EXECUTIVES from some gas-producing countries in Africa have made a strong case for gas-directed investment and strengthened Africa-Russia cooperation.
The high-level representatives from Mozambique, Nigeria and South Africa have been speaking in Johannesburg at the international roundtable on natural gas, hosted by the African Energy Chamber (AEC) and Russian-based global energy giant, Gazprom.
Despite representing a relatively new gas market, two major discoveries in South Africa’s offshore basins in 2019 made clear the lucrative potential of the country’s gas industry.
In order to accelerate the development of resources and the realisation of national growth objectives, the government is working towards putting in place a Gas Master Plan.
“Our focus is on policy and planning,” stated Craig Morkel, Chairman, South Africa Oil and Gas Association. He highlighted that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy sees this integrated into the broader Integrated Resource Plan.
It has also identified where demand will be located and how this can be serviced by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as well as the gas-to-power demand.
The Masterplan looks at both a bottom-up and top-down approach.
“We look forward to Gazprom participating in the country,” Morkel said.
“We would like you to tell us what would make South Africa more attractive to you, so that we can go to our government and advise. We look forward to working with Gazprom.”
Meanwhile, a number of countries across the continent have kicked off ambitious natural gas projects.
“Mozambique has already exported its first LNG cargo, representing a huge milestone for our country,” said Michel Ussene, Executive Chairman, Mitra Energy.
However, with the quantities of gas located in the far north of the country, over 2 200km from the capital city Maputo, Ussene stated, “We need to look at what to do with this gas, and we need to think out of the box.”
The executive believes Gazprom is well-positioned.
“The most interesting thing is that most of the gas is used in the country and not exported. This is a game-changer to know that Gazprom is selling more in-country than outside. This way, we can increase access and create jobs.”
In West Africa, Nigeria has embarked on an ambitious gas agenda, with projects being driven under the country’s “Decade of Gas.”
Despite offering significant resources, lack of investment has limited development in Nigeria.
“Africa does not have much funding, but we have resources. This is why it is important to come up with new approaches,” said Dahiru Moyi, Advisor to the Minister of Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Gazprom has not been able to operate in Nigeria due to lack of policy, a trend which has now been eliminated with the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in 2021.
Gazprom is seen as offering African countries the expertise, financing and technology needed to see large-scale projects into completion.
– CAJ News