During a meeting with global oil majors active in the Congo, OPEC Secretary General H.E. Mohammed Barkindo reiterated the value of the country’s resources and the role that international oil companies will play in advancing the sector.
The third day of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) working visit to the Republic of the Congo saw OPEC Secretary General H.E. Mohammed Barkindo conducting high level meetings with the country’s oil companies. With representatives from TotalEnergies, Eni, and Perenco engaging in productive talks with Barkindo, the role of international oil companies (IOC), enhanced sector integration and collaboration, and accelerated exploration and production was brought to light.
Barkindo’s meeting with the oil majors further emphasized the value of oil and gas for Africa. With a significant portion of the African population still lacking access to electricity and clean cooking solutions, the role of IOCs and national oil companies has been emphasized. The time for oil and gas in Africa is just beginning, as hydrocarbons provide the best solution for Africa’s energy development and transition. In the meeting, Barkindo insisted on the value of partnerships and sectoral collaboration in advancing the Congo’s sector. Rather than compete, oil companies should work together to position the country as a regional oil and gas giant.
“The oil & gas industry has a very bright future around the world and in sub-Saharan Africa in particular. This work will continue to rely on the exploration capacity and the consumption of hydrocarbons to ensure the sustainable development of the country,” stated Barkindo.
The Congo has seen the active participation of global oil majors since the 1960s, and consequently, has been able to position itself as the third-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. TotalEnergies, for example, has contributed to a range of discoveries made in the Congo, having brought on stream 16 fields spread across nine of the 28 existing licenses. Notable offshore fields led by the company and currently in production include Moho-Bilondo (53.5%); Nkossa/Nsoko (53.5%); Sendji (55.25%); and Yanga (55.25%). Additionally, TotalEnergies has interests in the Loango and Zatchi fields, which are both in production, as well as a participating interest in Block 14K. Operating the country’s only oil terminal, Djeno, the company has made a significant imprint in the country, driving exploration and development.
Meanwhile, Italian multinational Eni has also made significant progress in the Congo, increasing exploration and production across multiple fields. The company’s producing fields include Nené Marine and Litchendjili (65%); Zatchi (55.25%); Loango (42.5%); Ikalou (100%); Djambala (50%); Foukanda and Mwafi (58%); Kitina (52%); Awa Paloukou (90%); M’Boundi (82%); Kouakouala (74.25%); and Zingali and Loufika (100%). In addition to oil developments, Eni is focused on turning natural gas utilization and monetization, focusing on gas-to-power projects. With the expansion of the CEC power plant – of which Eni holds a 20% interest – expected to increase power generation capacity to 484MW, and the continuous development of Nené Marine, the company aims to expand access to electricity country wide.
Independent oil and gas company, Perenco, has also been responsible for much of the country’s production growth. The company operates the Emeraude, Likouala, PGNF South, Yombo and Masseko fields, producing 75,000 barrels of oil per day from its fields. With ambitions to redevelop existing oil fields in the face of declining production levels using technical know-how, and accelerate new acquisition with partners in the country, Perenco is a key driver of the Congo’s energy sector.
Additionally, the country has seen exploration and production driven by companies such as Petro Congo SA, Africa Oil and Gas Corporation (AOGC), Wing Wah Exploration and Production and multiple other service companies. AOGC is one of the most active private oil companies in the Congo, driving sector growth through the operation of the Pointe Indienne onshore oil field as well as a network of pipelines used to transport more than 4 million barrels per year to the CORAF refinery and the Djeno oil terminal. Additionally, Petro Congo SA, an independent national Congolese company, has served as a vehicle for local content in the development of the petroleum sector in the Congo. Partnering with oil companies and developing oil fields across the country, Petro Congo aims to promote pan-African entrepreneurship while driving Congolese economic and sectoral development. In addition to Congolese oil companies, Chinese Wing Wah Exploration and Production has also been a significant driver of industry growth, accelerating exploration and increasing the country’s domestic production capacity. By working together to advance the Congo’s oil and gas industry, both public and private oil and service companies are positioning the Congo has an African energy competitor.
“We are delighted that His Excellency could visit Pointe-Noire, the center of Congo’s oil production, and meet not only with petroleum companies but also with local authorities,” stated H.E. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Congo.
“Africa alone is thirsty for more energy because of our abject energy poverty. Therefore, our oil & gas industry has a bright future ahead of us. We must find the courage because the future generation of Africans will continue to look up to us to meet their demand for energy. So, I urge you not to be disrupted from your very laudable objectives, you must remain focused and continue to march onwards,” continued Barkindo.
The OPEC delegation’s working visit to the Congo provided a form of prelude as to what one could expect at the highly anticipated African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 interactive conference and networking event. The event unites energy stakeholders from all over the world, providing the most suitable platform for engagement, deal-making, and dialogue. With African ministers, IOCs, and organizational delegations including OPEC, the African Petroleum Producers Association, and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum playing integral roles in the event program, AEW 2021 will be transformative for Africa’s energy future.
“We are going to have AEW 2021 this year that will have upstream, midstream, and downstream, as well as energy transition and a big spotlight on the Congo. Total Energies, Perenco, ENI, and the service companies demonstrated that when government serves as a supporter to our industry, a lot of investment can come into the sector. We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to women issues. Our industry has to do better. The African oil and gas industry can be reflected by what is in this country and we think that AEW 2021 can drive it home. I am happy that the Minister Bruno Itoua, Raoul Ominga of SNPC, the IOC’s, the Secretary General will not only be speaking but will spotlight opportunities and I would like to invite everyone to come to Cape Town and let’s do deals and invest in energy. Let us put, not only Congo, but Africa ahead,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
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