Oil & Gas: Expert Predicts Robust Gains For Nigeria and Others
As global investors renew their business strategies for the New Year, an oil and gas expert, NJ Ayuk, has declared that Africa’s oil and gas industry is going to breathe new life into many economies and create new opportunities for very many Africans in 2023.
Ayuk, who is the Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber, in a report by African Business Communities, noted that during the recent African Energy Week, many players and host nations outlined some of the most ambitious plans to produce more natural gas, diversify economies and create more jobs especially for women and young people, saying this was a better plan than development aid.
According to him, “take Nigeria, whose oil production hit a 30-year low this August but is now projected to see an overall increase through 2023. By tackling its most dramatic setbacks, the West African nation has managed to maintain equilibrium.
“One such setback came to light at the Forcados crude oil terminal in July, when operators discovered leaks around the loading buoy, halting exports from the terminal. The operators, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria, promptly promised to repair the leaks and resume exports by late October — and they met the self-appointed deadline.
“Last summer also saw a huge escalation in pipeline theft that culminated in Nigeria losing its spot as Africa’s biggest oil producer. Ironically, this may have served as a much-needed wake-up call to tackle the decades-old problem of theft.
After a July and August that saw Nigeria’s output fall below one million bpd, the government awarded security contracts to protect the pipelines. “The tactic yielded fruit within a month when contractors uncovered an illicit pipeline that had been siphoning stolen oil for nine years. By November, Nigeria’s output had climbed back to one million bpd. He pointed out that in September 2022, the EU approved an additional €15 million to support counterinsurgency efforts in Mozambique.
That fresh funding – intended to protect the natural gas-rich area of Cabo Delgado – brings the bloc’s total support up to €104 million this year.
According to him, “this sudden involvement in the area’s five-year security saga highlights Europe’s newfound interest in a stable, energyproducing Africa.” He noted that oil prices spiked to $85 a barrel by November and currently show no signs of slowing, stressing that the Russia-Ukraine conflict had sent shockwaves through the entire oil and gas industry, with western nations, particularly in the EU, searching for alternate fuel sources.
While the U.S. immediately banned Russian oil imports in March, similar measures by the U.K. and EU were put off until December. “As we point out in our released report, “The State of African Energy: 2023 Outlook,” during African Energy Week, African oil and gas production remains steady — and fairly immune to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
“Libya experienced an even more dramatic pendulum, with production falling from 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to 100,000 bpd this spring. In a now-familiar pattern, the conflict between two competing governments led to production outages and blockades. By August, however, production had returned to a steady 1.2 million bpd.
“These setbacks in Nigeria and Libya have something in common: The solutions came from within. In a world reeling from the ripple effects of the Ukraine conflict, any producer that can tackle its largest issues in-house, without relying on geopolitical trends, deserves some notice. “Europe seems to share this attitude.
Total and Eni are “close” to finalizing oil production deals with Libya, where BP is also due to begin new onshore drilling. These reassuring signs all address the other major challenge shared by Libya, Angola, and Nigeria: Lack of new projects and foreign investment.
Exxon also recently discovered a new well in Angola, another nation in need of fresh prospects. I had a chance to keynote the Angola oil and gas gathering and held discussions with key industry players. There is fresh hope and excitement on the horizon.
“Even without factoring in these recent deals, our 2023 report predicts marginal growth for Africa’s oil production at just over 7 million bpd. Intriguingly, a stable Libya and fresh projects could see that output grow to 7.25 million bpd by 2030. In the Russia-roiled short term, Africa’s sheer consistency offers relief to energy-hungry nations – and in the long term, potential energy security