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Africa Oil Week Celebrates Nigeria’s Leadership In Local Content Development



Africa Oil Week which just ended in South Africa presented copious space for exchange of ideas and business deal among leading oil and gas operators within and outside Africa.

The event which is dedicated to the African Oil and Gas industry successfully wrapped up after a content-packed conference and exhibition, and by extension generously elevated Nigeria’s leading role in oil and gas industry, as enunciated by the minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who highlighted the nation’s investment opportunities to investment thirsty communities present at the event.

The leading business and intelligence business platform spread across 5 days saw over 1,500 delegates, cutting across the world who intellectually exchanged thoughts and the latest insights taking place in Africa and the future of the Oil and Gas industry.

The conference also held sessions focusing on African Production, Exploration and Future Outlooks for the sector as well as the energy transition outlook to 2050 and how technology and finance are creating new options for gas.

This year, 17 government ministers were in attendance at the event, including ministers from Nigeria, South Africa, Mali, Uganda, Gambia, Congo, Niger, Cote d’ Ivoire, Guinea, Namibia, and Sudan. During the course of the event, more than 200 speakers took part in the conference and exhibition, providing over 50+ hours of industry insights and networking opportunities.

The conference has tackled some of the most compelling issues facing the African upstream today. With luminaries such as Jeff Radebe, minister of energy, Republic of South Africa and Dr Fatih Birol, executive director, IEA, outlining their commitment to a sustainable future.

Kachikwu had in his remarks confirmed the direction of the Nigerian upstream which is looking forward towards developing key deepwater projects.

The Africa Oil Week delivered both insights and tangible takeaways for operators, banks, service companies and governments alike,”  said Paul Sinclair, conference director.

Nigeria’s leading indigenous oil and gas player, Adewale Tinubu, the group chief executive, Oando Plc, led discussions on a panel session titled: ‘Can Africa Upstream Play a Significant Role in the Context of the Global and Regional Energy Landscape?’ The session offered an objective market watch of the African oil and gas landscape, addressing the challenges and opportunities the industry is presented with.

Oando had carved a niche for itself as an independent indigenous oil and gas company flying the Nigerian flag at global events that shape the future of the sector and Africa in general.

At a cross section of local and international events, Oando has engaged in open and transparent dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders to analyse and proffer solutions to issues that transcend the oil and gas industry and in the process has contributed to a more positive conversation around the African continent.

In commemoration of the 25th Africa Oil Week, Oando ingeniously, used its social media platforms to highlight the changes that have occurred in Africa’s oil and gas space over the past 25 years. Notable amongst these are its highlight on the increase in Africa’s proven oil reserves.

As culled from its social media platform Oando said, “The last 25 years have seen proven oil reserves in Africa increase significantly. It has grown by almost 106.6 per cent since 1993, increasing from 61.2 billion barrels at the time, and is currently at 125.5 billion barrels.”  Also worthy of note is rig activity in Africa.

According to Oando, Africa is dominated by land drilling, however in recent years, offshore activity has notably increased, particularly off the coast of West Africa, Oando highlighted that between, 2007 and 2018, the number of active rotary rigs in Africa increased from an average of 66 to 95 rigs, increasing African drilling contribution to the global industry from 2.1 per cent to 4.3 per cent.

Speaking on the future of oil and gas in Africa, Phil Dimmock, Upstream Commercial Advisor, Oando, who was billed to speak at the Independents session, specifically on the Niger Basin, said, “Over the next 25 years, Africa will play a more significant role than it does today in oil production because of the quantum of unexploited areas in the central basins and the 16 mature basins in deeper horizons.

“As a result Governments will become more competitive and start to introduce regimes to react more quickly to the industry’s needs, both in terms of costs and geological difficulties. I foresee an increase in the number of African citizens who will become geoscientists, engineers and oil and gas specialists, which will cause a decline in the import of expatriates from Europe and North America.”

Chief operating officer of Oando’s upstream division, Oando Energy Resources, Ainojie Irune, held discussions on the panel ‘Creating Equitable Frameworks and High Quality Local Supply Chains,’ while Engr. Simbi Wabote, executive secretary, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), aptly discussed how Nigeria would capitalise on a $200million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF) capable of facilitating 100 per cent local fabrication for refineries.

Speaking on the importance of the event, Paul Sinclair, conference director, Africa Oil Week said, “Our objective moving forward is to provide a dynamic setting for future outlooks and deal-making, shaping the continent’s oil and gas sector for the next 25 years and beyond, and to develop the continent in a sustainable and equitable manner.”

Africa Oil Week presents a forum for global perspectives from world class speakers, farm-in opportunities, bidding rounds, local content policy and business transactions would all be showcased during the 5 days of networking and dialogue.

In appreciation to its sponsors who made the event possible, Sincliar said, “This event is designed by and for the industry, and we are sincerely grateful for the ongoing support from the companies that give their time, effort and insight to Africa Oil Week.

“We would like to make special mention of the commitment from our Lead Sponsor, Tullow Oil, as well as Oando, Chevron, Regalis, Total and many others who are clearly so dedicated to the continent and making this an event that can move the African oil and gas story forward.”

This year, Africa Oil Week (AOW), the continent’s leading oil and gas gathering bringing over a thousand key industry players annually, celebrates its 25th year.

In the past 25 years, AOW has provided a platform for government officials, national and international oil companies, independents, investors, corporate players and financers, to share their strategies for growth, better national participation in the oil and gas sector and engage in high level discussions on the future of the continent’s oil and gas industry, focusing on current challenges and trends and proffering solutions that will provide a positive and lasting impact for all.

The conference with the theme: ‘The Leading Business Intelligence and Transaction Platform for Africa’s Oil and Gas Sector,’ played host to 16 ministers from across the continent, delegates from over 70 countries, 1,300 international chief executive officers, CEOs and senior decision makers.

As the largest oil producing nation in Africa, Nigeria was well represented at the event with a cross section of delegates consisting of government and private sector leader operators.

The yearly event has traditionally focused on the Global Funding Strategies and mergers and acquisitions M&A for the African upstream exploring and how the key stakeholders tap into large pools of global capital to finance the sector.

AOW looked to the future of the energy sector through a topical session entitled: “Energy Transition Outlook to 2050.”

One of the highlights of the event was the conferment of global award of excellence for outstanding contributions to sustainable local content development in Nigeria and across Africa’s oil and gas industry to the executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote.

The award was conferred on him by the organisers of African Oil Week (AOW), at the PetroAfricanus Dinner, as part of the events marking AOW’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Reading the citation for the award, conference director, Africa Oil Week, Mr. Paul Sinclair,  highlighted the considerations for Engr. Wabote’s selection and suitability for the award, which include his ongoing unprecedented contributions to localisation of industry knowledge and expertise, monumental capacity development programs in Nigeria with cross border impacts, trenchant advocacy of the imperatives of local content practice and benefits, smart regulations and rare leadership capacity to balance dialogue between international commercial ventures and national interest.

He stated that in the 25 years history of AOW, this was the first time an award was given for local content excellence by AOW/ITE Group.

In his acceptance speech, Wabote expressed delight at the honour and recognition by AOW/ITE Group, noting that the award was significant as “it communicates AOW’s acknowledgment of the Board’s programmes and strategies for localising industry knowledge and capacity development.”

He paid glowing tribute to President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve his country and to champion national economic interest through local content advocacy and implementation under NCDMB banner.

He dedicated the award to the entire staff and management of NCDMB for their high sense of duty, patriotism and absolute commitment to local content regime, noting “this award would not have been possible with without their constant support for me”.

Other recipients of the AOW Silver Jubilee Celebration awards include to Mr. Conrad Gerber (a posthumous award received by his daughter, Laura), Barbette van Gessel, South African, chief executive officer of Global Pacific & Partners, founder and president of Global Women Petroleum and Energy Club, Duncan Clarke, Zimbabwean, founder and chairman of the board, Global Pacific & Partners, a private advisory firm based in London and Mr. Samuel Dossou-Aworet, Benin Republic national, a Pan-African businessman, founder and chairman of Petrolin Group recognised for his strategic and pioneering role in the promotion and development of major oil companies and African companies in several African countries including Seplat in Nigeria.

The next Africa Oil Week event would take place in Cape Town, South Africa on the 4 – 8 November 2019.