GECF has been at the forefront of promoting the use of natural gas as an affordable and sustainable fuel of choice for sustainable development.
On Wednesday, Angola announced that it has become the sixth African country to join the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
Speaking on the announcement made at the 20th GECF Ministerial Meeting that took place in Trinidad and Tobago this week, Africa Oil & Power CEO, Guillaume Doane said: “The new administration in Angola has made it clear that natural gas is a top priority in its energy agenda with new investment legislation in the sector expected to spur international interest. Joining an increasingly influential forum like GECF will give the country access to a wealth of information on how to advance the sector.”
Angola’s gas sector has been supported by the introduction of new legislation promoting the monetization of the country’s gas reserves.
GECF Secretary General Dr Yury Sentyurin said: “We are happy to welcome the Republic of Angola to the Forum as a valued Observer Member. With gas assuming an increasingly important role in the world’s energy mix and Angola, a major producer of this natural resource, we are confident that the collaboration among members of the GECF especially in the sharing of ideas on technology and investments, will make it possible for the GECF member countries, including Angola, to sustainably harness this resource for the development of their people. By taking this initiative therefore, Angola joins five other African countries namely Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria in the Forum to increase the presence and impact of the continent in the Forum.”
In May this year, Angola passed Presidential Decree No. 7/18 (PD 7/18), further emphasizing President João Lourenço commitment to reforming the country’s hydrocarbons sector.
“Right now, Angola has strongly turned to the development of natural gas. For many years our hydrocarbons policy was focused basically on oil, now we have the conditions for exploration, development and production of natural gas. Thus, the need for us to join this organization of gas exporting countries so that we can learn from the experiences of countries with large production and exporting capabilities so as to develop our own natural gas sector. So it is best for us to come together with those who have the know-how and the experience,” said the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum’s National Director for Petroleum, Amadeu Correia de Azevedo.
Beyond this, in becoming the newest member in sub-Saharan Africa to join the forum, Angola follows Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
Responding to the announcement, H.E Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea said: “Equatorial Guinea as an African country has always been inviting and supporting other African countries because nowadays most of the new natural gas reserves discoveries are taking place in Africa: Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana and Senegal. So, it is very important that those countries have a reference, an organization that they can consult. Because natural gas is not oil, oil is easier to develop. Natural gas requires evaluations, and sometimes natural gas projects are subject to local natural gas policies. There are countries with larger populations, so what they seek is to increase employment, so some projects are not convenient for them. There are other smaller countries that are more interested in the resource rather than employment, so projects like LNG are more convenient. There are other issues on how to develop those reserves in the long term. So we believe that the entrance of Angola is a good signal, we believe that other African countries should join. And joining does not mean becoming full fledge members, they can be observers like Angola. Us, as Equatorial Guinea, we continue to invite other African countries to join GECF, because they need it, and GECF is more than willing to advise them in the development of those resources.”
Endorsed by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, Africa Oil & Power will organize the first Angola Oil & Gas conference, which will be held on June 4-6, 2019 in Luanda. Registration is now open.