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MARKETING: Exploration Bonanza At Oil & Gas Show


Recent Western Cape Business News

THE recent launch of the 2012 edition of the Oil & Gas Africa Exhibition & Conference at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town immediately drew in 30 industry-leading exhibitors. The big names once again supporting the event include Algoa Oil, Allweld, Anchor Industries, Barloworld, DCD Dorbyl, HSE, Hytorc, Jachris, LH Martinhusen, LVSA, Marine Data Solutions, New Way Motors, Petroleum Agency South Africa, Project Freight and Toprope.

The fifth Oil & Gas Africa takes place from 13 to 15 March 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

A recent announcement by Trade & Industry Minister Rob Davies stated that the oil and gas sector is a priority under the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 (IPAP 2). Conference organiser John Victor, a director at Fair Consultants SA, has made oil and gas a focal point of the local content module of the conference programme. As such, the theme of the 2012 Oil and Gas Conference is ‘Leveraging IPAP2 – The Inclusion of Oil and Gas as a Priority Sector’.

“The purpose of IPAP 2 is to expand production in value-added sectors with high growth and employment potential. These sectors will compete in export markets, and in the domestic market against imports.”

“IPAP 2 places emphasis on employment-generating production and services sectors that encourage increased participation by historically disadvantaged people and regions in the economy,” he adds. “In the medium term, IPAP 2 should greatly increase South Africa’s contribution to industrial development in Africa. The action plan may also form a major element of the New Growth Path, which aims to create five million new jobs by 2020.”

Other topics to be addressed at the conference include project updates for the sub-Saharan oil, gas and petrochemical sectors, as well as the latest developments in African and global projects. The programme line-up will feature well-known internationally speakers.

Global energy demand is forecast to grow by 40% by 2030. Demand for oil is forecast to rise by 24% to 105 million barrels per day, and natural gas demand will reach 4.4 trillion cubic metres a year by 2030.

According to the SA Oil & Gas Alliance’s executive director Warwick Blyth, Sub-Saharan Africa offers huge opportunities for oil and gas exploration and development. “Oil & Gas Africa 2012 is the continent’s premier energy event, bringing together all sectors of the oil, gas, petrochemical and related industries,” he says. “It provides the ideal platform for stakeholders to network, and access the untapped potential the oil and gas industry offers.”

“EICDataStream, which tracks over 8 500 projects across the global energy industry, shows there are currently 715 active and future energy projects throughout Africa. Of these, 361 are in the upstream oil and gas sector, 72 in the midstream sector, and 134 downstream.  Many of the world’s key producing fields are now budding or seriously depleted, and continued demand means companies and governments are looking to new, often completely unknown regions for supply.”

“Sub-Saharan Africa remains a largely unexplored region in which there have been only modest, mainly gas, discoveries to date,” explains Blyth, adding that many of the oil and gas exploration activities occur on South Africa’s West Coast, South Coast, the Orange River Basin and onshore.

Forest Oil’s Ibubesi gas field off the West Coast is a potential $2.5-billion development feeding a 900MW power station near Island Point. Tullow Oil’s Kudu gas field north of the Namibian border is another commercial discovery in the area that is awaiting a development decision. A number of exploration blocks operated by PetroSA, Forest Oil and BHP Billiton also hold potential for gas and oil discoveries. Significant exploration activity on these blocks is now underway.

“South Africa’s existing gas producing fields are close to end of life and PetroSA is looking to develop further reserves,” states Blyth. “In 2009, Singapore-based Silverwave Energy acquired a right to explore the offshore area between Durban and the Mozambique border. The region sits at the Southern end of the Mozambique channel, where several significant discoveries have been made further north.”

There has been significant interest in onshore unconventional gas resources, for example around coal-bed methane reserves in the northern parts of the country.

Possible shale gas resources in the vast Karoo Basin are of even greater interest. Shell and Falcon Energy recently acquired separate rights to assess the potential central Karoo basin areas and are busy with studies.

“With such potential on its doorstep, South Africa is geographically and politically well-positioned to be a base for supplying these and other sub-Saharan oil and gas projects.  The potential for upstream exploration and production in the region are encouraging - and this is growing,” Blyth says.

Opportunities reach across the engineering supply chain and include:

           Fabrication and construction (subsea modules, jackets, topsides modules, steel and pipe, tugs/barges)

           Repairs and maintenance (full range of wet and dry repairs on rigs and vessels, class surveys, certification inspection and testing)

           E&P (Exploration and Production) service companies (local/regional bases of global players)

           General engineering services (mechanical, electrical and controls, civil and structural, geotechnical, environmental, chemical and process, marine, general and specialised project management)

           Equipment and materials supplies (pumps, valves, pipes, motors, hoses, instrumentation, chemicals, hydraulic and pneumatics, process equipment).

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