African nations to discuss energy opportunities in Aberdeen

Russell Borthwick of AGCC

Energy ministers from across Africa are landing in Aberdeen later this month for the very first Scotland Africa Oil & Gas Forum.

Organised by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, the day-long event is being held on November 24 in collaboration withScotland Africa Business Exchange (SABE) at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre.

It brings together senior African government representatives, national oil companies and international and indigenous private sector organisations to focus on opportunities for investment and partnership in developing Africa’s oil and gas industry.

The Prime Minister of Togo, and energy ministers from Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and the Republic of Congo, are speaking at the opening plenary session, with Scottish representation from Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, and David Rennie, the international sector head at Scottish Enterprise for oil and gas. 

The African oil industry is increasingly seen as an attractive place for enterprising Scottish businesses to focus their attention, with opportunities extending from exploration and production and oilfield services through to the development of associated infrastructure, the monetisation of newly made discoveries (for example, gas-to-power solutions) and in skills transfer and training.

Despite following the global trend of reduced exploration and appraisal activity, Africa can boast eight of the top 20 oil and gas discoveries of 2015 and nine of the top 20 discoveries made so far in 2016. 

Long-established producing countries – such as Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt and Angola – have been joined by a number of frontier and emerging markets in west Africa, whilst the vast and well-documented gas reserves in east Africa remain largely undeveloped and open to incoming expertise.

The current pricing climate may have had an adverse impact on spending plans but has also has spurred many African governments to review and improve oil and gas legislation in order to attract investment, while in the service sector the emphasis on cost reduction is driving innovation and opportunities for firms with cutting-edge technologies. 

The Scotland Africa Oil & Gas Forum addresses market conditions and prospects across the sector and offers delegates access to decision-makers from across the region.