SPE Conference Focuses on Africa’s Oil and Gas Market

SPE Conference Focuses on Africa’s Oil and Gas Market

The Society of Petroleum Engineers London Section (SPE London) today announced that Africa’s oil and gas market is a key focus for its upcoming conference and exhibition, which takes place on 22-23 May at Savoy Place in central London (UK).

Africa in general has seen renewed interest in its energy sector from both investors and oil and gas companies in recent years. This conference will explore the specific challenges and opportunities for investors and operators interested in the region and will include two dedicated sessions looking specifically at East and West Africa.

East Africa is currently largely unexplored, but large Independents, Majors and Super Majors are discovering significant quantities of gas on an increasingly regular basis. As the legal and physical infrastructure is still taking shape in East Africa, a dedicated session on the region will focus on the principles of oil and gas taxation, as well as legal due diligence challenges. Robert Hodges, Tax Director, Ernst & Young, and Nick Davies, Partner, Memery Crystal, will talk on these issues respectively. Nick Cooper, CEO, Ophir Energy will also give a firsthand account of the challenges of offshore exploration in East Africa.

Although the oil and gas industry is more developed in West Africa when compared with the more mature basins such as the North Sea, it remains relatively underexplored. However, this is changing rapidly. This session will compare and contrast the two key countries in West Africa, namely Angola and Nigeria, and will look at how recent increased activity in these countries has thrown up numerous challenges around regulatory, human resources and logistical factors during technical trials. Fausta Alakwe, Deputy COO of Seplat will discuss the success of his company in increasing production from their Nigerian assets.

“The African oil and gas industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented growth, with laws, regulations and infrastructure struggling to keep up,” said Ramin Lakani, Projects Manager, EMEA Gaffney, Cline & Associates, and a member of the conference programme committee. “There are undoubtedly many opportunities for investors, but also many concerns about the risks. The conference sessions are being hosted by some of the leading experts in the region, and will shed light on some of these issues and answer many of the important questions that investors and oil and gas companies have.”

Press Release, March 4, 2013