Nicholas Newman AFROIL October 2017
To meet increasing global demand for cleaner energy from industry and the power sector, BP is shifting its product portfolio towards gas. By 2025 the company expects 60 percent of its production to be gas compared with 50 percent today. 75 percent of BP’s planned start-ups to 2021 will be gas. Encouraged by recent significant discoveries of natural gas in Mozambique, Tanzania, Angola, Ghana, and Nigeria by Eni and Kosmos Energy and Tullow Oil, BP is increasing its exploration activities and gas acreage in Egypt, Mauritania, and Senegal to broaden their position in world-class gas fields.
With still so much of Africa under-explored the Continent offers the prospect of substantially increasing company reserves of gas and opportunities to buy into existing developments. The $1 billion deal for a 62 percent stake in Kosmos Energy’s offshore interests in Mauritania and Senegal offers “a leadership position in an emerging world-class low-cost basin with advantaged access to global gas markets” said a BP representative.
Africa also represents a significant market opportunity not only in Egypt but elsewhere since fewer than 300 million of sub-Saharan Africa’s 920 million inhabitants have access to mains electricity. Africa is also expected to account for more than half of global population growth to mid-century. McKinsey, in Brighter Africa 2015, estimated that if every country in sub-Saharan Africa built enough capacity to meet its future domestic needs, gas-fired generation could be as high as 700 TWh. In comparison, the UK generated 2,249 TWh in 2014. Therefore, the continent as a whole offers BP two distinct opportunities. One, to serve future predicted fast-growing demand for natural gas in Africa itself and, secondly, to serve global markets with LNG.
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