New producers set to redraw sub-Saharan oil and gas map

oilfield africa-nick taylor flickrNew energy producing countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and Niger are set to redraw sub-Saharan Africa’s oil and gas map over the next five years, contributing to a significant increase in output and attracting top global companies, according to a research and consulting firm

Wood Mackenzie said that sub-Saharan Africa could be producing an extra 400,000 bpd by 2018, taking the region’s total crude output to 6.6mn bpd.

Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and Niger are among those that could see new fields producing more than 100,000 bpd by the end of the decade, while Mozambique and Tanzania are looking for and planning compression plants to liquefy gas before shipping it to Asia.

Nigeria and Angola, the region’s heavyweight producers, currently pump approximately four million bpd and also dominate natural gas output.

A decade of high prices, good terms for exploration drillers from governments increasingly open to business and better seismic techniques for finding deposits have lengthened the list of African nations that are on the brink of production.

Natural gas output in 2013 is nearly 192mn cubic metres per day but production could reach 255mn cubic metres per day by 2018 and 360mn cubic metres per day by 2023, the company predicted.

At present, two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s gas is exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Nigeria, Angola and Equatorial Guinea.

Oil and gas companies present in these countries are Tullow Oil, Anadarko and ENI. Global firms including Chevron and Total are also now showing interest in the region.

Martin Kelly, lead analyst on sub-Saharan Africa at Wood Mackenzie said, “The oil and gas majors are looking at the success that some of these companies have had and they’re trying to get in on the ground floor, picking up the exploration acreage at an early stage and working with that all the way up to drilling the prospects.”

In the past couple of years, Chevron has taken up exploration blocks in Liberia and Sierra Leone, while Total has new deepwater acreage off Kenya and blocks in Mozambique.

Royal Dutch Shell is prospecting deepwater acreage off Tanzania with Petrobras, while ExxonMobil, Shell and Total are all exploring fields off South Africa.

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