The African Chamber of Energy (ACE) published its first annual report on the continent’s energy outlook at the end of November. The study focuses in particular on the strong growth of the gas sector in the coming years.
Launched on 28 November, the Africa Energy Outlook 2020 is resolutely optimistic about future developments in the sector. With regard to oil, the Interprofessional Association of Energy Professions in Africa estimates that « the momentum of price recovery, which began in 2019, should continue in 2020, with a fluctuation range of between $60 and $70 per barrel, in line with the historical long-term average price ». Nevertheless, it is the gas branch that should benefit most from the growth expected in the coming years. Discovery of the Zohr field in Egypt, new massive gas projects in Mauritania and Senegal (Grand Tortue Ahmeyim, Orca-1), launch of the Dolphin Tuna and Rovuma LNG complexes in Mozambique… In total, nearly 200 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves have been discovered on the continent over the past decade, enough to supply two thirds of current global demand for 20 years, says the EAC. As a result, the African gas sector has never attracted so much investment, particularly in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure segment, for exports. The analytical firm Akap Energy estimates that more than 75 billion dollars will be committed to the sector until 2025, two thirds of this amount going to Mozambique alone, the new African gas Eldorado. As a result, African LNG production is expected to triple by the middle of the next decade, from 28 million tonnes in 2018 (10% of global volumes) to 84 million tonnes in 2025 (15% to 20% of global production), according to the Africa Energy Outlook.
The report also highlights that the main projects and investments are located in the east of the continent, with the proximity of production areas to major Asian import markets (India, China, Japan, etc.) being perceived as decisive when validating the launch of these mega-projects. The $50 billion to be committed to Mozambican gas between 2017 and 2025 by Exxon and Total (formerly Anadarko) – an order of magnitude three times higher than the country’s current GDP ($15 billion) – is the best example. Finally, the study confirms China’s spectacular rise in demand for African LNG. The continent’s fourth largest customer – after India, Spain and France – the Middle Kingdom saw its imports increase by… 223% in 2018. A huge progression of the Asian giant that could eventually rewrite the maps of the sector….