As the oil and gas industry in Africa continues to grow, the construction of a regional, intra-African pipelines has a huge part to play in distributing these hydrocarbons across the continent, allowing Africa to reap the benefits of its energy resources.
These benefits include improved access, availability and affordability of energy as well as energy security.
It will also contribute to added revenue to the participating countries and the skills development of local companies and individuals.
PIPELINE PROJECTS UNDERWAY
There are currently several pipeline projects underway in Africa. Among these are the Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline (TSGP); the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP); and the Central African Pipeline System (CAPS).
The under development TSGP represents an estimated $13 billion investment. It is a tri-partnership with a combined shared value of 90 per cent between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Algeria’s NOC Sonatrach. The Government of the Republic of Niger holds the remaining 10 per cent.
The pipeline will stretch approximately 4,128 km from southern Nigeria through Niger to northern Algeria and have annual capacity of 30 billion cu m of natural gas.
Meanwhile, the EACOP is a crude oil pipeline that spans borders and is presently in its planning and early implementation phase.
It is owned by TotalEnergies (62 per cent), China National Oil Corporation (CNOOC) (8 per cent), Uganda National Pipeline Company (15 per cent), and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (15 per cent).
The pipeline's route will extend from Uganda to Tanzania, covering approximately 1,443 km and will have the capacity to transport around 216,000 barrels per day. The estimated cost of the project is $3.5 billion.
Another key project is CAPS. This is a comprehensive system that includes refineries, gas-to-power plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and transnational oil and pipelines.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been was signed by seven countries, namely Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda, to initiate this project.
The project is presently in its planning phase and will include three multinational pipeline systems that will simplify intra-African trade.
MAKING ENERGY POVERTY HISTORY
As the population of Africa continues to grow, the continent is facing challenges in meeting the energy demands of its regions. There are currently over 600 million people without access to electricity.
Africa’s oil and gas resources measure roughly 125.3 billion barrels of oil and over 600 trillion cu ft of natural gas, the monetisation of which will enable the continent to make energy poverty history by 2030.
Although Africa possesses abundant oil and gas resources, inadequate regional pipeline infrastructure and insufficient investment are impeding the transportation of oil and gas to needy areas, thereby restricting access, availability and affordability of energy sources across the continent.
Investments in regional pipeline infrastructure could potentially reduce these challenges by providing direct access to countries in need.
This will not only enhance energy security but also stimulate economic growth, generate employment opportunities, enhance the knowledge base of local enterprises and empower communities in the energy industry.
The TSGP, the EACOP and CAPS are all expected to produce thousands of high-paying employment opportunities for local companies which directly contributes to economic growth within the region.
'We recognise the reality of energy poverty and are committed to urging African suppliers to engage in joint ventures that will enable investments in regional oil and gas pipeline infrastructure, leading to mutual growth in achieving our shared goal of eradicating energy poverty by 2030. This endeavor will propel Africa to unprecedented heights of success and development,’ says NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC).