In the past year a whole series of new finds by exploration companies including BP, Kosmos Energy and Springfield are turning parts of West Africa into a new land of opportunity. The West African region includes the coastal states from Mauritania in the north to Nigeria in the south. The region’s governments expect the revenues generated from these recent discoveries will help fund their economic development ambitions.
It is expected that many of the gas discoveries will help displace oil as a source of more sustainable fuel in the regional mix. For instance, the new offshore gas discoveries in Senegal could meet the fuel needs of domestic gas to power plants in the country. In addition, such coastal gas power projects could sell power to markets in neighbouring countries, in the region’s interior. But, industry experts expect the main market for these finds is destined for European LNG customers.
As for the challenges oil and gas investors face, these include the ongoing U.S. China trade tensions are having on the price of oil. This is in addition to the competition from American fracked oil and gas production is having on attracting interest from investors in the region. Also, investors are facing the ongoing problems of corruption and political, regulatory and security uncertainty challenges with foreign investment.