Focus on oil and gas development at the fourth Upstream West Africa Summit

uwas 17The event discusses challenges and opportunities in the oil and gas development in West Africa. (Image source: Vale Media Group)The fourth edition of Vale Media Group's Upstream West Africa Summit took place in Dakar, at the Radisson Blu hotel from 20-22 June 2018

The Summit began with the Upstream 20 closed-door session in the afternoon of the 20th, where high-level representatives from the IOCs, NOCs, government officials and other leaders in the industry gathered to discuss the pressing issues of ‘Developing the Deepwater Hydrocarbon Potential of West Africa’s E & P Hotspot.’

The discussion set the tone for the remainder of the conference as it clearly highlighted that the main challenges facing the industry are the need for expertise and a safe, secure and attractive environment for investors. Local content development is also a very hot topic that government officials stressed in their remarks.

The conference was centred on keynote presentations, a panel discussion and roundtable sessions by some major players in the industry including Petrosen, Cos-Petrogaz, NNPC, GNPC (Ghana), NOCAL, FAR Ltd, Asharami Energy, OANDO, Springfield Group, Yinson, McDermott, NXT Energy Solutions, BHGE, Salama Fikira & Calyx Capital Partners.

Most of the companies operating in the sub-region, or willing to do so, are facing some recurrent issues, such as financing and local expertise. A great deal of emphasis has been put into the need for training the locals and build capacities as well as encouraging collaboration between NOCs and IOCs.

Areas that have been unanimously identified as important to focus on by the IOCs are:

· Financing and Regulation

· Local Expertise

· Indigenisation

· Legal and Regulatory Framework

· Education

· Environment

· Women Empowerment

GNPC has presented an ambitious plan of preparing the youth of Ghana through sponsoring students both in the country and abroad.

The potential in oil and gas is enormous in the region and its exploitation shall benefit the local populations and the countries owning the resources, however, the IOCs and investors should be presented with an environment conducive to business and friendly.

This 4th edition was also the occasion to reaffirm Vale Media Group as a major player in the field, as it succeeded in gathering global officials who have interests all over the ECOWAS region. The Summit provided a platform where exchange of best practices and benchmarking could be done to the benefit of countries like Senegal, the Gambia among others, that are newcomers in the Oil & Gas industry.

Breakout sessions and B2B meetings were taking place alongside the presentations and business opportunities and interesting leads were created as a result of gathering players who had an interest in one another.

The tone is set, and the participants have already expressed their desire to come back and build on this resounding success in Dakar.

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