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OPEC Secretary General Emphasizes the Value of Africa’s Oil Sector in Historic State Visit to Congo-Brazzaville.

August 18, 2021

Representing the organization’s first visit to the Congo, Mohammed Barkindo will lead a delegation from OPEC, promoting collaboration as well as the potential of the country’s hydrocarbon sector.  

Congo-Brazzaville is on the precipice of an industry revolution with a reformed Hydrocarbons Code, a renewed set of national strategic objectives, and demonstrated political will driving multi-sector developments across the entire value chain. In a move to further emphasize the potential of the Congo’s hydrocarbon sector and establish sustainable partnerships with key stakeholders, Mohammed Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will lead a delegation from OPEC to the Congo for a three-day working visit the 23-25th of August 2021.

The visit represents a historic moment in the Congo’s oil and gas history as it will be the first time OPEC conducts a state visit to the country. In addition to highlighting the role that OPEC will play in the country, the visit aims to significantly enhance the Congo’s petroleum sector, and further position the country as a global oil and gas exporter and competitor.  

As the third-largest crude oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa – with proven reserves estimated at 2.9 billion barrels -, the headquarters of the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), and one of the latest members to join OPEC, Congo-Brazzaville is well-positioned to become a regional oil giant. The country has made moves to significantly expand exploration and production with accelerated efforts made by International Oil Companies such as Total, Chevron, Perenco, Eni, Qatar Petroleum and Lukoil. With current production estimated at 336,000 barrels per day, and government targets to significantly increase this figure, the Congo is inviting increased local and international stakeholder participation in the country’s upstream and midstream industries. Support by an organization such as OPEC will only serve to enhance industry activity, with partnerships and regional collaboration accelerating participation.

“The Government of Congo-Brazzaville highly values our relationship with both the OPEC, the Secretary General and each one of the organizations member states. We are committed to positioning the country as a regional petroleum hub and international industry competitor and support by an esteemed organization such as OPEC will help us realize this goal. The Congo has significant potential, particularly regarding its oil sector, and through our collaboration with OPEC, we remain committed to driving growth and development,” stated H.E. Bruno Jean Richard Itoua.

H.E. Mohammed Barkindo’s three-day working visit to the Congo involves a comprehensive program agenda with high-level meetings planned with the Head of State, H.E. President Dennis Sassou-Nguesso, Prime Minister Anatole Collinet Makosso, and the Minister of Hydrocarbons, H.E. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua. With a focus on emphasizing the role that OPEC will play in Congo and the wider region, as well as promoting the immense potential that the country’s oil and gas sector has in Africa’s energy future, energy poverty, climate change, Africa’s energy agenda, the OPEC delegations visit will promote strong, long-term partnerships with government and industry leaders.

“With its significant resource base, unified stakeholder agenda, and progressive regulatory framework, the Congo is making significant progress in establishing a formidable hydrocarbon market. OPEC’s visit to the Congo will emphasize partnerships and collaboration, as we work hand in hand to drive energy and economic growth in Africa. The Congo has a critical role to play in the global energy industry and we are happy OPEC plans to emphasize and drive this. This is a Big win for the people of Congo and its growing energy sector,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber 

H.E. Mohammed Barkindo’s visit will comprise site visits to the national oil company, La Sociėtė des Pėtroles du Congo (SNPC); the headquarters of the APPO; a platform in Pointe-Noire; as well as meetings with oil companies present in the country. With African member states playing a crucial role in OPEC, the organization is committed to accelerating progress in the Congo – its most recent member state – by promoting collaboration, cooperation, and sustainable partnerships.

*African Energy Chamber

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