African Petroleum Industry Regulators collaborate to secure Continent’s energy future

Tue, Jul 2, 2024
By editor

Featured, Oil & Gas

THE need to secure the future of the petroleum industry in Africa has triggered a concerted move to stem forum shopping in the continent by smart operators, through effective collaboration, knowledge sharing and promotion of global best practices across countries of the continent.

On the sidelines of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference, NOG, 2024 in Abuja on Monday, July 1, 2024, the African Petroleum Regulators Forum, AFRIPERF, held a roundtable engagement where they emphasised the need for collaborative efforts to ensure that across the continent the industry is protected from scavengers who seek to exploit jurisdictions with weak regulatory frameworks.

With the theme: Fostering Collaboration and Sustainability in Africa’s Petroleum Industry: The launch of AFRIPERF and critical next steps, the roundtable, which had not less than five African oil-producing countries in attendance, indicated that the birth of AFRIPERF was significant in a collective journey towards fostering a more collaborative, innovative and sustainable petroleum industry in Africa.

In his keynote address at the forum, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, noted that the establishment of AFRIPERF signifies a commitment to working together to overcome common challenges and seize opportunities that lie ahead to achieve national aspirations in the development and utilization of hydrocarbon resources in the continent.

Komolafe, according to the statement by the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, explained that at the African Energy Leadership Forum and Awards, during the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, USA, in May 2023 that “we recognised the need for a unified platform that would bring together the regulators of the African Petroleum Industry.

AFRIPERF was born out of this vision, with the primary goal of promoting collaboration, knowledge sharing and adoption of best practices across our continent for a secure energy future.”

He pointed out that the sector is facing a rapidly evolving global energy landscape, which makes it imperative that oil-producing countries leverage their collective strengths to secure the appropriate energy source for the development of their nations for the benefit of their people.

“The recent surge in hydrocarbon discoveries across Africa, coupled with the pressing need for a sustainable energy transition, demands a concerted effort from all of us. AFRIPERF will enable us to address these challenges head-on, ensuring that our regulatory frameworks are robust, our policies forward- thinking and our actions aligned with global best practices.

“Currently, Africa holds substantial oil and gas reserves. The continent’s proven oil reserves are estimated to be around 125 billion barrels, representing approximately 7-9% of the world’s total oil reserves, while the proven natural gas reserves are estimated at around 620 trillion cubic feet, Tcf, which is about 7-8% of the global total.

“Aside from hydrocarbon resources, Africa is blessed with potential for green and blue hydrogen, solar, wind, biomass and critical minerals to develop clean energy technologies as well as a growing population predominated by young people, representing huge economic assets. Indeed, Africa’s potentials are derived from its human, natural and material resources, which must be mobilised to propel the continent on a path of economic growth and development.

“With a population of 1.49 billion compared to the combined population of Europe and the USA estimated at 1.1 billion, Africa has the second largest population among the continents of the world. This population is expected to continue growing rapidly in the coming decades. Unfortunately, Africa’s GDP which currently stands at $3 trillion is very low compared to that of Europe at $22 trillion and the USA at $26.9 trillion.”

Alluding to the large size of the youthful population in Africa, Komolafe said the statistics underscore Africa’s significant role in the global youth demographic. It highlights the need for collaboration for targeted policies and investments that would support the growing segment of the population.

He enumerated the goals of the forum to include the promotion of cooperation and coordination among regulators of African petroleum producing countries, facilitating knowledge sharing, technology transfer and dissemination of best practices, enhancing the capacity of member countries in the sustainable management of petroleum resources, advocating for the interests of African petroleum producers on the international stage and promoting investments and economic development in the petroleum sector across Africa.

In the famous words of the legendary American businessman, Henry Ford, coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success, Komlafe said the roundtable engagement was crucial as regulators deliberated on the key mandate of AFRIPERF, developed a Charter and determined the frequency of meetings, governance structure, secretariat and areas of collaboration.

The NUPRC boss was confident that AFRIPERF would provide significant opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing, and establishing strategic partnerships.

“By bringing together regulators from across the continent, we can create a conducive environment for investment, promote economic development and enhance the sustainability of our petroleum sector.

He urged the regulators to seize the opportunity to collaborate, share knowledge and build a brighter, more sustainable future for the continent.


July 02, 2024 @ 13:58 GMT|