Untapped Gas Reserves
While leading upstream players like bp and Kosmos Energy are already harnessing the region’s natural gas wealth through the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) Project Phase 1 – set to produce first gas in the fourth quarter of 2023 – further investments are expected to flow. Senegal alone is estimated to hold over 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and is home to the 20-trillion cubic feet Yakaar-Teranga gas development, first production of which is slated for 2024. Meanwhile, Mauritania holds the 13-trillion cubic feet BirAllah field, 1.2-trillion cubic feet Pelican-1 discovery and Banda gas-to-power project, and has developed a Gas Master Plan aimed at positioning the country as a future energy hub for the region. The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry also represent some of Africa’s least explored yet most prospective basins with the potential to revitalize the continent’s energy future.
New Licensing Rounds
The commitment by the MSGBC region to accelerate oil and gas exploration and increase hydrocarbon reserves is aimed at achieving regional energy security and raising electrification rates, while transforming into an exploration hub and destination of choice. Each of its member countries have licensing round tenders either set to be launched or awarded from 2023 onward. Guinea-Bissau, for instance, is kickstarting its Formosa and Atum/Anchova exploration campaigns, as the country attracts new upstream players to unlock its untapped hydrocarbon reserves. Neighboring Mauritania, through its national oil company, La Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures, released a record 28 new offshore blocks for bidding last July.
Competitive upstream fiscal terms, coupled with a focus on sustainability, local content and capacity building frameworks, have contributed to the attractiveness of MSGBC member countries. Senegal’s new gas plan, workforce development and revised fiscal terms, for example, has seen foreign direct investment into the country double in the last five years. Senegal’s target for 50% of its workforce to be made up of local skilled labor by 2030 is not only generating new employment opportunities, but also driving large investments from international companies into knowledge, skills and technology transfer. Meanwhile, The Gambia’s Investment and Export Promotion Agency Act of 2010, which grants incentives and rewards to energy investors, has not only expanded the country’s upstream activities, but also transformed the country into an attractive investment destination across all sectors.
Renewable Energy Potential
With the energy transition intensifying on a global scale, countries in the MSGBC region are leading the African energy transition through renewable energy and green hydrogen development. Global energy companies and investors such as CWP Global, Chariot, Total Eren and more are investing in the region’s renewable potential. Mauritania has emerged as one of the world’s largest green hydrogen markets, with the $40-billion, 30 GW AMAN and $3.5-billion, 10 GW Nour projects currently underway. Guinea-Conakry is also seeking to maximize the exploitation of its hydropower potential with the development of the 6 GW Kaleta Dam, while Senegal and Guinea-Bissau hold massive, untapped solar and wind potential, attracting the attention of local, regional and international investors.
Proximity to International Markets
The MSGBC region’s proximity to European markets has also benefited the bloc in attracting sizable investments from global investors, especially as Europe continues to seek alternative energy supplies in the face of the Russia-Ukraine war. With the GTA and Yakaar-Teranga gas projects set to come online in the short-term, the MSGBC region’s proximity to the European market creates significant gas monetization opportunities for Senegal and Mauritania through energy exports.
In this scenario, the 2023 edition of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference & Exhibition – taking place in Nouakchott on 21-22 November 2023 – will serve as the premier event for the region’s energy sector, showcasing dynamic investment opportunities across the entire energy value chain. Through a series of panel discussions, ministerial meetings, exclusive networking sessions and investment summits, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 will unite energy stakeholders and policymakers in the region with global partners and investors to discuss best practices, advance policy reforms and drive deals forward.