Browsing: Oil and Gas

OPEC oil cuts will hurt most African economies

African countries will be largely impacted by the decision by the global cartel of oil producing countries to cut oil production given that only 14 out of 54 countries in Sub-Sahara Africa produce oil, which accounts for the lion’s share of their annual export earnings.

Many African countries have to import refined oil and rely on oil products in power generation. A hike in oil prices will boost economies of oil producing countries, by gaining foreign exchange earnings to carry out development projects such as Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Libya, Cameroon, and Congo among others.

Consequently, this will create more job opportunities and greatly aid in poverty alleviation. In addition, the revenues could be redirected to other sectors that make significant contributions to the respective economies. By example, in countries like Cameroon, Gabon and Congo, internet infrastructure and technology could largely benefit from re-investing.

The crisis has thrown the energy market into chaos, sending fossil fuel prices soaring. This has birthed the global demand for thermal coal, especially from the Asian and European markets; with most countries in both regions having been dependent of Russia, as the country is the world’s third largest supplier of thermal coal used chiefly for power generation. Coal plants that had been scheduled for closure in Europe have been reopened, to fill the deficit in mitigating fuel costs and generating electricity; as the alternative gas, is inarguably more expensive. With energy security under threat, climate policies and commitments have taken a back seat. The EU recently declared that natural gas now qualifies for green investments.

The African coal market is projected to enjoy double its revenue for the next one year. The prevailing energy gap has created a window of opportunity for African coal producing nations. According to a report by Reuters, South Africa’s coal exports rose by 11 folds in the months following the war. Botswana has also projected growth in its coal market. The massive demand far outstrips the available supply, resulting into prices of thermal coal leaping to record levels. African countries with coal resources, have doubled profit margins, with the surge in demand from European buyers. Italy, France, Portugal and Spain have been sourcing from Nigeria, whilst Germany has sought Senegal for gas supplies.

The revenues gained from increased energy exports to Europe and other markets could be reinvested to boost agricultural productivity in Africa to mitigate reliance on Russia and Ukrainian wheat products. In addition, the surplus could boost the continent’s manufacturing sector, pertinently fertilizers to promote agricultural productivity which fuels most economies in Africa.

African governments must consider strategies to optimise the effective use of imported oil. The optimisation will reduce net oil import proportions to minimise expenses. More generally, African nations must explore these strategies to minimise their reliance on oil as their only energy source.

Reducing oil consumption by shifting to renewable resources represents a long-term or short-term solution. In contrast, if Africa is to benefit or gain from the imminent possibility of an increase in oil prices, these few oil-producing nations must expand their crude oil production and refinery capacity.

Kenya first announced the discovery of oil in Block 10BB and 13T in Turkana in March 2012.

This became a beacon of hope for the nation, to massively spur economic growth through the so-called ‘petro-dollars’. Currently, Tullow is the project operator and has a 50 per cent stake, while Africa Oil Corp and Total Energies hold 25 per cent each. However, the country is yet to fully commercialize crude oil production. Hitherto, Kenya’s petrodollar dream has only experienced delays and missed deadlines. The project stalled as the companies’ focus was on mitigating debt and finalizing its development programme.

The major road block has been a lack of sufficient working capital, which has led to a scale back in activities to minimize capital investment, until both a strategic partner and the Final Development Plan (FDP) are approved. Since the start of the year, the firm has been engaged in discussions with the government, on the approval of its FDP and securing their deliverables thereof. Currently, the government has extended the review period of the FDP to the November 6, 2022.

“These items require satisfactory resolution before the Group can take a final investment decision. Due to the binary nature of these uncertainties, the Group was unable to adjust the cash flows or discount rates appropriately,” Tullow explained.

What is good for the goose must also be good for the gander. However, the EU commission has commissioned the Baltic pipe project, somewhat similar to the EACOP. The Baltic Pipe project was inaugurated on September 27, 2022, at an opening ceremony in Goleniów, Poland.

There is still plenty to accomplish. Even after a year, the PIA is still in a transitional period, with committees deliberating its practical implications. One seasoned Nigerian expert questioned how much the NNPC would change due to its transition into a limited liability corporation. Still, post-PIA data suggests that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry may be moving in the right direction.

The second issue the MoU covers is building capacity on health and safety standards, which is another key disqualifier marked on local companies when competing with global actors in the oil and gas market.

Further, the MoU brings onboard knowledge to help the local technocrats, upcoming companies, and experts submit and succeed at various tenders offered on the international markets. In most cases, local companies have lost tender bids to experienced foreign companies.

“We need the local players to understand deeply about these oil and gas related tenders and deliver within the internationally recognized standards”, He added.

The ATOGS chief didn’t hold back his grand ambition to transform Tanzania’s business operations for the greater good, highlighting Nigeria’s success story.

The European Union has imposed restrictions, including a partial oil embargo on Russia. The sanctions will see the E.U. ban seaborne imports of Russian crude oil by the end of 2022. Additionally, petroleum product imports would stand prohibited by early 2023. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reiterates the E.U. plans to reduce reliance on Russian fossil resources by 2027.

Because of the European Union’s political determination to minimize its reliance on Russia in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the E.U. is now searching for alternative suppliers. The search implies that suppliers such as Africa’s underdeveloped frontier energy markets may discover new energy markets in Europe. Optimism remains high since it is clear the E.U. no longer rely on Russian gas. Russia has for years remained a primary gas supplier in Europe.