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Day one of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021 Conference and Exhibition featured an opening keynote address by OPEC secretary general Mohammed Barkindo who spoke on the outlook of the MSGBC Basin and the region’s potential to become a formidable competitor in the by developing an efficient oil and gas value chain

OPEC MSGBC 17 DecBeing held from 16-17 December, the conference focuses on finding a new wave of investment. (Image source: Energy Capital & Power)

Being held from 16-17 December at the Centre International de Conférence Abdou Diouf, in Dakar, Senegal, and under the theme, A New Wave of Investment, the conference focused on enhancing regional partnerships while spurring investment and development opportunities in the oil, gas, and power sectors within the MSGBC Region.

“We anticipate a bright future for Africa’s oil industry with substantial opportunities for growth. The continent is home to five of the top 30 oil-producing countries in the world and several top gas-producing nations, including Senegal. The world will continue to rely on Africa’s precious resources in the long-term in order to meet the rapidly rising global demand for oil and gas,” Barkindo stated.

He further lauded the collaborative framework of the MSGBC Region’s international partnerships and its contribution towards the stability of a sustainable oil market, which has resulted in broader social and economic benefits for participating countries.

“OPEC full-heartedly supports the spirit of cooperation and fraternity among nations that undergirds this conference,” Barkindo said, adding, “Our statute commits us to multilateralism and cooperation with all stakeholders in the energy industry. We recognise that challenges of our age, require the international community to lift each other up and support each other.”

In the downstream oil and gas sector, Barkindo stated that approximately US$1.5 trillion will be spent globally between 2021 and 2045, of which US$450bn will be invested into new refinery projects and the expansion of existing units in Africa, which will increase local refined product output while reducing imports from other regions.

Given the pressing need to alleviate energy poverty and recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 global pandemic, arkindo emphasised that the environmental aspect of the environmental social governance requirements tends to outweigh the need to address social and development issues in Africa, noting that, while Africa accounts for a mere 3% of global emissions, nearly 600 million people in the continent lack access to electricity and clean cooking fuels.