What Horizon Engage Learned at the Africa Energies Summit

Last week, Horizon Engage was the Intelligence Partner for the Africa Energies Summit in London. After meetings with clients, new prospects and old friends, these were our takeaways from a fascinating event at a crucial moment for the continent as we see growing interest in intelligence on key stakeholders in Africa.

—Exploration is Big. As our Chief Executive Officer Joe Goldberg said, there is huge energy in African exploration, running the gamut from well-established oil and gas jurisdictions to countries whose names we don’t hear so often, such as Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry. 

—Frontier Markets in Play. Our Managing Director for Europe Patrick Lord enjoyed several conversations about prospects in Somalia. Perhaps not a straightforward venture, especially on the security side, but we are told the rocks are good.

Local Financing Lacking. During her panel discussion, our Director for Sub-Saharan Africa Clementine Wallop discussed the need for a deeper pool of African financing for African energy. In focus is the Africa Energy Bank, due to start operations this year either in Ghana or Nigeria – both countries whose energy industries could benefit from a boost. 

—The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Orange… Namibia is the current hot ticket. At networking lunches and evening receptions, we could barely move for chat about just how exciting the Orange Basin is and how transformative it could be for both country and continent. No wonder Angola is looking at ways to get in on the action.

… But Not Without Risk. All eyes are on local content rules in Namibia and how they could affect energy investors. Dialogue with the government is constructive for now, but November’s election will be closely watched for any shift in tone from Vice President (and president-in-waiting) Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, or NNN

—Senegal Seeks Tweaks. Likewise, in up-and-comer Senegal, energy investors are watching new President Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s next moves amid talk of a possible overhaul of the petroleum code or changes to existing contracts. Timing is of the essence with first oil due so soon.

—Fiscals Come First. Over and over, delegates heard about how crucial fiscal terms — and their seamless implementation — are to the African energy industry. Coordination across ministries and agencies, NOCs and regulators is essential. 

—Grand Dames Competing for Cash. Nigeria and Angola, seeing the excitement in Namibia and Senegal, are offering tempting incentives in an effort to retain (or perhaps regain) relevance in the African energy landscape. Angola’s incremental production decree is appealing to some smaller and mid-sized players. Nigeria’s deepwater incentives, which the government is drawing up as we speak, could be a game changer in terms of majors’ interest. They may also increase appetite for the blocks up for grabs in the current licensing round, which regulator the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission promoted during the conference.

About Horizon Engage

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