As the voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) (www.EnergyChamber.org) is committed to facilitating new investment across Africa’s entire energy landscape while promoting the role natural gas and sustainable hydrocarbon development plays in the continent’s energy future. To this effect, the AEC is proud to announce that Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk will attend the fifth edition of the Congo International Conference&Exhibition on Hydrocarbons (CIEHC 5), set to take place from November 30 to December 02 this year in Brazzaville, Congo.
The event takes place at a time when the Congolese energy market is in the midst of a sectoral revival owing to regulatory reforms, an accelerated E&P drive and rapid increases in global demand for natural gas. As the third largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa – with offshore extraction measured at 336,000 barrels per day from 2.9 billion barrels of proven oil reserves – the country has been focused on scaling up exploration and production in the hopes of improving energy access, industrialization and revenue generation, both in-country and across the entire sub-Saharan African region. Driving the E&P agenda has been a slate of market-focused regulatory reforms as well as the ongoing commitment by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons led by H.E. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua.
In the hopes of securing new investment and international oil company (IOC) participation, the Congolese government has introduced more favorable terms for operators and investors through the implementation of changes to key legal and regulatory frameworks. Specifically, through strategic changes made within the fiscal framework; the introduction of two bid licensing round – launched in 2015 and 2018-2019, and opening up 13 blocks and 15 blocks for bidding, respectively - the introduction of a revised Hydrocarbons Code in 2016 which reduced natural gas royalties from 15% to 5% while introducing industry-specific regulations for foreign investment, as well as strong local content policies put in place, the Congo has become more attractive than ever.
And these regulatory reforms have already reaped successes across the market. A slate of global energy majors and regional independents are currently active in the country, working in close collaboration with the national oil company, Société Nationale des Pétrolers du Congo (SNPC), including TotalEnergies, Perenco, Chevron, Eni and Lukoil, to name a few. For their part, these companies continue to drive sustainable hydrocarbon developments across the country’s on- and offshore basins.
Meanwhile, with approximately 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves at its disposal, the country has deployed an accelerated gas drive in the hopes of positioning itself as a regional hub and globally competitive producer. Backed by the country’s Gas Master Plan (GMP) – a medium to long-term strategy for the scaling up of natural gas investment and development in the country - the Congo has been steadfast in its commitment to unlocking the true potential of its gas sector. On the domestic front, the GMP is targeting widespread gas-to-power adoption with the launch of projects such as Centrale Électrique du Djėno and Centrale Électrique du Congo gas-fired power plants – operated by Eni, the largest gas producer in the country.
Meanwhile, on the export front, the GMP has laid the foundation for large-scale project deployment which will see the country become one of Africa’s biggest producers of gas. Notable projects include Eni’s Marine XII offshore block and the 1.4 million ton per annum Marine XII Fast Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project – set for launch in 2023. Now, with the GMP incentivizing even further investment in the gas market, the Congo is set to witness unprecedented growth in 2022 and beyond.
“The Republic of Congo offers regional and foreign investors alike with the right operating environment, attractive resource opportunities and the market-driven regulations that will help them make high returns on investment. Having already established itself as one of Africa’s biggest oil producers, the country is set to become one of the leading gas producers on the continent thanks to the commitment of the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and the enabling environment put in place by the government. In 2022, with the backing of the GMP and Minister Itoua’s position as the rotating President of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the country was able to make a strong play for Congo-directed investment, pushing a narrative of a just energy transition using gas. I am looking forward to the discussions that will be centered around gas and sustainable hydrocarbon development,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.