Itoua ... public-private partnerships stressed in advancing energy projecs

The Republic of Congo's (ROC) Minister of Hydrocarbons, Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, has announced plans to establish a national gas company by Q3 2024, prioritising the development of a gas master plan and comprehensive gas code.

ROC has successfully fast-tracked the development of several large-scale LNG projects in recent months, including Eni’s Congo LNG and Wing Wah’s multi-phase Banga Kayo projects.

"Gas will be transformed mainly for the local market. Gas, LPG, LNG – this is the main target. If there is any excess, then we will export it. In terms of exporting, it will not be for Europe, but for the sub-region, where the needs are also very high," Itoua told the Invest in African Energy forum in Paris in May.

The Congolese Minister underscored the role of public-private sector cooperation in advancing integrated gas projects and driving upstream investment, with a view to increasing production and achieving market stability – targeting as much as a 60 per cent oil production increase in one to two years.

The country has also seen recent merger and acquisition activity, with Trident Energy acquiring Congolese assets from Chevron and TotalEnergies last month.

"Maybe 95 per cent of investment in the oil sector in the Congo comes from the IOCs," said the Minister. "Our responsibility [as the government] is to create the best business environment, best legal network and best facilities to attract investors and partners interested in building solutions with us."

Speaking on the intersection between energy security and transition, Minister Itoua positioned universal access to electricity and clean cooking as key priorities for ROC and the continent.

"Our starting point is to solve energy poverty – not only for ourselves, but for the world. Is energy security in opposition to the energy transition? No – we can do both at the same time."