It will have more of a 'stop complaining, get up and get to work' kind of message—backed up with practical ideas for strategically harnessing Africa's petroleum resources."
Ayuk says that one of his main goals for writing the book is to inspire a healthy dialogue about the future of the African energy industry that is seeing new changes in Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, South Sudan, Algeria, Uganda, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, South Africa, Angola, Libya, Niger, Congo, Chad, Mauritania, Tanzania and many other new players.
"I know there will be readers who disagree with my points, and I welcome that," he said. "We can't make meaningful, positive changes for everyday Africans until we start discussing a way forward. The more we advocate personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and an enabling environment for investment, Africa's oil industry and African stand to benefit than relying on foreign aid and assistance."

 

U.S Firms Dash For Angola's Oil Sector

Angola has emerged as the hub of foreign direct investments within Africa, and the prospects of attracting more FDI this year are bright, particularly in the country's oil and gas sector.

The ambitious reform agenda of President João Laurenço and that of the Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, Dr. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, has already resulted in increased investment from the country's biggest European operators.

This current state of play now presents an opportunity for North American companies to re-engage and re-invest in the Angolan market.

"Angola has repositioned itself as a strategic oil investment hub and has made itself attractive to American oil firms to take a new look as Africa becomes once again a target for the US oil industry," said Jude Kearney, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration and President of Kearney Africa.

"American and many other foreign investors are paying close attention to the wave of reforms in Angola and will embrace it by investing their dollars. The Angola Oil & Gas Conference on June 4-6, championed by the President, will be key in this regard."

Angola, the second-biggest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria, has just released a new oil licensing strategy up to 2025, and is about to launch next month and for the first time a bidding round that includes marginal oil fields with an attractive fiscal framework.

Angola's economic recovery is being driven by investments in the country's oil and gas sector, with the country's energy sector attracting well over $1bn of investment commitments over the past few months.

The charge is notably led by international oil companies increasing the size of their operations in the country, including Total at Kaombo, ExxonMobil in the Namibe Basin or BP at the Platina Field.

US oil & gas service companies like Halliburton or Baker Hughes GE also still dominate the sector and are likely to further invest in technology as the country ramps up exploration efforts.

American firms have traditionally led investments within Angola's oil sector, especially under the Strategic Partnership Agreement the US has with Angola, one of just three in sub-Saharan Africa.

"Angola is back and the oil and gas sector is posed to rebound after the economic recession. We believe the new investment must also include strong support for job creators in the oil sector and for the socio-economic empowerment of Angolans.

The market-driven policies are working, and we will encourage the oil industry and the government to work together and do more deals," declared Sergio Pugliese, President of the African Energy Chamber in Angola.

Eni's recent light oil discovery this year in Block 15/06 confirmed that Angola does not disappoint for whoever is ready to bet on the country's vast reserves.

"Seeing new oil discoveries in Angola, is yet again great news that there is still a lot more oil and gas to be found in Angola and also solidifies the impression of many US firms that Angola is still the place to be.

The gas potential is massive and US technology, if used properly, will redefine Angola's gas market. Angola has been smart to work hand in hand with US investors and the African Energy Chamber to ensure its reforms meet market demands," stated C. Derek Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of TransGen Energy, Inc., an integrated global energy conglomerate based out of Maryland.

"This sends a strong message to the industry and we will continue to advocate for the presence of US companies when in comes putting world class fields into development and also focusing on exploration as there is no production without investing in exploration to find more oil," added Sergio Pugliese,

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is the only Africa-wide association that represents all aspects of Africa's oil and gas industry. The AEC represents more than 120 partners involved in all aspects of the African energy industry.

South Africa Signs Deal To Explore Prospective Oil Block In South Sudan

South Africa has signed an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) with South Sudan for Block B2.

The deal – which is strategic for South Africa as an energy consumer – will see Block B2 operated by the state-owned Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), the Ministry of Petroleum and Nilepet - the national oil company of the Republic of South Sudan.

This is the second EPSA signed since South Sudan gained independence in 2012 and shows progress for the country's oil industry as production resumes at existing oilfields and new exploration begins.

South Sudan is an established, world-class petroleum producing region, whose territory includes a large part of the Cretaceous rift basin system that has proved petroliferous in Chad and Niger as well as Sudan.

It currently produces 160,000 bopd, and aims to increase production capacity to 270,000 bopd by the end of the year. The country has the third-largest oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels, with just 30 percent of the country explored to date.

Under this new EPSA which includes a six-year exploration period, the SFF alongside Nilepet, will launch a comprehensive aero gravity survey exploration campaign, seismic acquisition and drilling wells with great prospectivity.

The SFF will also invest in capacity building initiatives, training of South Sudanese citizens, investing in social and community development projects and ensuring local content and women empowerment.

"The petroleum resources of Block B2 are vast. For South Sudan to reach its target of bringing back production levels of around 350,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and beyond, we need committed new entrants like the SFF," said the Minister of Petroleum Hon.  Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

"South Sudan has great potential, yet our country remains vastly under-explored, and we believe the entry of new players like the SFF will lead to new world-class discoveries very soon given the aggressive exploration program and great petroleum viability of Block B3. This will support South Sudan's economic revival and improve trade with other African countries."

"We are bullish about this strategic and unique opportunity into Block B2 with great petroleum potential. It provides South Africa with a chance to further strengthen its energy security while entering one of the top three most lucrative onshore oil and gas markets in Africa," said Hon. Jeff Radebe, South African Energy Minister.

"South Africa has supported peace and economic development in South Sudan since the country's independence and this is the continuation of long-term cooperation between both our countries and people. Investment is key to guaranteeing the economic progress of South Sudan"

Last year, South Africa's Department of Energy pledged to invest $1 billion into South Sudan's petroleum industry, with the aim of securing affordable energy supplies for South Africa. The countries are now in talks to set up a 60,000 barrel per day refinery to supply oil products to the local market in South Sudan, as well as to secure exports to Ethiopia and other neighboring countries.

"SFF is looking forward to working with our partners in South Sudan to make discoveries on this block. We believe there are highly significant quantities of oil in Block B2. Our work program and acquisition of new seismic will reveal better information on various structures. We look forward to a few wildcats and appraisal wells in the near future. We are thankful to the Government of South Sudan for this opportunity," stated Godfrey Moagi, acting CEO of SFF.

The B2 area includes productive parts of the Muglad Basin and is part of the 120,000km2 Block B which was split into three in 2012. There has been much interest in South Sudan's Block B acreages since the entry of Oranto Petroleum to Block B3 in 2017.  Much of South Sudan's oil and gas blocks are yet to be fully explored and resources assessed.

The CEF group is responsible for discovering solutions that will meet South Africa's energy needs. Through its subsidiaries, the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA), Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA), Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation (AEMFC) and iGas, the group also manages the operations and development of the country's oil and gas assets.

Angola’s Lourenco Fronts Oil & Gas Reforms To Attract Investors

President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of Angola has emphasized that the oil and gas industry is a key driver in attracting domestic and foreign private investment into his country. And true to his world, the President has invited investors to attend the Angola Oil & Gas 2019 Conference taking place June 4-6 in Luanda.

In the recent time since he took over presidency, Angola has adopted a new era of oil and gas through reforms and transparency of tenders. The President will unpack best international practices for Angola's oil and gas sector at the Angola Oil & Gas 2019.

He stated that the country is applying the best international practices in its fundamental oil and gas sector. The government will utilize the event to facilitate investment across the Angolan economy. "In recent times we have changed our policy of managing energy resources, such as oil and gas, to better serve the interests of our country and investors," said President Lourenço.

He highlighted that there is a need to diversify Angola's economy, and he remains cognizant that oil is the key driver of economic activity throughout the country. "This new era in oil and gas is the result of Angola having adopted a totally transparent management of tenders," he stated.

In a bid to lure further investment into the country's oil and gas sector, Angola's national oil company, Sonangol, is in the process of being restructured to focus on the production, refining and distribution of petroleum products and natural gas.

Government has also created the National, Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency, which has become the concessionaire of the country's petroleum resources.

Endorsed by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, the two-day conference will feature keynote addresses from Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, H.E. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo; José Alexandre Barroso, Secretary of State for Petroleum; and Paulino Jerónimo, Chairman of the National, Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency.

Petroleum Agreement Between South Sudan & South Africa To Boost Peace, Economic Recovery

The signing of the new exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) between South Sudan and South Africa's Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) is a boost to the oil sector and promotes peace and stability within the country. This landmark oil deal marks yet another achievement for Africa's growing energy investments and will provide further boost to South Sudan's economic revival.

This is the second petroleum exploration agreement that South Sudan has signed since independence. Singing this deal with South Africa's state owned company marks the emergence of a strong intra-African energy cooperation and signals the willingness by South Sudan to provide investors with an enabling environment to invest and do business in the country.

"This is a brilliant deal and the future outlook for exploration in South Sudan and Block B is huge, with prospective resources into the billions of barrels of oil. The potential discoveries can be quickly and cheaply tied into existing infrastructure," stated NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group and the Chamber's Executive Chairman.

"I am also impressed by the deals commitment to local content, dedication to hiring citizens of South Sudan and investment in education. Education is likely going to do more to strengthen the overall economy than anything else the government can do. South Sudan's ability to attract, retain, and leverage energy investment is key for an inclusive and sustainable economic growth. The Chamber will continue to provide, and support market driven, and people centered polices in oil states," added NJ Ayuk.

The Chamber believes that the potential for large discoveries of oil and gas is immense in South Sudan, which remains largely under-explored despite already having proved oil reserves of 3.5 billion barrels. New entrants like the SFF are key to ensuring socio-economic development in South Sudan and show the way for more investors to come.

South Sudan is expecting to produce close to 270,000 bopd by the end of this year and is seeking investment across its value chain. The expansion of the country's oil & gas industry offers tremendous investment opportunities in upstream, midstream and downstream via the laying of additional connectivity pipelines, refining infrastructure and the expansion of the country's marketing network.

African Energy Chamber, Oil Investors Happy With South Sudan Drive In South Africa

South African and African private sector participants have an amazing opportunity to invest in South Sudans' peace and make huge profits. This week the African Energy Chamber will join Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Hon. Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, Minister of Finance and Planning, South Sudan's global investment drive is arriving in Johannesburg this week.

South Sudanese Cabinet Ministers and business leaders will meet with the African Energy Chamber and other investors at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on April 24th from 9am to 5pm, hereby closing a 4-city global investment drive that previously took them to Washington, New York and Dubai.

The delegation is notably made up of Agriculture and Food Security Minister Hon. Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec, Mining Minister Hon. Gabriel Thokuj Deng, South Sudan Investment Authority Secretary General Dr. Abraham Maliet Mamer, Nilepet Managing Director Dr. Chol Thon Abel, and South Sudan Petroleum Commission Chairman Amb. Ceasar Marko.

The African Energy Chamber commends Afrexim Bank for providing a $500m financing facility to fund power transmission, infrastructure and agricultural projects. We also commend President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Energy Minister the Hon. Jeff Radebe for committing 1 billion US dollars in oil and gas an infrastructure projects in South Sudan. These bankable deals should be closed quickly as it will create opportunities for both the South African and South Sudanese people.

"We are hopeful that the arrival of the South Sudanese delegation to South Africa will result in even more investment deals being announced," declared Centurion Law Group CEO and AEC Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk. "Johannesburg is the financial capital of Africa and I am bullish that we will be able to raise more money to secure and promote lasting peace and investment in South Sudan".

The Chamber believes South Sudan's leadership also has an obligation to creating an enabling environment of investors to put more money into the country. To achieve these great benefits, South Sudan needs to safely open up new oil blocks to exploration especially to African investors. It's time to build refineries, pipelines, urea, ammonia, fertilizer plants, power plants, large agricultural fields and set up technology hubs. Recent discussions between The African Energy Chamber, South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his cabinet agreed that Economic growth must be front and center of the peace and recovery efforts of South Sudan.

The African Energy Chamber believes that securing investments is not the problem. "Investors need an enabling environment and we are spending a lot of money to help South Sudan achieve that.  It is business that creates jobs and hope. Economic revival and business are the solution; not aid. Our leaders in government need to understand this. We cannot afford smallness in our drive for peace, Investment and stability when what South Sudan and most of Africa really need are big pragmatic common sense solutions" added Mr Ayuk.

The AEC will proudly and vigorously support South Sudan and it's people, but we will reject narrow agendas wherever they come from and put the country first. We call upon all of African Energy Investors and corporate leaders to do the same. The Chamber will stand squarely with those who do.

As a strong partner of South Sudan's economic revival, the African Energy Chamber encourages all partners and interested parties, especially African entrepreneurs, to attend the investment drive and seal business deals with South Sudanese public and private sector leaders who will be present at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on April 24, 2019.

E.Guinea President, OPEC Secretary General Set For Oil & Gas APPO Cape VII 2019 Congress

H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea, and H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, will both speak at APPO CAPE VII; Secretary General of APPO H.E. Mahaman Laouan Gaya and H.E. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, will present on the foundational reforms of the African Petroleum Producers' Organization; H.E. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC; Dr Sun Xiansheng, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum and H.E. Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) are all speaking at APPO CAPE VII; APPO CAPE VII welcomes participation of 50+ Africa's petroleum ministries, national oil companies and private companies as exhibitors and sponsors.

The President of Equatorial Guinea, the Secretary General of OPEC and 20 African oil and gas ministers will headline Africa's most influential gathering for the energy industry. The African Petroleum Producers Organization's Cape VII Congress and Exhibition on April 2-5 in Malabo is set to bring together top oil and gas executives and the continent's leading energy ministers, as well as international policy leaders for a week focused on policy reforms, Africa's influence in energy geopolitics and increasing cooperation amongst African countries. In all, the conference will gather more than 20 African governments, more than a dozen national oil companies and 50+ exhibitors and sponsors.

H.E. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, President of the African Petroleum Producers Organization and the Minister of State for Petroleum of the Republic of Nigeria, will present on the foundational reforms of the APPO, and the organization's aim to create a strong unifier of African oil producers on the international stage. New discoveries throughout Africa, from Mozambique and Namibia to Senegal and Mauritania, have sparked fresh interest in exploration and production throughout Africa and mean the APPO is set to welcome new producers into the fold.

H.E. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC; Dr Sun Xiansheng, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum and H.E. Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) are all speaking at APPO CAPE VII. With Africa taking a more prominent role in OPEC discussions following the entry of Equatorial Guinea to the group of oil producers in 2017, APPO CAPE VII will set the agenda for African producers' interactions with global producers and markets in 2019 and beyond.

H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea, and H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines of Hydrocarbons, will be presenting on Equatorial Guinea's Year of Energy in 2019. The small country in the Gulf of Guinea has taken a leading role on the international stage — joining OPEC, assisting in stabilizing the market and leading efforts for pan-African cooperation in the oil and gas sector. The LNG2Africa initiative, for example, will focus on monetizing domestic gas, building up regional infrastructure and exporting gas from Africa to Africa. The Year of Energy 2019 celebrates regional cooperation in Africa and is centered on a series of events taking place in Malabo throughout the year.

Key African ministers including H.E. Tarek El-Molla, Minister of Petroleum, Egypt; H.E. Jeff Radebe, Minister of Energy, South Africa; H.E. Pascal Houangni Ambouroué, Minister of Petroleum & Hydrocarbons of Gabon; and H.E Abdourahmane Cissé, Minister of Petroleum, Energy and the Development of Renewable Energy Côte d'Ivoire are set to address issues of oil and gas infrastructure and regional cooperation at APPO CAPE VII.

The fresh wave of energy investment in Africa — and indeed the focus on growing oil and gas reserves and creating attractive regulatory regimes for new investment — stands in stark contrast to many more developed markets around the world. Countries like the United States, Ireland, Italy and New Zealand are chipping away at global exploration potential, with New Zealand banning new exploration altogether.

Top industry executives, including Guy Maurice, Senior Vice President for Africa, Total; Mounir Bouaziz, Vice President, Africa and South America, Shell; Andrew G. Inglis, CEO, Kosmos Energy; Jean-Michel Jacoulot, CEO, Trident and Tim O'Hanlon, VP, Tullow Oil will speak on Africa's upstream potential in the current geopolitical environment.

Other panels will tackle regional cooperation, downstream calls for investment, the potential for financing Africa's oil and gas sector; and the need for economic diversification.

Ayuk Calls For Collaboration On Local Content Development, Governance

Centurion CEO and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (EnergyChamber.org), NJ Ayuk, is leading an industry delegation to Nigeria this week to meet various oil industry players.

On landing in Lagos, he called for more industry collaboration on key issues pertaining to Nigeria's oil & gas industry, including local content development, the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill, the promotion of a better enabling environment for start-ups and SMEs, monetizing gas for domestic use, investing massively in energy infrastructure and building a robust petrochemical industry whilst ensuring that energy security is placed as a high priority agenda by both the Nigerian government and the country's oil industry.

This notably involves the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill. Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer with a massive investment potential in oil but also gas. In this regard, the Chamber's delegation notably highlighted the importance for both the government and key stakeholders in the oil industry to immediately collaborate to improve governance and create an enabling environment for investment.

"The Chamber continues to be bullish about the potential of Nigeria and the investment opportunities for energy industry players here," declared NJ Ayuk. "Many young Nigerians look at the energy industry for training, empowerment, innovation, and not just any job but good jobs.

The oil industry is going to continue being the largest investor in the country and recognizes its responsibility to work with all Nigerians to ensure that the resources benefit every Nigerian and the dignity of work becomes real. Passing pro-growth legislation that incentivizes growth and provides confidence to all investors is important," added NJ Ayuk.

The Chamber further recognized the success of Nigeria's local content development, which has enabled the creation of strong Nigerian exploration, production and services companies that can truly be part of an African content revolution across the continent. As such, it will continue working with Nigerian officials to attract investment into Nigeria and push for skilled Nigerian entrepreneurs to expand across Africa.

"At the African Energy Chamber we are seeing a great number of Nigerian companies seeking to expand across Africa, including Senegal, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and South Sudan," added NJ Ayuk. "We need to encourage African companies to take the lead in the development of the continent's oil & gas industry."

In various meetings with oil and gas entrepreneurs in Lagos, NJ Ayuk also urged them to make an effort to participate in the APPO Cape VII Congress & Exhibition in Malabo on April 1-5 and in the 13th German-African Energy Forum in Hamburg on March 27-28.

African companies, and especially African entrepreneurs and SMEs, tend to be under-represented on the international stage, where decisions are made that affect them. Indigenous African companies also need to take advantage of the amazing growth and business opportunities provided by such international platforms.

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