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Friday, October 7, 2022

Gambia to promote upstream opportunities at African energy week

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By Omar Bah

The Gambia’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy will shape dialogues around how the West African country is boosting investments across the upstream sector at the Africa Energy Week, AEW 2022, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) has announced yesterday.

The African Energy Week (AEW) conference and exhibition, Africa’s leading investment platform for the energy sector will take place from 18 – 21 October 2022, in Cape Town.

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Representing one of Africa’s fastest growing frontier upstream destinations, Minister Jobe will be traveling to Cape Town to make a strong play for upstream investment across The Gambia’s high potential oil and gas market.

Minister Jobe will participate in high-level meetings and panel discussions at AEW 2022, making a strong case for the role of Gambian oil and gas in ensuring energy security at local, regional and international levels.

The energy week 2022 provides an ideal platform for the Gambian energy minister to promote the vast opportunities present across the west African country’s expanding hydrocarbons market.

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Petrol giants BP, PetroNor, Tullow Oil, Petronas, FAR, Woodside and Kosmos Energy have discovered 1.5 billion barrels of potential oil in the Panthera, Jatto and Malo prospects.

The anticipated launch of The Gambia’s second licensing round in 2022 – opening up five offshore and two onshore blocks for exploration – is expected to increase investment as well as international company participation further, while fast-tracking the exploitation of hydrocarbons for energy security in Africa.

Additionally, the presence of massive oil and gas reserves in neighboring basins such as in Mauritania and Senegal not only boost investor confidence in the country but positions The Gambia as an ideal exploration hub for companies seeking to make major discoveries such as those in the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim and Yakaar-Teranga developments. Accordingly, the sector is ripe for investment and during AEW 2022, insight into such opportunities will be provided for by the minister.

With over one third of The Gambia’s population having access to electricity and less than 3% to clean cooking, the exploitation of oil and gas resources is non-negotiable for the government to achieve its 2025 target of universal access to modern, reliable and affordable energy. With the demand for African oil and gas expanding globally owing to rising global demand and increases in economic and industrial activities, an ambitious energy market strategy coupled with the country’s strategic location and close proximity to international markets such as Europe present a huge opportunity for the market to evolve into a global energy hub.

According to experts, not only does The Gambia’s hydrocarbon reserves present an opportunity to address energy security but the resources are key for fast-tracking economic growth.

As the country prioritises local content development and capacity building across the oil and gas sector, doors are opening for economic and GDP growth through job creation and the increased participation of the local workforce and companies.

The country is prioritizing diversifying the energy mix through increased deployment of renewable energy-based solutions such as solar, wind, hydropower and mini-grids whilst modernizing grid transmission and distribution networks to enhance electrification rate.

NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC)said the Chamber is honored to have Minister Jobe participate at AEW 2022 as he moves to strengthen regional, international and public and private sector investments across The Gambia’s oil and gas sector.

“We plan to do a special investment in the Gambia showcase. We believe that the success of both The Gambia and Africa’s economic growth lies within the full exploitation of hydrocarbons resources,” he stated.

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