TotalEnergies’ Mike Sangster to Discuss the Future of African Exploration at AEW 2023

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  • TotalEnergies’ Mike Sangster to Discuss the Future of African Exploration at AEW 2023

Mike Sangster will deliver a keynote address during this year’s edition of the African Energy Week conference, taking place this October in Cape Town.

Africa is entering into a new era of oil and gas, driven largely by a continental focus on exploration. Global energy majors to the likes of TotalEnergies have not only represented long-term partners for African nations but have placed themselves at the forefront of the industry’s transformation. The French major has set its sights on new hydrocarbon plans in Africa, while correspondingly spearheading the sustainable development of existing operations.

During this year’s edition of the continent’s premier event for the oil and gas sector, African Energy Week (AEW) – scheduled for October 16-20 in Cape Town – TotalEnergies’ Mike Sangster will deliver a keynote address on the future of African exploration. While not officially announced yet, Sangster is in line to assume the role of Senior Vice-President Africa E&P at TotalEnergies, moving from his current position as Head of E&P for Nigeria at the company. During AEW 2023, Sangster will not only provide insight into TotalEnergies’ ambitious upstream agenda in Africa but lead dialogue around sustainable exploration, the role of local content and why Africa is set to play a central role in future supply chains.

TotalEnergies represents one of the longest-operating E&P companies in Africa, having been present on the continent for over 90 years. The energy major is currently active in 43 countries and boasts over 13,000 employees. Leveraging its experience and technological expertise, TotalEnergies is active across the entire energy value chain, and has a diverse portfolio with projects spanning the oil and gas industry, renewables sector and broader power and infrastructure markets.

With sustainability at its core, TotalEnergies works collaboratively with African governments, National Oil Companies and service firms to unlock high returns on investment while yielding tangible opportunities for local communities. TotalEnergies has committed to achieving Net Zero by 2050. Through technological innovations, low-carbon investments and priority placed on capacity building, skills and technology transfer, the company continues to serve as a strong and steadfast partner for African countries. TotalEnergies is also the official Sustainable Energy Partner for AEW 2023, and Sangster is expected to further elaborate on how the company is leading the next wave of sustainable energy operations in Africa.

Going forward, TotalEnergies has set its eyes on unlocking new hydrocarbon finds in Africa, and is spearheading several exploratory campaigns in both mature and frontier markets. In Namibia, the company is driving a multi-well drilling campaign in the Orange Basin, kickstarted by a sizeable oil and gas discovery made in 2022. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to invest nearly 50% of its exploration budget ($300 million) into its Namibian activities. In Angola, the company has stakes in several assets in the Lower Congo and Kwanza Basin. Further south, TotalEnergies plans on exploring the South African side of the Orange Basin, recently acquiring environmental authorization to explore Block 5/6/7. The company was also responsible for two major gas finds in South Africa in 2019 and 2020, respectively: the Brulpadda and Luiperd discoveries.

In Mozambique, TotalEnergies’ upstream success saw major discoveries off the coast. Despite delays, the company is making progress towards getting its Mozambique Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project back on track. Also on the continent’s eastern coastline, TotalEnergies Lake Albert Basin developments are set to awaken a new era of energy security for the high-demand region. The company is developing the Tilenga and Kingfisher oilfield – scheduled to begin production in 2025 – as well as the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. In West Africa, TotalEnergies operates two deepwater blocks in Mauritania; the Rufisque and UDO blocks in Senegal; has interests in 30 licenses, five of which as operator, in Nigeria; and has interests in promising acreage in Gabon, Ivory Coast and the Republic of Congo.

“TotalEnergies continues to demonstrate its commitment to Africa’s energy future. The French energy major is not only investing heavily in existing assets but is driving the next wave of upstream campaigns in promising markets such as Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa. TotalEnergies investments in African upstream, local content and sustainability serves as a benchmark for other E&P firms active across the continent,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC).

During AEW 2023, Sangster will participate in various panel discussions and upstream forums, centered around emerging trends and challenges in Africa’s upstream market. His participation is expected to open up new opportunities for collaboration across the industry.

AEW is the AEC’s annual energy event uniting African governments and policymakers with global investors and project developers. Taking place in Cape Town, the event represents the biggest gathering of energy stakeholders on the continent, and takes place under a broader mandate of making energy poverty history by 2030. For more information, visit