From Sea to Shining Sea? Africa's Expanding Energy Landscape

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Five years ago, books on African oil hardly mentioned East Africa. The region
was also treated at international oil and gas conferences as the graveyard
slot. No longer: today East Africa is the new oil and gas frontier, and
Mozambique is the hot prospect with Tanzania not far behind. East Africa shows how quickly oil and gas frontiers shift and how new finds swiftly
change the way that industry investors and analysts treat a region. The
backstory of African oil and gas is already impressive. During the last twenty
years, figures for known oil reserves in Africa have risen by more than 25 per
cent, and gas reserves are now known to be more than 150 per cent higher.
This is a story of how little has been explored, and how much is still to be
found. East Africa is finally on the oil and gas map; compared with some
15,000 wells drilled in West Africa only 500 have been drilled to date in East  Africa. Talk of peak oil is dead, partly due to new discoveries. South American
pre-salt discoveries in Brazil have been all the rage, but the prospects that
this geology continues across to the Gulf of Guinea is significant. Angola - far
from peaking in 2012 - could extend its life as a major oil exporter by an
additional thirty years, and could eclipse Nigeria. We need to constantly
review our assumptions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalOxford Energy Forum Journal
Issue number90
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


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