African Energy Week (AEW) 2022 – taking place in Cape Town on November 18-21, 2022 – has launched the Africa Oil and Gas Just Transition Forum, a market-driven event focused on downstream, midstream, and upstream opportunities across Africa’s oil and gas energy space. Taking place in Johannesburg on October 3-7, the Forum is dedicated to Africa’s position on the global oil and gas debate and will unite regional and continental players to discuss how energy will drive Africa’s economic development.
The global energy sector is in a state of flux, with supply chains being disrupted, countries seeking alternative energy sources, and new channels of investment being directed to emerging energies. In the current state of global affairs, one of the most prominent areas of focus to emerging is Africa, with the continent’s resources recognized as the solution for the international community’s energy crises in 2022 and beyond.
On the oil front, Africa is persisting with exploration in a bid to mitigate production declines seen across the continent, with sizable discoveries such as the Graff-1 well find made by Shell and TotalEnergies’ Venus X1 well in Namibia in 2022 spurring further upstream activity. Despite global calls for the transition to cleaner sources of fuel, 2022 is expected to be a much more encouraging year for hydrocarbon exploration, with nine high impact wells in the drilling schedule, as well as results of as many as 14 exploration licensing rounds from across the continent expected to be announced. Accordingly, significant opportunities are present across the continent’s upstream sector, with a mix of majors, independents, and local companies expected to participate.
Meanwhile, regarding gas, Africa is poised to see an influx of new investments and project take-offs as European markets seek alternative supplies due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In this regard, significant opportunities have emerged across the entire natural gas value chain in Africa. Notably, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has become a key area of focus and projects such as TotalEnergies Mozambique LNG project; ExxonMobil’s Rovuma LNG facility; Senegal and Mauritania’s Grand Tortue Ahmeyim gas project; and the Tanzania LNG project are expected to get a boost. Additionally, as international markets seek energy security and viable import networks, pipeline projects from Africa will be critical. Just this year, Nigeria, Niger, and Algeria announced the resumption of construction of the 4,128km Trans-Saharan gas pipeline which will link Nigeria’s gas-rich fields to European markets. As the international community looks to capitalize on Africa’s gas resources, significant investments are expected in gas-related infrastructures such as pipelines, LNG export terminals, and maritime logistics, and as Africa looks to utilize more of its gas, new developments regarding gas-to-power and trade and distribution are on the horizon.
“Recent global events have shown that Africa’s oil and gas resources are not only critical for Africa but the entire global community. Global players have and continue to recognize the role Africa’s resources will play in meeting demand, ensuring energy security, and driving stability in global energy markets. What Africa needs now, is to be a part of and lead the discussion. That is what the Africa Oil and Gas Just Transition Forum aims to do,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
However, Africa’s opportunities extend from oil and gas, with various players recognizing the role new energies such as renewables and hydrogen will play in driving a just transition in Africa. Africa’s renewable and hydrogen potential is unparalleled, and major developments are already underway to realize this potential. In the renewables space, projects such as the 6 GW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Hydroelectric project; the 600 MW Chollet Hydroelectric Power Station on the Dja River in the Congo and Cameroon; and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 200 MW solar plants showcase Africa’s potential and ongoing progress to utilize renewable resources.
Meanwhile, on the hydrogen front – a resource that has the potential to diversify the continent’s energy mix, improve electrification and significantly reduce carbon emissions while ensuring a consistent and reliable energy supply – new developments have taken off in 2021 and 2022, with more expected to follow. Notably, South Africa launched its Hydrogen Society Roadmap – a framework to prepare the country for a hydrogen economy -; Namibia launched its $9.4 billion green hydrogen project, and Egypt partnered with H-2 Industries for the development of a 1 GW waste-to-hydrogen facility. These developments, and the many more anticipated to follow, will position Africa as a highly competitive hydrogen economy.
“We are well aware of the need to transition to a cleaner energy future. What we are calling for is that Africa establishes its own strategy for a just transition. Using our oil and gas resources, we can reinject capital into new technologies such as renewables and hydrogen, creating a space for development that does not negate current energy poverty alleviation efforts. Africa cannot transition in a day, and what this Forum aims to do is ensure every stakeholder is involved in the discussion on how best Africa can transition, ensuring it is done in a way that is inclusive, beneficial, and productive,” Ayuk notes.
While the continent undergoes significant sectoral changes in light of recent global events, AEW 2022 is committed to providing not one, but multiple platforms for stakeholder engagement. The Africa Oil and Gas Just Transition Forum serves as a form of prelude to the continent’s premier energy event, AEW 2022, and will start conversations that will be continued at AEW 2022 in Cape Town and COP27 in Cairo. The AEC is committed to ensuring inclusive dialogue, inviting new stakeholders to engage, strengthening Africa-focused debates, and leading discussions from ‘Cape to Cairo.’ Having recently launched Team Energy Africa – an initiative aimed at mobilizing private sector financing for accelerated clean energy deployment across Africa – the AEC is focused on driving investment and development across the oil, gas, renewables, and hydrogen sectors in Africa.
AEW 2022 is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition, and networking event. AEW 2022 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments. Key organizations such as the African Petroleum Producers Organization, as well as African heavyweights including Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, have partnered with AEW, strengthening the role the event will play in Africa’s energy future.