The African Oil and Gas industry is showing signs of an auspicious future; there is renewed investor interest and burgeoning confidence in the continent and sector following continued upward movement in oil prices and recent oil and gasdiscoveries. This was very apparent by the host of panel discussions, country and company presentations at the recently concluded 25th edition of the Africa Oil Week (AOW) at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.
AOW, the continent’s leading annual oil and gas gathering,marked its 25th year with its largest delegation to date. Over 1,900 guests including CEOs, Government officials, key business decision makers and oil and gas executives from over 70 countries were in attendance to discuss ‘The Leading Business Intelligence and Transaction Platform for Africa’s Oil and Gas Sector’. The event which held from the 5th to 9th of November, provided a platform for sector participants, to share their strategies for growth, better Government participation in the 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.
Nigeria was well represented as Africa’s largest oil producing nation; in attendance were Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Engr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Developing and Managing Board (NCDMB) who both spoke extensively on Nigeria’s local content development approach and its overall contribution towards the African Oil and Gas industry.
Oando PLC, Nigeria’s leading oil and gas company led several discussions during the course of the week. In addition to being a platinum sponsor, delegates from the company provided the Nigerian business perspective on various panels. Speaking on an economic outlook panel titled: “Can Africa’s upstream play a significant role in the context of the global and regional energy landscape” Oando PLC Group Chief Executive, Wale Tinubu said “We have been substantially supported by the Government’s local content policies which have effectively enabled indigenous players step in and play a significant role in the sector. In Nigeria today, out of the 2 million barrels of oil being produced, 400,000 can be attributed to indigenous production”.
Alongside Tinubu on this panel were Jens Frølich Holte, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway; David Hicks, Senior Vice President: Upstream, IHS Markit; Jasper Peijs, Exploration Vice President, BP; Mounir Bouaziz, VP Commercial/New Business Development South America & Africa, Country Chair Dubai & Northern Emirates, Shell and Paul McDade, CEO, Tullow Oil. Paul McDade also spoke extensively on Africa’s economic outlook, he said “Africa has all the components for competitiveness, there are fantastic prospects in the exploration space, low cost production and most importantly there is a skilledworkforce in Africa that any company can tap into”.
Also speaking on Private Sector: Creating Equitable Frameworks and High Quality Local Supply Chains, Dr. Alex Irune, Chief Operating Officer, Oando Energy Resources said “The indigenous private sector has an important role to play in taking the knowledge and value gotten from collaborating with the IOCs and other sector players in the country, transferring that down the value chain to build efficient and effective supply chains that are able to retain value in country.”
Oando’s participation at the renowned conference further reinforces its position as the preferred indigenous oil and gas company in the country. The company has truly carved a niche for itself as an independent indigenous oil and gas company flying the Nigerian flag at global events that shape the future of the sector and the world in general. Events such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, CERA in Houston, Oil Council, Africa Assembly, Africa CEO Forum, OPEC International Seminar, to name but a few. At these events, Oando has engaged in open and transparent dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders to analyze and proffer solutions to global issues.
Local content development was a major sub-theme at AOW and public and private sector officials discussed its impact on the African Oil and Gas landscape. Speaking extensively during the session titled ‘The global private sector’s role in African socio-economic development, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Developing and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi Wabote said “Any company coming into a country to undertake business must have a positive reputation. This reputation is built on your commitment to deliver on your promise and ensure you are there for the survival of the nation as a whole. Local content is not CSR. For me it is an existential imperative for any country in terms of allowing its citizens participate in the oil and gas sector in particular.” The NCDMB has taken giant strides since the commencement of its 10-year strategic plan to increase local content in the oil and gas industry from the current 28% to 70% by 2027.
The conference also discussed some of the current issues being faced by the African Upstream today. Six Ministers from South Africa, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Congo provided insights on their country’s exploration and production strategies during the event. They further discussed routes to further drive growth in National Oil Companies as well as the role which oil and gas plays within economic policy and development plans. Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources spoke extensively on the oil sector’s impact on the Nigerian economy during the Ministerial Insights: National Exploration & Production Strategies’ panel. He said “The oil sector has been a catalyst for growth in the Nigerian economy. It has also driven technology. Privately owned companies in Nigeria have gotten to a point where they can go to other African countries as investors and service providers.” The sessions covered various topics including future trends, hot spots and drilling programmes, governance, transparency and equitable growth, to future outlooks and energy transition outlook to 2050.
Over the years AOW has proven to be the leading business intelligence and transaction platform and the go-to event for the development and signing of new ventures within the industry. Through their insightful and interactive presentations with over 200 speakers including Government Ministers, CEOs, Presidents, senior executives, thought-leaders and delegates, the knowledge sharing and networking opportunities at the event are bound to reinforce why African oil and gas is indeed a viable investment frontier. Speaking on their impact on the wider African oil and gas industry, conference director, Paul Sinclair said “We have invested huge pools of capital to ensure our programme and new forums bring decision makers together to nurture FID and new projects coming online. In a period of USD$70+ oil now is the time to take advantage of these green shoots of optimism in our dynamicindustry”.