India and Japan look to African oil and gas for energy security

Tail of Japan Oil Transportation Freight TrainSpeakers from India and Japan told the Africa Oil Week conference this week about plans to invest in Africa's oil and gas producing countries to help meet growing energy demands

Dr Anil Bhandari, an independent consultant and former director of exploration for ONGC, said that India currently produces 2.3 per cent of the world's total energy but 17 per cent of its crude oil imports, essential for meeting energy security needs across multiple sectors, come from Africa. Additionally, Angola and Nigeria are leading exporters of gas to India.

India is also investing in hydrocarbons projects elsewhere on the continent, with interests in Libya, Sudan, South Sudan and Mozambique, and plans to invest in Algeria, South Africa and basins in East and West Africa.

"India can be a natural market for Africa, due to its proximity to African oil and gas resources," said Dr Bhandari. "Indian and African companies can work closely together."

Japan is also eyeing African oil and gas projects to help meet its energy demands, with 90 per cent of its energy needs relying on imports of oil, gas and coal. Mika Takehara, a researcher and analyst for Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), told the conference that Japan is investing heavily in oil and gas projects abroad to ensure energy security in the low oil price environment.

Ms Takehara said JOGMEC is instrumental in providing financial and technical support to African projects, as well as offering up to 75 per cent equiity and taking on up to 75 per cent of the liability in oil and gas projects during the development phase.

"Historically, we have assisted several exploration and production projects in Mozambique, Gabon and others," she said, adding that at present JOGMEC is only involved in one project, a GTL project which is located in Mozambique. Ms Takehara spoke highly of the GTL project which uses "innovative Japanese technology" as well as being environmentally sustainable through reusing CO2 in feeds.

"This reduces CO2 emissions, lowers plant costs and increases energy efficiency," she said.

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