Nigeria is on the verge of being outstaged as the biggest crude oil producer in Africa as many other countries in the region are developing new initiatives to increase production, organise licensing rounds and tapping into shale oil resource.
Nigeria was said to have lost over $100 billion worth of investments due to uncertainty in the country’s oil and sector.
Also, the inability of the Federal Government to agreed on a favourable fiscal terms with the international oil companies and the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) may retard the industry’s growth in the country, thereby brightening the prospects of other countries overtaking Nigeria in production.
The Chief Executive of Global Pacific & Partners and President of International Licensing Agency, Babette van Gessel, said at the just concluded Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa that the hope of Nigeria having another licensing round for major oil blocks might linger on till the conclusion of the country’s 2015 general elections.
Though the Federal Government announced another licensing round for marginal fields last week, it was silent on when the round for major oil blocks would be held.
Out of the 77 major oil blocks given away by the Federal Government between 2003 and 2010, only one has gone into full production.
Countries like Mozambique, Magadascar, Ghana, South Africa, Gabon and Angola have taken their quests for oil and gas production to the next level.
For example, Ethiopia is deliberating on how to utilise its shale oil along side it’s unconventional oil resources.
In its attempt to become one of the biggest producers of crude oil in Africa, Mozambique will soon launch its closely watched fifth exploration licensing round next year after the country’s new petroleum law must have been ratified by parliament later this year.
Also, Madagascar Oil, aimed to have a plan approved next year to allow it to begin the country’s first commercial sales of crude oil.
The island off Africa’s east coast is part of a new scramble for hydrocarbons in the region that has included significant gas finds off the coasts of Tanzania and Mozambique.
The Chief Executive of Madagascar Oil Company, Steward Ahmed stated: “With any thermal project, fuel is a major issue. Some of our projections are that we will use 20 per cent of the crude that we produce for steam generation,”
“It will be subjected to significant scrutiny as it is the first time that the Madagascar authorities will have been confronted with a hydrocarbon development plan. So we are going to put in a thorough document,” Ahmed said.