Africa Oil Week

As the energy industry decarbonises its operations, natural gas is becoming an ever more important part of the energy mix – opening up a range of opportunities for the African gas industry.

“Sometimes, oil is even seen as a by-product of gas,” remarked Luca Vignati, upstream director of global energy company Eni, speaking during Africa Oil Week (AOW), taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre here, from October 3-7.

Vignati gave the example of Eni’s Baleine project in Cote d’Ivoire, which holds an estimated 2.5 billion barrels of oil, and a far larger 93.4 billion cubic metres of gas.

Vignati said another decarbonisation strategy was to structure projects to include major carbon-offset initiatives.

He said Eni was operating Baleine as the first net-zero Scope 1&2 emissions development in Africa. The project includes carbon offsetting certified by the international VERRA standard.

Under the project (, Eni will distribute 100 000 improved cooked stoves, targeting more than 300 000 people. The aim is to replace traditional wood-based cooking devices, reducing pressure on forest resources.

During another presentation at AOW, McKinsey associate partner Oliver Onyekweli pointed out that Africa was one of the few regions in the world likely to see growing energy demand over the coming decades. However, he said businesses hoping to be part of this coming energy boom, must look to decarbonise their production.

“Decarbonising is becoming like a licence to operate,” said Onyekweli. He said an effective way for African oil producers to decarbonise was through expanding into natural gas, while renewable energy offered an opportunity to open up new revenue streams, and secure energy access for the continent’s people.

Recent natural-gas discoveries leave Africa well positioned to take advantage of the trend towards decarbonisation.

The Brulpadda and Luiperd ( discoveries off South Africa’s southern Cape coast, for instance, have been hailed as potential “game changers”. Luiperd is estimated to contain 2.1 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and 112 million barrels of condensate, while Brulpadda is estimated to hold 1.3tcf and 80 million barrels of gas and condensate.

With increasing pressure to decarbonise, it is also becoming more difficult to secure finance for African hydrocarbons projects.

“The main constraint to growth in the energy sector in future will not be in the area of human resources or deal flow, but in access to capital,” said Paul McDade, CEO of Afentra, an African energy independent.

Other independent energy businesses agreed that gas projects were easier to finance.

“American and European banks seem to have a greater willingness to finance gas projects,” said Thomas Kolanski of oil-and-gas independent BW Energy. “We’re shifting our focus in that direction. Gas is cleaner, it reduces global carbon footprint and everybody's always on our side.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Oil Week.

Media Contacts:
Melita Manser
Group Account Director, AOW at Ogilvy PR South Africa
Mobile: +27 76 449 1271

Paul Sinclair
Vice President of Energy&Director of Government Relations, Africa Oil Week and Green Energy Summit Africa
Mobile: +44 7825 311791

About Africa Oil Week and the Green Energy Africa Summit:
The Africa Oil Week offers four days of pioneering insights, from ministerial panels to strategic outlooks designed to drive investment into the African upstream for the continent’s benefit. At the heart of the event are some of the most compelling insights into the upstream strategies of governments across the continent.  

These extensive and varied networking opportunities have resulted in an unprecedented return of delegates year after year.

AOW is globally renowned for bringing the most senior delegates together each year. AOW has welcomed 50+ Ministers and Government Leaders, 1 800+ C-level delegates, representatives, and hundreds of SVPs and VPs of Africa, Exploration and New Ventures – making the event the most influential energy conference in Africa. 

While Africa Oil Week retains its identity as a pure-play Hydrocarbons event to advocate upstream development, the Green Energy Africa Summit plays its role in driving enabling environments to ensure foreign direct investment is deployed into game-changing projects that will reduce the energy deficit and provide energy access across the continent.