Africa’s upstream market continues to attract a slate of new investment as companies capitalize on emerging block opportunities across the continent. Play-opening discoveries in emerging markets and new finds in mature basins showcase the level of prospectivity across the continent’s oil and gas industry and a strong line up of licensing rounds expected in the coming months promise to connect potential investors with African blocks.

Committed to supporting the promotion, marketing and delivery of African oil and gas licensing rounds, international consultancy firm Africa Energy Partners (AEP) has partnered with the African Energy Week (AEW): Invest in African Energy conference – scheduled for November 4-8 in Cape Town. As a partner, AEP will bring its extensive network and expertise to the event, facilitating crucial discussions on licensing rounds and block negotiations. 

AEW: Invest in African Energy is the platform of choice for project operators, financiers, technology providers and government, and has emerged as the official place to sign deals in African energy. Visit http://www.AECWeek.com for more information about this exciting event.

To attract a broader range of companies to invest in oil and gas exploration, various African countries are expected to launch or conclude hydrocarbon tenders in 2024/2025, all of which aim to maximize output in producing markets or create viable industries in burgeoning oil and gas plays. Nigeria launched an oil licensing round in April 2024, with 12 offshore blocks available. The round aims to incentivize investment in deepwater acreage. Sierra Leone plans to launch its next licensing round in 2024 on the back of the success of its latest and fifth round – which featured 56 blocks and concluded last September. Additionally, Tanzania is expected to launch its fifth oil and gas licensing round shortly, with licenses set to be awarded by December 2024. Up to 26 blocks have initially been allocated for tender. Following its 2023 tender – which concluded in January 2024 and secured 53 bids – Angola is planning to launch a 2025 licensing round in Q1 of next year, featuring ten blocks in the Kwanza and Benguela basins.

With over thirty years of experience in the African oil and energy sectors, AEP collaborates closely with African ministries, NOCs, regulators, IOCs and technology firms to drive successful upstream tenders. AEP engaged in the Liberia Direct Negotiations 2021–2023, participating in discussions with the government of Liberia, the state-owned National Oil Company of Liberia and Liberia Petroleum Regulatory Authority and service company TGS. This resulted in energy major ExxonMobil submitting an Expression of Interest. Additionally, the successful conclusion of the Lake Albert Blocks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Bid Round was recently supported by AEP. As evidence of the growing awareness of the DRC’s energy potential and AEP’s capacity to draw in foreign investors to support the nation’s oil and gas development, the country received an Expression of Interest from an ASX-listed oil and gas company – yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, the firm also supported Sierra Leone’s fifth offshore licensing round – which was launched in 2022 and extended into 2023 due to high levels of interest. The company partnered with the Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone (PDSL) to promote the round, which aimed to connect companies with undeveloped acreage in the country which resulted in F.A. Oil licensing 6 highly prospective blocks. AEP are currently working with the Directorate on the direct negotiations which will close on the 27th of September. Last month, geological service firm GeoPartners, in partnership with PDSL, introduced a legacy 2D seismic dataset that was shot by Amaco to the market in hopes of further attracting investments offshore Sierra Leone.

“Africa offers a wealth of undeveloped acreage across both offshore and onshore markets. Upcoming licensing rounds in both producing and emerging markets promise to not only unlock new resources for the continent but generate high returns for investors given rising global demand and industrialization efforts in Africa. Companies such as AEP provide critical support for successful licensing rounds,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

“With African governments keen to attract rapid investment into their open acreage we have utilized our network of 1000’s of up-to-date C-level decision makers to swiftly evaluate opportunities and it has worked very well in Sierra Leone, Liberia&the DRC. With good fiscal terms backed up with firm G&G prospectivity, the messaging needs to be promoted far and wide and this is what we do for our clients. If you couple this with face-to-face meetings at Africa Energy Week to accelerate the process results in a win-win for governments&investors. Last year’s AEW was superb with an outstanding mix O&G executives from around the globe and I know that this year’s event will be even better” said Matt Hewitson, Managing Parter of Africa Energy Partners.

As a partner to AEW: Invest in African Energy 2024, AEP will bring its extensive network and expertise to the event, facilitating key discussions and collaborations. The firm’s contributions will include providing insights into the latest industry trends and promoting investment opportunities across the African energy sector.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.