Africa’s burgeoning oil market, accounting for more than 10% of the global oil output, plays a vital role in meeting global energy demand, shaping energy security and stabilising the global economy. As the continent expands its oil activities for energy security and economic growth, with a 25% increase in reserves in the past 20 years, co-operation with reliable and well-established partners such as the Oil Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is crucial to advancing investments and ensuring market stability.

Boasting the membership of Africa’s largest oil producers and exporters – including Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Algeria, Gabon, the Republic of Congo and Nigeria – OPEC has played a crucial role in the growth of Africa’s entire oil value chain.

OPEC provides technical expertise, drives local content development and provides funding to support oil exploration, production and monetisation across the continent. Through the OPEC–Africa Energy Dialogue, for instance, OPEC enables African countries to navigate underinvestment, climate change and energy transition related challenges while ensuring energy security and gross domestic product growth on the back of optimal exploitation of oil resources. OPEC’s production quotas influence the stability and resilience of African oil markets amid shifts in global market dynamics.

As demand for energy in Africa is projected to increase by 30% by 2030, OPEC’s co-operation continues to drive market transformation. Recent oil discoveries within OPEC member countries underscore the region’s potential for substantial oil production in the decades ahead, highlighting the cartel’s role in optimising Africa’s impact on the global energy landscape. Significant discoveries include Eni‘s findings in Block C1-205 in the Ivory Coast and Kosmos Energy’s oil discovery in the S-5 well in the Rio Muni in Equatorial Guinea in 2023.

As oil activities intensify across the African market – with large-scale project launches across the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors – lucrative opportunities for global investors continue to expand. Notable oil market developments promising high return on investments for global investors within Africa include the development of the vast oil deposits made by Algerian national oil company Sonatrach since 2020. Sonatrach announced over 35 oil and gas discoveries between 2020 and 2023, including in the Berkine and Oued Mya basins.

In Libya, efforts by the country to increase production to 2 billion barrels per day by the end of 2024 and various exploration campaigns by Eni, bp, Equinor, Oil India and Repsol represent significant investment opportunities in the OPEC member country.  In Congo, Perenco announced the start of production at the Boatou field in July 2023 and is expanding exploration campaigns in-country, enhancing investment prospects across the country’s oil value chain. Vaalco is also advancing the development of resources in Block P in Equatorial Guinea, further opening up the market for new investments.

Furthermore, OPEC’s investment arm, OPEC Fund for International Development, has been instrumental in diversifying Africa’s energy mix toward renewables, directing a significant portion of its financing toward the continent in 2023.

“OPEC has enabled unity among African countries and their global counterparts to advance oil production and monetisation for energy security. OPEC’s commitment to the growth of Africa’s oil market will be crucial in advancing the continent’s energy access agenda and in achieving a just and inclusive energy transition,” states NJ Ayuk, executive chairperson of the African Energy Chamber.

AEW: Invest in African Energy will explore how OPEC’s collaboration with Africa promotes market stability and contributes to an inclusive energy transition. The participation of OPEC secretary-general Haitham Al Ghais will feature in high-level discussions on investment, energy security, climate change, industrialisation and the role of African oil resources in energy poverty and in shaping energy security across the globe.

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