Hosted by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo and the Central African country’s national oil company, le Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC), and in partnership with the African Energy Chamber (AEC) the Invest in the Republic of Congo session held during the third day of African Energy Week (AEW) 2022 was sponsored by the SNPC, Centurion Law Group, and Golar LNG and featured high-level discussions and networking sessions highlighting the vast opportunities across the Republic of Congo’s energy landscape.
H.E. Bruno Jean-Reichard Itoua, President of OPEC and Minister of Hydrocarbons for the Republic of the Congo provided a detailed overview of the central African country’s oil and gas industry.
“We are expecting good results for the end of this year and for next year and my commitment at the moment is that, based on any license, any well, oil must be produced,” H.E. Minister Itoua stated, adding, “The country is open, and people are very kind, so coming in and investing in the Congo is a very good idea. I think the amount of investment for which companies are now committing is around $10 billion over the next three or four years.”
The Minister went on to discuss the prospect of gas in the Republic of the Congo, indicating that the future of the country will be based on its production and exportation, describing the resource as a prime opportunity for investors to engage with Africa and support the continent’s energy transition.
“We have decided to bring gas to a new level,” H.E. Minister Itoua continued, noting, “Everyone can see that gas is the best solution for the energy transition for the next few years. Yet, promoting gas has now become the biggest challenge for all oil producing countries, especially for us in Africa.”
The session also featured a presentation by Upstream Oil Projects Coordinator at SNPC on the country’s Gas Master Plan, where Odifax Loko discussed how the Republic of the Congo can optimize its gas potential and revitalize its hydrocarbon sector by taking advantage of the country’s 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves for exports and value creation while powering its domestic market and industrial development.
“The Master Plan’s purpose is to diversify the economy and resolve social issues,” Loko said, adding, “It will bring an integrated institution; buying gas from the producers and selling it at the best price to those who end up with the product.”
During a panel discussion, guest speaker, Richard Moulet, Manager Partner for Congo at law firm, Sutter & Pearce, addressed how the country can improve its measured ranking in governance, business creation, access to land, cross-border operations, and access to credit indices.
“Gas is taken into consideration based on two aspects of production. Natural gas and associated gas and at present, we will need a project – one that can be approved by law – that will take advantage of both aspects,” said Moulet.
Additionally, Independent oil and gas exploration company, Petronor E&P’s Chairman, Eyas Alhomouz, closed the session by divulging the company’s operational experience in the Republic of the Congo, highlighting human capital as one of the most important aspects of doing business in Africa.
“It has been a good experience for us in Congo,” Alhomous stated, adding, “The Republic of the Congo has been good to us and the human capital has been extremely beneficial and building that capacity in the country is important to us as a company.”