Nigeria is expected to spend $2.26 billion (N361.6 billion) on offshore drilling activities by 2016, according to a recent report by GBI Research.

 Also, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has identified fossil fuels as dominant in meeting global energy demand for the foreseeable future.

The GBI report released at the weekend, put yearly offshore drilling expenditure in the Middle East and Africa at $17 billion by 2016.

According to the report, an increase in offshore discoveries has been prompting a surge in exploration activities across the Middle East and Africa and driving up the expenditure on drilling.

GBI Research forecasts offshore drilling expenditure to climb steadily from $13.56 billion in 2012 to $17.03 billion in 2016.

“Cumulatively, the total spend of the five year period reached $77.3 billion, which represents an increase of approximately 22 per cent over 2007-2011 total of $63.5 billion”, it added.

The report disclosed that drilling outlay is expected to grow across all major nations in the region, with those in West Africa leading in terms of exploration activity.  “Escalating activity in countries relatively new to the offshore drilling industry, such as Sierra Leone and Liberia, may prove to be future competition for the more established nations of West Africa.”

GBI expects Ghana to emerge as one of the most prominent countries in West Africa for the exploration of oil and gas, with 16 offshore discoveries made between 2008 and 2012 – second only to Angola, where 22 discoveries were made during the same period.

It stated: “In terms of drilling expenditure, Angola is expected to remain the biggest spender in the region by some margin, over the next few years at least.

Research expects drilling expenditure in the Southern African country to continue climbing in the near future, hitting $6.67 billion in 2016.

Nigeria and Egypt are forecast to place second and third, with totals of $2.26 billion and $1.52 billion, respectively.

The report provides an in-depth analysis of the offshore drilling market in the Middle East and Africa region and highlights the various concerns, shifting trends and major players in the region.

Meanwhile, OPEC believed that fossil fuels would dominant in meeting energy demand for the foreseeable future.

The OPEC Secretary General, Salem El-Badri, who made this disclosure recently at the 2nd Gas Summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Moscow, added that biofuels and nuclear currently account for 87 per cent of global energy demand, and will still make up 82 per cent by 2035.

According to him, of all fossil fuels, natural gas is expected to witness the fastest growth rate, at close to 2.5 per cent annually.  “And its overall share in the fuel mix rises from 23 per cent today to 26 per cent by 2035”.

He stated: “For oil, although its overall fuel share falls from 35 per cent to just over 27 per cent between 2010 and 2035, demand still increases by more than 20 million barrels a day over this period.

“Combined, natural gas and oil will still meet well over 50 per cent of the world’s energy needs by 2035.

“That is not to say, however, that the future will be straightforward.  As well as opportunities, there will also be challenges and some of these are shared by both oil and gas.

“For example, challenges related to the environment, human resources and technology and investments.  There is much our industries can learn from each other”.

El-Badri disclosed that heads of OPEC States agreed during their most recent that there would be stability in global energy markets; Energy for sustainable development; and, Energy and environment.

He noted that OPEC recognised the importance of reliable and affordable energy supplies in ensuring global prosperity for all.  This reaffirms our commitment to the principles and objectives in the Organisation’s Statute, the Solemn Declarations from the Summits in Algiers in 1975 and Caracas in 2000, as well as our Long-Term Strategy.

The meeting was hosted by HE Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, the Summit was attended by Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela as well as Iraq, Kazakhstan the Netherlands, and Norway as Observers.

The President of the Ministerial Meeting of the GECF HE Rostam Ghasemi, Minister of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran, HE Mohammed Nasser Al-Hajri Chairman of the GECF Executive Board and HE Leonid Bokhanovskiy, Secretary General of the Forum, also attended the Summit.

The President of the Russian Federation opened the Summit. In his opening remarks President Putin welcomed the Heads of State and Government to the 2nd Gas Summit and gave an overview of the gas market as well as outlined the challenges facing the GECF and its Member countries. The Heads of State and Government and high level representatives exchanged views on the recent developments in the international gas market and other relevant key issues in the global natural gas market.


Information from Guardian was used in this report.