By Peter Uzoho
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu are among key oil and gas industry players representing Nigeria in this year’s, Africa Oil Week (AOW), the continent’s leading oil and gas gathering, which celebrates its 25th year.
In the past 25 years, AOW has provided a platform for government officials, national and international oil companies, independents, investors, corporate players and financers, to share their strategies for growth, better national participation in the oil and gas sector and engage in high level discussions on the future of the continent’s oil and gas industry, focusing on current challenges and trends and proffering solutions that will provide a positive and lasting impact for all. The conference which kicks-off today in South Africa, with the theme ‘The Leading Business Intelligence and Transaction Platform for Africa’s Oil and Gas Sector’,will play host to 16 ministers from across the continent,delegates from over 70 countries, 1,300 international CEOs and senior decision makers.
As the largest oil producing nation in Africa, Nigeria is well represented at the event with a cross section of delegates consisting of government and private sector leaders. The former President, Olusegun Obasanjo will give a Chairman’s welcome address at the event alongside Hon. Mark Simmonds, Former Minister for Africa, United Kingdom. Kachikwu will share the Nigerian perspective at the ministerial insights session with six ministers from other African countries. Tinubu will lead discussions on a panel session titled ‘Can Africa upstream play a significant role in the context of the global and regional energy landscape?
’This session will offer an objective market watch of the African oil and gas landscape, addressing the challenges and opportunities the industry is presented with.
In commemoration of the 25thAfrica Oil Week, Oando ingeniously, used its social media platforms to highlight the changes that have occurred in Africa’s oil and gas space over the past 25 years. Notable amongst these are its highlight on the increase in Africa’s proven oil reserves. As culled from its social media platform Oando said: “The last 25 years have seen proven oil reserves in Africa increase significantly. It has grown by almost 106.6% since 1993, increasing from 61.2 billion barrels at the time, and is currently at 125.5 billion barrels.” Also worthy of note is rig activity in Africa. According to Oando, Africa is dominated by land drilling, however in recent years, offshore activity has notably increased, particularly off the coast of West Africa, Oando highlighted that between, 2007 and 2018, the number of active rotary rigs in Africa increased from an average of 66 to 95 rigs, increasing African drilling contribution to the global industry from 2.1 per cent to 4.3 per cent.
Speaking on the future of oil and gas in Africa, Phil Dimmock, Upstream Commercial Advisor, Oando, who will be speaking at the Independents session, specifically on the Niger Basin, said: “…over the next 25 years, Africa will play a more significant role than it does today in oil production because of the quantum of unexploited areas in the central basins and the 16 mature basins in deeper horizons. As a result Governments will become more competitive and start to introduce regimes to react more quickly to the industry’s needs, both in terms of costs and geological difficulties. I foresee an increase in the number of African citizens who will become geoscientists, engineers and oil and gas specialists, which will cause a decline in the import of expatriates from Europe and North America.”
The Chief Operating Officer of Oando’s upstream division Oando Energy Resoures, Ainojie Irune will lead discussions on the panel ‘Creating equitable frameworks and high quality local supply chains’ while Engr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board will discuss how Nigeria will capitalize on a USD $200m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF) capable of facilitating 100 percent local fabrication for refineries.
Speaking on the importance of the event, Paul Sinclair, Conference Director, Africa Oil Week said “Our objective moving forward is to provide a dynamic setting for future outlooks and deal-making, shaping the continent’s oil and gas sector for the next 25 years and beyond, and to develop the continent in a sustainable and equitable manner.”
Africa Oil Week presents a forum for global perspectives from world class speakers, farm-in opportunities, bidding rounds, local content policy and business transactions will all be showcased during the five days of networking and dialogue.
In appreciation to its sponsors who made the event possible, Sincliar said:, “This event is designed by and for the industry, and we are sincerely grateful for the ongoing support from the companies that give their time, effort and insight to Africa Oil Week.” We would like to make special mention of the commitment from our Lead Sponsor, Tullow Oil, as well as Oando, Chevron, Regalis, Total and many others who are clearly so dedicated to the continent and making this an event that can move the African oil and gas story forward.