H.E. Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is coming to Cape Town in November for African Energy Week (AEW) 2021. Confirmed as a speaker at Africa’s premier energy event, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga is dedicated to improving regional relations, attracting critical investment, and showcasing the significant oil, gas, and renewable potential of the DRC. By promoting the country’s resources and emphasizing the opportunities for investors, the Minister is committed to accelerating energy and economic growth, positioning the country as a competitor in the big leagues.
The DRC holds the second-largest crude oil reserves in Central and Southern Africa after Angola, with proven reserves sitting at 180 million barrels while estimated reserves are as high as 5 billion barrels. Primarily located in the four major lakes, these reserves have the potential to dramatically increase production and exports, initiating sustainable economic development for the region. Currently, French oil major Total and DRC parastatal Cohydro are undertaking exploratory and preliminary extractive activities in the Eastern DRC, with Anglo-French firm Perenco comprising the only oil company producing in the DRC with 23,000 boepd produced in 2020. The company operates 11 fields onshore and offshore as well as the Kalamu floating terminal with 1 million barrels of oil storage capacity. With no refineries in the country, the DRC exports all of its production capacity, relying on refined product imports to sustain its economy. Therefore, a significant investment opportunity has emerged, and H.E. Minister Ntubuanga is keen on capitalizing on it at AEW 2021.
In addition to significant oil reserves, the DRC has approximately 30 billion cubic meters of methane and natural gas. With little to no development in this field, the DRC has the opportunity to leverage these resources for power generation, with methane, in particular, providing a unique power opportunity. Already, neighboring Rwanda has seen some success in this area with the operation of the KivuWatt power plant. By focusing on development in this field, and driving investment at AEW 2021, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga can significantly enhance electrification, spurring economic development in the process.
The DRC holds some of the most impressive energy resources not only on the continent, but in the world
The International Trade Administration suggests that with its significant oil and gas reserves, and a comparatively low production rate, there is room for international organizations with onshore and offshore operational experience to establish a strong foothold in the DRC, accelerating socio-economic development through energy sector advancement. By showcasing the immense potential of the DRC oil and gas sector in Cape Town, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga can engage with investors, financial institutions, and private sector executives, and drive growth across the country’s burgeoning energy sector.
“The DRC holds some of the most impressive energy resources not only on the continent but in the world. With potential in the oil, natural gas, and renewable sectors, the country is well on its way to transforming its energy and economic environment. What the DRC urgently needs is an investment, and AEW 2021 provides the best platform by which this can be attained. The event unites global and regional stakeholders in Cape Town, emphasizing networking, engagement, and deal-making. We are confident that the DRC will establish fundamental partnerships and sign transformative deals that will elevate the country to global energy success,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
Meanwhile, the DRC holds some of the largest hydropower potentials in Africa – estimated at 100,000MW – leading to a renewed focus to further capitalize on its significant resources through the expansion of existing hydroelectric facilities. 96% of power generation in the DRC comes from hydropower, the bulk of which derives from the Inga I and Inga II dams located in the Kongo Central Province. With an installed capacity of 1,775MW, and new plans to expand the facility to produce a cumulative output capacity of 42,000MW through the Inga III project, the DRC is positioning itself as a regional renewable power producer.
Despite the potential of its hydropower resources, the DRC represents the third-largest population in the world without access to electricity. Accordingly, the government is ramping up its efforts to significantly increase electrification country-wide and is seeking regional and international investment to do so. The DRC’s well-positioned and largely untapped solar and hydropower resources make it one of the highest potential markets in Africa, and by engaging with H.E. Minister Ntubuanga at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, investors will be introduced to lucrative business opportunities across the DRC power sector. The World Bank posits that the investment needs in the power sector vastly exceed the government’s fiscal capacity, and therefore, the Minister is focused on attracting private capital and international strategic partnerships at AEW 2021.
After twenty years of deliberation and revision, Nigeria’s historic Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has officially been signed into law by H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari. The signing of the PIB comes one month after it was passed by the house of representatives and the Nigerian Senate, and is expected to dramatically increase investment by providing a framework for the country’s oil and gas activities.
With a primary focus on investor certainty and transparency, as well as the enhancement of the sector’s attractiveness for international investment, the newly passed PIB is expected to position Nigeria as one of Africa’s top energy markets. By integrating 16 petroleum laws into one comprehensive and coherent document, that provides a framework to boost oil and gas output, the PIB will accelerate investment and development in a post-COVID-19 landscape.
Nigeria has managed to elevate itself onto the global energy stage through the passing of its PIB
The signing of the PIB represents a significant moment for Nigeria, and is expected to drive foreign investment through an established enabling environment, large-scale energy developments through a productive and coherent regulatory framework, and increased local participation through local content-focused policies. Accordingly, the Bill has paved the way for an influx in new developments, and African Energy Week (AEW) taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November 2021 aims to emphasize this.
The African Energy Chamber will continue to advocate for policies that encourage transparent implementation of the PIB. Government policies and the implementation team must be rational, fair, and honest. They must do their work to ensure that this PIB spurs investment, innovation, and competition.
“Nigeria has managed to elevate itself onto the global energy stage through the passing of its PIB. The recently signed PIB not only increases the competitiveness of the Nigerian energy sector, but through fiscal incentives, market-driven policies, and unified regulations, the Bill has positioned the country as the premier investment destination for both regional and international investors. AEW 2021 will put Nigeria and its transformative PIB on show in Cape Town and, through its exclusive networking opportunities, will drive investment in one of Africa’s most formidable markets,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
AEW 2021 in Cape Town will showcase and promote Nigeria’s post-PIB opportunities, uniting investors and international partners with Nigerian stakeholders. With a Nigerian delegation coming to Cape Town led by H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum, Nigeria will be on show to the world and investors will have a first-hand look at emerging opportunities and competitive prospects. Join international stakeholders, government representatives, and private sector executives at Africa’s premier energy event, and be part of Nigeria’s exciting energy future.
In a bid to drive U.S. investment in the African energy sector, the U.S.-Africa Energy Forum (USAEF) 2021 kicked off on Monday with a virtual session – organized by Energy Capital & Power (EnergyCapitalPower.com) – featuring petroleum ministers from Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea along with leading energy and finance industry leaders.
Under the theme, The U.S.-Africa Energy Partnership: Successes and New Horizons, the first of two virtual sessions identified key factors behind investment success stories on the continent, as well as leading opportunities for future cooperation, centering on the clean energy value chain and full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Opening remarks were given by H.E. Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons of Republic of the Congo – a veteran of the oil and gas industry and one of the founding members of the National Petroleum Company of Congo – and NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC).
“Cooperation between America and Africa will be a key factor for the global future,” said H.E. Minister Itoua. “In energy, Africa is not the problem. Africa is the solution. This becomes even more true when you talk about the transition. We have substantial quantities of oil, but more importantly, we have substantial quantities of gas – which is the first part of the energy transition – as well as one of the most important potentials for renewables.”
“We can no longer accept that more than 650 million on the African continent go without electricity every day, when there is an abundance of gas and petroleum resources that can be used,” said Ayuk. “At the AEC, we are committed to free-market policies, limited government and finding ways to integrate new projects into our continent. We welcome American ingenuity that has been the driving force behind the U.S. energy revolution to date.”
Panelists included H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea; Alexa Burr, Vice President for Standards & Services, American Petroleum Institute (API); Akinwole Omoboriowo II, Chairman and CEO, Genesis Energy Group; Posso Ganame, Chairman, Texas-West Africa Chamber of Commerce; and Miguel Peñaloza, Business Development / Project Finance, U.S. Export-Import (EXIM) Bank.
For Equatorial Guinea, the U.S. represents the single largest foreign investor in the country and has played a critical role in its hydrocarbon development, as well as more recent domestic gas monetization drive, since the entry of ExxonMobil in 1994 and subsequent discovery of the prolific Zafiro field. According to a poll by ECP, 54% of respondents believe that the Gulf of Guinea remains sub-Saharan Africa’s most promising exploration hotspot.
Cooperation between America and Africa will be a key factor for the global future
“American companies like ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation and United Meridian were the ones that made Equatorial Guinea what it is today. If we have energy, infrastructure and local capacity, it has been thanks to U.S. companies,” said H.E. Minister Lima. “Another critical element is the way that they have transferred technology and know-how. For example, the Zafiro field is 90%-operated by Equatoguineans. It hasn’t just been investment, but rather investment in human resources and involvement across upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. Finally, Equatorial Guinea has the highest per capita investment in infrastructure. U.S. companies and institutions advised us to invest in our base infrastructure, so if the oil ends, we can still continue with services.”
In addition to hydrocarbon exploration, panelists highlighted key integrated foreign investment and export opportunities along the clean energy value chain, as well as implementation of the AfCFTA, which aims to accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position within the global market.
“We see a rebound taking place as global energy demand returns to pre-pandemic levels,” said Burr. “Gas and LNG have a particularly important role to play, as the industry intends to expand its use of lower carbon hydrocarbon development and deliver affordable, clean energy while reducing our environmental footprint. This will have an impact on investments and portfolios. At API, we have recently come out with a climate action framework, demonstrating our commitment to investing in lower-carbon technologies. Through our partnerships, we hope to bring that to Africa and commercialize promising new industries that are leading the way.”
“Tariffs for intra-African trade will be eliminated, which is a huge opportunity for U.S. companies to access all African nations and grow their businesses across the continent,” said Posso. “This will save costs. Instead of spending money on tariffs, companies will use that money to expand their business. This is a great opportunity for U.S. businesses to invest in Africa.”
The panelists also highlighted that developing and maintaining financial access to African markets was key to expanding Africa’s energy sector. According to a poll by ECP, 70% of respondents believe that blended financing is best suited to meeting Africa’s energy and infrastructure investment gap.
“With the U.S as a key partner to 54 African countries, there are various initiatives on which U.S. government entities and companies can endeavor to focus. One relates to blended concessionary financing, which has the capacity to enable projects that may not be commercially viable without support,” said Omoboriowo. “We need to get more American companies that are hands on with their investments. For example, companies in the U.S. produce solar batteries and panels. I’m sure we can find free trade areas on the continent where we can localize the factories. My sense is that there are practical, realistic initiatives that the U.S. can collaborate with identified countries.”
For its part, the U.S. EXIM Bank has a congressional mandate to support trade and investment to sub-Saharan Africa and has supported over $12.5 billion in investments in the region to date, with the largest being the five-billion-dollar direct loan to support the export of U.S. goods and services to the Mozambique LNG development.
“As a government agency, we are demand-driven and a tool for U.S. exporters as they develop new technologies, products and services. We support them in being able to get their products sold to Africa,” said Peñaloza. “Power Africa, Prosper Africa under the previous administration, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the U.S. Development Finance Corporation, the U.S. EXIM Bank – from a governmental perspective, we all try to collaborate and work together.”
USAEF 2021 seeks to introduce American companies to African opportunities, promote greater investment in African nations’ energy value chains, and advance an agenda of sustainable, long-term investment in African energy (including petroleum, clean energy, power infrastructure and mineral resources) and other sectors by U.S. organizations. An in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, leading up to the main summit and gala dinner in Houston, Texas on October 4-5, 2021.
Hyve Group Plc, organisers of Africa Oil Week (Africa-OilWeek.com) have released the first line-up of Ministers who will be attending the 2021 event due to take place in Dubai 8-11 November.
The initial line-up consists of two former African Presidents, Commissioner for the African Union Commission, Secretary General for AfCFTA and Ministers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Republic of Congo, Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Djibouti. This initial line-up suggests government presence at Africa Oil Week 2021 will be as strong as ever.
Paul Sinclair, VP of Energy and Government Relations for Africa Oil Week said “Governments are an integral part of Africa Oil Week and we are delighted to be able to provide the sector with much needed direct access to these leaders. Discussions onsite will take the form of 15+ National Energy Showcases, ministerial panel discussions and pre-arranged 1-2-1 meetings and will help to drive investment and advance energy projects in to, and across Africa.”
We are very much looking forward to attending Africa Oil Week in Dubai in November
Africa Oil Week is known for gathering vast numbers of African and international energy ministers and acts as a deal-making platform for the most senior stakeholders within the African upstream industry.
Foday Mansaray, Director General for Sierra Leone’s Petroleum Directorate who has also confirmed his participation said “We are very much looking forward to attending Africa Oil Week in Dubai in November. We look forward to participating in the event and presenting opportunities that Sierra Leone has.”
To date, the following Ministers and government leaders have been announced to attend Africa Oil Week 2021:
H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria
H.E. Dr. Peter Arthur Mutharika, Former President of Malawi
H.E. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission
H.E Wamkele Keabetswe Mene, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
Hon. Jean-Marc Thystere Tchicaya, Minister of Hydrocarbons, Republic of Congo
Hon. Abdirashiid Mohamed Ahmed, Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources, Republic of Somalia
Hon. Timothy Kabba, Minister of Mineral Resources, Republic of Sierra Leone
Hon. Hon. John Munyes, Cabinet Sec Ministry of Petroleum & Mining, Republic of Kenya
Hon. Dr. Koang Tutlam, State Minister of Mines, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Republic of Ethiopia
Hon. Fafa Sayang, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Republic of Gambia
Hon. Lamine Seydou Traore, Minister of Energy and Water, Republic of Mali
Hon. Bachir Ismael, Minister of Energy, Republic of Burkina Faso
Hon. Yonis Ali Guedi, Minister of Energy, Republic of Djibouti
Atty. Saifuah-Mai Gray, CEO, National Oil Company of Liberia
Hon. Archie Donmo, Director General, Liberia Petroleum Regulatory Authority
Francis Gatare, CEO, Rwanda Mining Petroleum and Gas Board
Proscovia Nabbanja, Ag. Chief Executive Officer, Uganda National Oil Company
Ms. Asha Omar, CEO, Somalia Petroleum Authority
Foday Mansaray, Director General, Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone
Maixent Raoul Ominga, Head, SNPC, Republic of Congo
Jerreh Barrow, Commissioner for Petroleum, Ministry of Petroleum & Energy, Republic of Gambia
Dr. Solomon Kassa, Director for Petroleum Exploration, Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, Republic of Ethiopia
Ibrahim Djamous, Director Gen Hydrocarbon, SHT, Republic of Chad
Mr. Famourou Kourouma, Director General ONAP, Republic of Guinea
Alem Kibreab, Director General of the Department of Mines at the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Eritrea
For more information on the Ministers and government leaders attending, please click here (bit.ly/35KOz7M).