East African oil & gas discoveries stir global explorer interest

by Trust Matsilele 0

DHL’s Steve Harley says oil discoveries in the region were contributing to the recent attention in the tea and coffee dominated region.

(READ MORE: Future of the oil & gas boom of East Africa)

“Oil discoveries in Uganda and Kenya have also added to the excitement in the sector as new players look to enter these markets, including some of the largest independent and international oil companies, “ Harley, president of DHL Energy Sector noted.

He added that, while Angola and Nigeria have always been the most notable producers within the sub-Saharan region, more recently, deposits in East Africa were diverting the global interest of exploration companies. 

Harley explained that in addition to the developments in East Africa, both Namibia and South Africa are also on the radar of investors within the sector.

“South Africa in particular is receiving much attention, mostly because of the potential of shale gas in the Karoo, but also because it has a long and largely unexplored coastline, off which many believe large hydrocarbon fields may exist,” he reiterated.

“As a result of the region’s potential, there are several offshore drilling exploration expeditions currently being planned in South Africa by the major oil companies.”

Harley expressed worry that even with this renewed interest, the region remained largely unexplored.

“While exploration activity in Africa is at its highest level ever, the continent remains largely unexplored,” said Harley.

PwC’s Africa Oil & Gas review titled from promise to performance released in June 2013, revealed that Africa currently supplies approximately 12 per cent of the world’s oil and boasts untapped reserves estimated at eight per cent of the world’s proven reserves.

“With the ever-increasing need for energy in Asia and in particular China, many of these countries are positioning themselves strategically in Africa as they seek to tap into new resources to support their growing energy needs,” noted Harley.

Harley says, despite the significant developments in the renewable energy sector, the world’s dependency on hydrocarbon-fuelled energy resources will continue for many years to come.

(READ MORE: Africa could lead energy storage revolution)

Augmenting his claims, Harley cites the BP Energy Outlook 2035 report, stating that global energy consumption is expected to rise by 41 per cent from 2012 to 2035, and that 95 per cent of that growth in demand is expected to come from the emerging economies.

“Across the globe, existing and previously significant oil reserves are being depleted and so the need and desire to explore new geographies and develop new technologies to reach and extract difficult oil and gas reserves becomes ever more apparent,” he said.

“These new technologies are being developed at a rapid rate, which is allowing previously challenging operations and inaccessible deposits to be economically extracted and produced.”