Accueil PAROLE D'EXPERT The African Energy Bank is vital to boost the oil and gas sector

The African Energy Bank is vital to boost the oil and gas sector

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La Banque africaine de l'énergie est vitale pour stimuler le secteur pétrolier et gazier

With global investment in the oil and gas sector declining, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has reiterated the need for an African energy bank to help boost the sector's commercial activities on the continent.

Sylva, who stated this when he received Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, in his office in Abuja, said Nigeria would continue to give its full support to the efforts of OPEC and GECF in their quest to balance and stabilise the energy market for the benefit of all.

Lima is also President of the 2023 Conference of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

Sylva, who congratulated Lima on the rare honour of chairing two giant energy institutions at the same time, urged him to use his tenure to advance the cause of Africa and attract more investment into the continent's oil and gas industry.

The Nigerian minister said local content should drive investment in Africa's oil and gas industry for the continent to achieve sustainable development. 

"With the world's fastest growing population and unimaginable levels of energy poverty across the continent, Africa's energy needs will continue to grow by leaps and bounds for the foreseeable future. It is estimated that about 640 million Africans do not have access to electricity, while about 900 million Africans do not have access to clean cooking fuels.

"Local content should drive investment in Africa's oil and gas industry, if the continent is to experience sustainable development. "In this context, the ongoing move to establish an African Energy Bank is a good step in the right direction," said Sylva.

He said the fact that Lima is chairing both organisations at the same time augurs well for Africa, which has seven of the 13 current OPEC members. They include Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria.

OPEC accounts for about 80% of the world's proven crude oil reserves, 38% of production and 48% of exports.

Sylva said it was also remarkable that Africa had produced the fourth President of the OPEC Conference in consecutive years. 

"It is a demonstration of Africa's ability to lead and direct global affairs, and to take its rightful place in the community of nations on global issues," he said.

On the gas side, the Minister of State said the GECF currently has 12 full members, five of which are African countries - Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Nigeria. "Together, GECF member countries hold about 72% of the world's proven gas reserves, 44% of marketed production, 56% of pipeline exports and 52% of global LNG exports," he said, adding that Nigeria signed the GECF statute in 2008.

In response, Lima said that one of the main things he will champion during his tenure is to eradicate the energy poverty that the African continent suffers.

In addition, he said he planned to tackle how to increase Africa's energy security.

On the issue of local content, he urged African countries to refocus on technology transfer and not remain obsessed with winning contracts and creating jobs.

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