AEW 2023 Shines a Spotlight on Equatorial Guinea’s Regional Gas Ambitions

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  • AEW 2023 Shines a Spotlight on Equatorial Guinea’s Regional Gas Ambitions

African Energy Week (AEW) 2023 featured an Invest in Equatorial Guinea Energies strategic session on Thursday, examining the West African country’s partnerships and investment needs, while showcasing the success of its energy sector to date.

Sponsored by national oil company (NOC), GEPetrol, the session commenced with opening remarks from Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Antonio Oburu Ondo, who emphasized the country’s ongoing investment drive and receptive operating environment. 

“We are open for business, we are open to host new investors and we are inviting you to be very pragmatic when you approach Equatorial Guinea,” said Minister Ondo.

The session discussed Equatorial Guinea’s burgeoning role as a regional hub for gas liquefaction and distribution. Under its flagship Gas Mega Hub development, the country has laid the foundation to monetize stranded gas resources in both domestic and regional basins, supported by both public and private sector actors.

“Our main objective is to do business and maximize the profitability of our company, but on the other hand, as the NOC, we have to make sure that the policies are successfully implemented. Therefore, we are acting as an intermediary between companies and the government,” stated Teresa Isabel Nnang Avomo, Managing Director for GEPetrol.

“We work to support oil and gas and we work to support the government,” stated Dr. Nosa Omorodion, Director of National Directorates and Independents for West Africa at SLB.

The speakers discussed the favorable business and investment environment in Equatorial Guinea, highlighting its comprehensive and energy-specific legislative and regulatory frameworks as key pillars for exploration and production activities in the country.

“Kosmos is part of the success of the oil and gas industry in Equatorial Guinea,” stated Fidel Envo, Vice President and Country Manager of Equatorial Guinea for Kosmos Energy. “We are committed to Equatorial Guinea and have long-term plans for the exploration sector.”

“We have operated in Equatorial Guinea since the 2000s and have seen a lot of pragmatism in the country,” affirmed Sebastian Wagner, Managing Director for Atlas Petroleum.

“Our objective is to narrow the gap between Final Investment Decisions and Annual Operating Income,” stated Serafin Ncogo Eyang, Strategic Planning Manager for Liquefied Natural Gas company, EG LNG.

With over five trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and a strong infrastructure base, Equatorial Guinea has been making significant strides towards establishing itself as a regional gas processing hub. Under the country’s GMH initiative, the government has partnered with a strong slate of foreign energy firms to scale-up project developments and unlock untapped reserves across West Africa.

“In Equatorial Guinea, we are well known for flexibility,” stated Oscar Garcia Berniko, Director of Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “We are also open to consider special fiscal terms depending on the particular block an investor might be interested in.”

“The key component of our role is to put together a project that is going to work, where the capital is understood and where the whole system is well understood,” stated Scott Childres, Director of Mid-Africa for Chevron. “This helps partners engage in bilateral agreements.”

Positioned as a sustainable energy solution, natural gas has taken on a pivotal role as a catalyst for diversified and industrialized growth in Equatorial Guinea. The panel highlighted local content development, value addition and localization as imperatives when it comes to natural gas exploration and development.

“We are the product of local content in Equatorial Guinea,” stated Pablo Memba, CEO of Grupo Memba. “When service companies want to come to Equatorial Guinea, they should not be worried that they are meeting the right companies. They should be confident in the country as an established and secure investment decision.”

As global interest in African gas heightens, Equatorial Guinea’s strong regulatory foundation, commitment to mutually beneficial investment terms and wealth of opportunities are poised to unlock further development prospects for the country. Additionally, with local content, regional cooperation and technology development at its core, the country’s ambitions to become a regional energy hub are set to drive the next wave of sustainable growth in West Africa.

#AEW2023 takes place this week in Cape Town under a mandate to make energy poverty history by 2030. The conference and exhibition serves as the biggest gathering of energy stakeholders and policymakers on the continent and is organized by the voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber. Keep following for more exciting information and updates about Africa’s premier energy event.