Africa’s oil and gas potential will grow significantly over the next two decades, driven by population growth, urbanization and the emergence of a wealthier middle class on the continent. Six of the top 10 global discoveries in the oil and gas sector in 2013 were made in Africa, with more than 500 companies currently exploring deposits there. There were nearly nine million barrels of crude oil produced daily in Africa last year, with more than 80% of it coming from established players such as Algeria, Angola and Nigeria.
This is all good news for Africa, but look behind the figures and the story is more about gas than oil.
Excitement remains around large gas finds in Mozambique and Tanzania, but even here there is much hype and unknowns.
The scale of these East African finds is not in doubt but developing these discoveries will be massively expensive and a long-term investment. Mozambique’s gas investment in particular will be dependent on what future gas prices will be — and this is changing quickly due to the oil and gas revolution.