Africa’s largest oil producers do not plan to abandon oil and gas exploration and production and could consider creating a continent-wide bank to fund new projects when international banks refuse to finance new developments.
Nigeria, an OPEC member and the largest oil producer in Africa, hosted this week a round table on local content in oil and gas projects, attended by Nigeria’s Oil Minister Timipre Sylva, the Secretary-General of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO), Omar Ibrahim, and representatives of other African producers where oil and gas is an important part of the gross domestic product (GDP). The nations present included Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Gabon, Cameroon, and Niger.
“While over 15 African nations are producing and exporting crude oil, a sad reality is that our people have not benefited maximally from this natural resource,” Nigeria’s minister Sylva said, as carried by local outlet This Day.
Raising the share of local content in oilfield services and the industry’s supply chain is one of the ways to cope with the growing reluctance for funding oil and gas projects and the environmental backlash against fossil fuels, according to Sylva.
Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary at the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), said that Africa may need to set up a continental bank to fund oil and gas projects now that major international banks are reviewing their exposure and commitments to fossil fuels.
“Financial institutions and IOCs, even educational research institutions, that are centres of innovation for the industry are closing their petroleum faculties in order to be seen to be in conformity with the global paradigm shift,” This Day quoted the secretary general of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, Ibrahim, as saying.
“With over 100 billion barrels of oil still in our ground, most economies are still heavily dependent on oil revenue. Is Africa ready to forgo the production of those 100 billion barrels and classify them as wasted assets?’’ Ibrahim added.