The federal government on Tuesday tasked Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, His Excellency Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, with the need to attract investment in the oil and gas sector.
This has become imperative given the reduced investment in the sector, it said.
The call was made by Sheikh Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, who also chairs OPEC/GECF in 2023, as he received HE Lima at his office in Abuja.
He reminded that recent estimates of the medium-term investment required to maintain oil and gas production on the African continent averaged around $40 billion per year.
According to him, with the world’s fastest growing population and unimaginable levels of energy poverty prevailing across the continent, Africa’s energy demand will continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the foreseeable future.
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“It is estimated that some 640 million Africans do not have access to electricity, while around 900 million Africans do not have access to clean cooking fuels. In recognition of the current global push towards renewable energy, Africa undoubtedly needs to continue to tap into its abundant oil and natural gas resources to free the continent from the shackles of chronic energy poverty and stagnant economic growth.
“Africa has huge proven crude oil reserves of more than 125 billion barrels, and natural gas reserves of more than 630 trillion cubic feet (TCF),” he said.
To this end, he urged the OPEC chairman to use his tenure as an opportunity to advance the African cause and attract more investment into the continent’s oil and gas sector.
“I believe that local content should be at the forefront of investment in the oil and gas sector in Africa so that the continent can witness sustainable development.
“In this context, the ongoing move to establish the African Energy Bank is the right step in the right direction,” he said.
He further assured Nigeria’s continued full support for OPEC and GECF’s efforts to balance and stabilize energy markets for the benefit of all.