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OIL & GAS: Cape Town's Increasing Role As Service Hub


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PROMISING new discoveries of oil and gas reserves in sub-Saharan Africa could revitalise the region’s economic prosperity and substantially increase growth and development in the oil and gas sector.

With Africa poised to be the ‘next oil growth story’, the massive opportunities will fall under the spotlight at the upcoming Oil & Gas Africa Conference, which takes place on 14 March 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The conference programme features a stellar panel of both local and international speakers, all specialists in the oil and gas industry. Conference topics will revolve around the theme, ‘Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa and new opportunities’.

Namibia is attracting the most attention from the oil industry; last year prospectors discovered an estimated 11 billion barrels of oil reserves around the country’s southern coast. More recently, American and Italian exploration companies have found a natural gas deposit equivalent to over four billion barrels of oil off the coast of Mozambique. The southeast African country is now being described as the world’s newest ‘petro-state’.

Over the past 20 years in Africa, new oil field discoveries have increased by over 25%, and gas field discoveries by over 100%.

Adi Karev is optimistic about the outlook for the oil and gas sector in the region. Karev is the global leader of the Oil & Gas Practice for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. “The responsible exploitation of oil could be a game changer for sub-Saharan Africa,” says Karev. “But for this to be a success, there needs to be a significant and ‘mature’ buy-in from the region’s governing elite.” Karev is one of the conference speakers and will be addressing delegates on global trends.

Karev points to a number of opportunities to exploit the massive potential, such as joint ventures and partnerships, particularly for South Africa. “Africa is risky, both geographically and politically, so joint ventures are a way to manage the risks.”

By 2035, China will be responsible for most of the 36% increase in global energy demand, according to the International Energy Agency. This brings opportunities for South Africa. “South Africa can bring execution to projects, most notably from energy giant Sasol. There is also potential for ventures with South Africa’s national oil company, PetroSA,” says Karev.

Anton Botes, Karev’s colleague at Deloittes, supports his views. Addressing delegates at Deloitte’s Energy and Resources Predictions 2012 briefing, he noted that Cape Town has already emerged as a services hub. “There is also potential for other South African ports, as well as Namibia’s Walvis Bay, to more fully exploit the services opportunities that will arise from the ongoing expansion of oil exploration and production activities off the coast of West Africa.

Oil companies make use of specialist suppliers to provide technology, maintenance, engineering, parts and logistical services,” continued Botes. “We believe that over the coming five to ten years, there will be tremendous growth in the area of oilfield services as a sub-industry, servicing the huge amount of activity up the west coast of Africa.”

Botes will be addressing delegates at the Oil & Gas Africa conference on the outlook for sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa’s rich oil fields and the prospects of more discoveries have transformed the continent into an important player,” says John Victor, a director of Fair Consultants SA, organisers of the conference. “The region is a key target for global oil production and resource extraction. The new oil and gas discoveries off the east and west coasts of southern Africa is focusing world attention right here, right now. The Oil and Gas Africa exhibition and conference is now the most important event in the oil and gas business.”

The one-day conference programme will include an update on business opportunities, as well as upcoming supply opportunities. Programme highlights include:

South African and African Licensing Developments

Developing South African-African Supply Hub Capabilities

The Merits of Other African Supply Hub and Repair Options

Opportunities in West and Central Africa

Opportunities in Southern and East Africa, including Mozambique, presented by Nick de Blocq, business development manager East & Southern Africa: Schlumberger

Leveraging the Latest South African Business Incentives: NIPP

The Oil & Gas Africa conference is aimed at senior technical decision makers who seek information about bettering their operations, industry leaders and specialists, contractors and many more.

Attending the Oil & Gas Africa conference offers delegates the opportunity to discover opportunities in a huge industry relatively new to the region,” says Victor. “All of our delegates use the event to network, promote their businesses and explore new products, advanced technologies and expertise.”

The conference runs alongside the Oil & Gas Africa expo, the definitive event for suppliers and service providers to the upstream oil and gas industry, organised in association with the South African Oil and Gas Alliance and the South Africa Agency for the Promotion of Petroleum Exploration and Exploitation.

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