Africa as a whole has massive oil and gas reserves, but developing them is another story altogether. 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.
There is no doubt that Africa remains significantly under-explored by oil and gas companies. The price of oil and the incentives for exploration partly determine this, but major investors are also cautious because of the lingering challenges of corruption, lack of infrastructure and regulation.
Elsewhere, Nigerian Adewale Tinubu, Group CEO of the integrated oil and gas solutions company Oando, speaks to more democratic governance in the continent (Meet Wale Tinubu, The Man Building Africa’s Largest Energy Company – Part One) and adds that the corruption is just not fashionable anymore