Expert warns of implications of withdrawal of investments on hydrocarbon development projects in Africa
Posted on 11/18/2021 at 7:21 p.m. by APA News
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Oversight and Development Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, said that the withdrawal of investments in hydrocarbon development projects by oil majors and international financial institutions “is indeed a challenge for oil producing countries such as Nigeria ”. Speaking at Realnews magazine’s 9th anniversary conference Thursday in Lagos, Wabote noted that revenues from the sale of hydrocarbon resources would remain “the main drivers of the economies of African oil and gas producing countries.”
At the conference titled “Nigeria in the Unfolding Integration of the African Market: The Oil and Gas Perspective,” Wabote said Africa’s industrialization agenda is at the heart of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement ( AFCFTA) and that fossil fuels remain a very important part of the energy mix necessary for the industrialization of the continent.
Wabote explained that solving the looming investment challenge in the oil and gas industry are the main focus areas that can be used to address this challenge, including the collaborative platform provided by AFCFTA to provide the funding and the technology needed to operate and develop hydrocarbon projects. .
“The second is to have in place an investment-friendly law such as the Petroleum Industry Law (PIA) 2021. This will be useful in attracting much-needed funds for the development of projects when the effect of the premature shutdown new hydrocarbon projects will lead to supply shortages with unbearable price increases, ”he said.
According to him, it is necessary to increase the use of hydrocarbon resources in the country. “For crude oil, this can be achieved through the massive refining and production of petrochemicals.
“Considering the huge prospects that gas offers as a cleaner and more efficient fuel in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared the year 2021 to 2031 as the Gas Decade.
“As President Buhari and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, have argued at various forums, the future of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon industry lies in the GAS.
“Thus, I am extremely happy that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, under the irreproachable leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has started the implementation of several initiatives aimed at developing the oil sector. gas in accordance with the ‘Declaration of the Gas Decade’.
He revealed that the oil map of Africa reveals the rapid spread of hydrocarbon discovery, especially over the past two decades. “Between 2005 and 2015 alone, we had Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal as new additions to the league of countries with hydrocarbon resources. Clearly, Africa is practically sitting in reservoirs of oil and gas.
“In this year alone, Namibia announced the discovery of 120 billion barrels of oil comparable to the Permian Basin in Texas, United States. Other discoveries include the 2 billion barrels discovered in Côte d’Ivoire, 700 million barrels in Ghana and 250 million barrels in Angola.
“With a proven crude oil reserve of 37 billion barrels of oil which is the 11th largest in the world and a proven gas reserve of 206 TCF which is the 9th largest in the world, Nigeria is also well known as a strategic player in the global oil and gas industry.
He added that it is estimated that even if the current level of gas consumption in Nigeria is doubled, gas reserves could last another 50 years and that Nigeria is heavily dependent on revenues from the oil and gas industry to fuel its economy. economy.
With the enormous existing, newly discovered and undiscovered hydrocarbon resources across the African continent, it is relevant to assess the implication of the ongoing integration of the African market on the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
On January 1, 2021, all of Africa became a single market thanks to the AfCFTA, creating the world’s largest free trade area connecting 1.3 billion people on the continent with a combined GDP of approximately $ 3.4 trillion.
The agreement aims to remedy the weak intra-regional trade in Africa, estimated at 17%, against 69% in Europe and 59% in Asia.
Some of the main axes and targeted benefits of AFCFTA include: free movement of people, goods and capital, removal of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, investment in cross-border infrastructure, rationalization of trade, investments and monetary policies.
According to him, AFCFTA is changing the game by changing the fortunes of the continent as economic and social benefits affect multiple sectors such as trade, education, health, finance, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing. and even the oil and gas industry. .