Report: Oil and gas opportunities in Southern Africa
On 9th January 2013, Finding Petroleum ran a special event with the support of the South African dti, from the High Commission of South Africa
The event reviewed the scope for oil & gas exploration and production in Southern Africa, including Nambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa.
The sensible starting point was to consider the large gas resources that have been reported for Mozambique and Tanzania. When will these be converted to reserves and when might we see production, from the putative LNG schemes?
Given the large amount of global LNG-scale gas that has recently been discovered, not least in the USA, perhaps the earliest offshore gas production (from Mozambique) lies beyond 2020 and a categorisation as reserves must await the first signed gas contracts (as Shell discovered, to their cost, in Nigeria almost 10 years ago). Perhaps the earliest gas production will in fact be from onshore South Africa (for example, shale gas, or coal bed methane plays associated with South Africa's massive coal reserves) or perhaps small discoveries onshore in Tanzania?
Offshore oil discoveries may reach production relatively rapidly. Are there 'oily' exploration opportunities in the region, for example, is the Namibian sub-salt play equivalent to, or at least similar to, the prolific plays offshore Brasil? And what about South Africa itself; do offshore its East Coast or perhaps the Orange River Basin offer soon-to-be discovered oil?
If the oil and gas industry develops in Southern Africa, it means there will be a need for a range of services, particularly engineering contracting. Additionally, access to large amounts of gas could drive the growth of a domestic chemicals industry.
South Africa itself offers access to skills and general infrastructure, including port facilities. UK companies seeking opportunities in South Africa might be able to take advantage of the bi-lateral UK-South Africa Trade Agreement which aims to double trade between UK and South Africa by 2015.
For the proceedings of this Forum, including videos of complete presentations and slide packs, please click here.
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