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Africa set to become top gas market, says experts

In a recent event-related report, there appears to be uncertainty around whether South Africa’s gas market, and the regional gas boom, will replace mining as the region’s new money-spinner.

Leading energy and gas experts, including Karen Breytenbach from the Department of Energy’s IPP Office, Dr Garth Strachan from the South African Department of Trade & Industry and Head of the Gas Industrialisation Unit, and John Smelcer, Oil & Gas Partner at Webber Wentzel, are expected to address the industry next week in Johannesburg.

The experts will be examining what the future holds for South Africa’s gas industry and what economic growth prospects this sector can provide to business, the press statement said.

Africa set to become top gas market

According to the news release, Africa is set to become a leading gas market and has the potential to become a significant market for the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) with many African countries exploring the natural gas potential.

According to a report by PwC: “Africa is the last true oil and gas frontier with more than 4,200 oil and gas blocks identified.

“The continent has proven natural gas reserves of 513 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with 91% of the annual natural gas production of 7.1Tcf coming from Nigeria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt.”

The report added: “Almost half of Africa’s gas blocks are open, subject to force majeure or in the application phase. More than 80% of the 1,300 blocks in North Africa are licensed, while in sub-Saharan Africa it is estimated that only about 30% of 2,900 blocks are licensed.

“In the sub-Saharan regions it is evident that many new opportunities still exist, especially for exploration and production (E&P) companies that are willing to take risks.”

According to Smelcer: “We are on the cusp of a new industry – but significant challenges remain to lift-off.

“Strategic engagement by all key stakeholders will be required to get over the last hurdles.”

The potential is evident, but today’s leading oil and gas executives in Africa will need to stay on top of emerging challenges and opportunities to remain competitive in the nascent industry.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.


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