Africa currently supplies about 12 per cent of the world’s oil, boasting significant untapped reserves estimated at 8 per cent of the world’s proven reserves, PriceWaterhouseCoppers said yesterday.
The report said the continent has natural gas reserves of 513 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with 91 per cent of the annual gas production of 7.1Tcf coming from Nigeria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt.
According to a review issued by PwC, the oil and gas industry is grappling with the severe stresses of a challenging economic and political environment on the African continent fueled by poor physical infrastructure, corruption, an uncertain regulatory framework, and a lack of skills.
PwC Africa Oil & Gas Industry Leader and Deputy Country Senior Partner, Nigeria, Uyi Akpata, said, “The challenges facing oil and gas companies operating in Africa are diverse and numerous. Political interference, uncertainty and delays in passing laws, energy policies and regulations are stifling growth, development and investment in a number of countries around Africa.”
He added, “PwC’s ‘Africa oil and gas review’ analyses what has happened in the last 12 months in the oil and gas industry and in the major African markets.
The survey draws upon the valuable experience and views of industry players in Africa, including international oil companies operating on the continent, national oil companies, service companies, independent oil organisations and industry commentators, to provide insight into the latest developments affecting the industry.
The review shows that the oil and gas industry in Africa is poised for momentous growth due to recent large gas finds in East Africa. “Large gas finds in Mozambique and Tanzania, and oil potential in Uganda and Kenya, have sparked a flurry of exploration activity across Africa,” Akpata added.
Speaking on developing the business, he said that the major challenges identified by organisations in the oil and gas industry have remained largely unchanged with the top four issues in 2010 continuing to remain the biggest challenges in 2012. He said that poor infrastructure and an uncertain regulatory framework were the two top challenges identified by the new emerging players/markets, particularly in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
In Nigeria, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) continues to face opposition from oil companies and politicians, and is likely to require further changes.