Western divestment could reshape African energy space

Monday, July 24, 2017

Subject

International Oil Companies' divestment in West Africa

Significance

Royal Dutch Shell is selling its onshore oil and gas operations in Gabon to Assala Energy, a Carlyle Group company, for 587 million dollars. The deal is expected to close later this year and is part of Shell's global 30-billion-dollar divestment to concentrate on its most profitable operations. Other International Oil Companies (IOCs) have been divesting from onshore operations in West Africa since 2010, especially in Nigeria's conflict-prone Niger Delta region. Consequently, indigenous independents (such Seplat, Shoreline Natural Resources and Eroton) and National Oil Companies (NOCs) from developing countries (such as CNPC, Sinopec, Petrobras and Sonangol) are playing an increasing role in sub-Saharan Africa's oil and gas markets.

Impacts

  • IOCs will face increasing competition from independents and NOCs for resources, especially in the mature markets of West Africa.
  • The growing role of indigenous independent IOCs will likely benefit African producer states seeking to expand their oil and gas operations.
  • Energy markets in West Africa will mirror wider shifts regionally.
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