The continent is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies with many of them buoyed by new oil and gas finds.
Africa’s proven oil reserves are concentrated in the four members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). These are Libya (which has 48 billion barrels worth of reserves), Nigeria (37.2 billion barrels), Angola (12.7 billion barrels) and Algeria (12.2 billion barrels). In fact, these four countries held 84.5 percent of Africa’s reserves at the end of 2012.
Other countries with notable proven oil resources are Egypt, South Sudan and Gabon. A number of other countries are however emerging, with some of the most exciting prospects being Uganda, Kenya and Ghana, the report said.
According to data from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), 12 African countries had proven oil reserves of more than 500 million barrels and four held more than 10 billion barrels at the start of 2013
There are currently 500 oil companies exploring for natural resources in the continent, considering Africa’s proven oil reserves have grown by nearly 120 percent in the past 30 years, from 57 billion barrels in 1980 to 124 billion barrels in 2012, according to EIA.
The EIA also estimated that at least another 100 billion barrels are offshore Africa, only waiting to be discovered.
In March, Repsol announced its plans to spend $95 million drilling its first well offshore Namibia, proving that exploration in the South Atlantic Coast will ramp up in speed from exploration and production companies. The company is willing to take this risk considering that last year, 11 out of the top 20 oil and gas discoveries made in the world occurred in Africa, according to the company.
Cairn Energy plc commenced drilling operations recently on the Fan-1 well offshore Senegal, making it the first deepwater well drilled off the coast and only the second and third deepwater wells along the central Atlantic margin of West Africa.
According to the BP Statistical Review of Energy, Africa’s proven oil reserves have grown by almost 150 percent since 1980 – increasing from 53.4 billion barrels at that stage to 130.3 billion barrels at the end of 2012. This is an average annual growth rate of 2.8 percent, which is the second highest continental growth rate in the world after South America over that period.
Source: FEMI ASU /http://businessdayonline.com/
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