H.E. Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons for the Republic of the Congo has reiterated both his support for and dedication towards driving a pan-African energy agenda at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November.
On the back of several other Ministerial VIP confirmations at AEW 2021, Hon. Bruno Itouais focused on establishing a working commission to help make AEW 2021 a success. By promoting the Congo’s ambitious Gas Master Plan (GMP), as well as the prioritization of local content and capacity building, H.E. Bruno Itouais focused on signing deals, establishing partnerships, and initiating continent wide economic growth.
During a recent working visit to the Congo by the African Energy Chamber (AEC), H.E. Bruno Itoua reiterated the value of hosting Africa’s premier energy event in Cape Town. Rather than abandon the continent for international venues, the Minister is committed to ensuring African narratives remain in Africa. In line with this objective, H.E. Bruno Itoua has placed a focus on Cape Town, and will drive a strong message regarding a pan-African, multi-sector energy transition.
Representing the third-largest crude oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the seat of the African Petroleum Producers Organization, the Congo’s proven oil reserves at the beginning of 2021 were approximately 2.9 billion barrels, leading to the active participation of a number of International Oil Companies(IOC) such as Total, Chevron, Perenco, Eni, Qatar Petroleum and Lukoil. As the country moves to expand exploration and production – current production stands at 336,000 barrels per day –in the face of declining reserves from maturing fields, H.E. Bruno Itoua is committed to driving new deals on the back of reformed petroleum regulation.
In addition to driving increased IOC participation in the sector, the new petroleum regulation emphasizes the role that the national oil company plays in accelerating sectoral success. With the new Hydrocarbon Code (2016) ensuring that theLa Sociėtė des Pėtroles du Congo (SNPC) remains the exclusive concessionaire of petroleum permits, maintaining a 15% participating interest, as well asrequiring a minimum participating interest of 15-25% to be reserved for participating Congolese petroleum companies, the Congo is driving local content and domestic capacity building. The Congo can serve as a trend for other emerging petroleum markets looking to increase local company participation, with the Minster driving this narrative at AEW 2021 in Cape Town.
Meanwhile, with the country committed to enhancing natural gas’s share of the energy mix – driven by the country’s estimated 10 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves – the SNPC has established a comprehensive GMP, aimed at incentivizing the development of and investment in the Congo’s significant gas reserves. The SNPC’s GMP comprises a medium to long-term strategy that foresees natural gas as a catalyst for economic diversification and growth, in which the exploitation of reserves will help establish energy security and facilitate an energy transition to cleaner fuels. With an emphasis on resource maximization, social benefits and attracting investment, particularly with regards to Liquified Natural Gas, petrochemicals, and gas-to-power, the GMP will be launched and promoted at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, offering investors a first-hand look at the country’s vast opportunities.
“We want to thank President Denis Sassou Nguesso, the Minister of the Republic of the Congo, for supporting the oil and gas industry in Africa. Congo will not only drive their exceptional GMP at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, but will drive a strong message on the role of every energy source in Africa’s energy transition. Congo has great plans to produce clean fuels and low carbon LNG. Africa requires an adapted, integrated and unified approach to the energy transition if the continent is to realize its developmental goals and make energy poverty history by 2030. The Congo will be a key driver of this narrative at AEW 2021, and we look forward to an exciting, collaborative discussion in Cape Town,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
Additionally, with the country’s energy mix comprising 59% from natural gas, 28% from petroleum and other liquids, and 13% from renewables, the Congo is focused on expanding energy sector diversification and associated socio-economic growth. H.E. Bruno Itoua is committed to promoting a multi-sector approach to Africa’s energy transition, in which every form of energy plays a fundamental role in the continent’s shift towards cleaner and more sustainable sources. The Minister believes in integration across the energy sector, enhancing each energies contribution within Africa’s energy mix. At AEW 2021 in Cape Town, H.E. Bruno Itouawill promote a pan-African agenda on the energy transition, one which emphasizes diversification and integration rather than outright elimination.
With a focus on creating an extraordinary meeting in Cape Town, H.E. Bruno Itoua will unite IOCs, the SNPC, and Congolese industry executives in Cape Town in November, hosting a pavilion that will showcase the country’s natural resource opportunities, enabling regulation, and local capacity. Committed not only to its own resource and economic development, but to Africa’s as a whole, H.E. Bruno Itouawill drive the African narrative and African development at AEW 2021 in Cape Town.