HE Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo, will participate in the main investment platform in Africa, the Africa Energy Week (AEW), which will take place from 18 to 21 October 2022 in Cape Town under the theme “Exploring and investing in Africa’s energy future while creating an enabling environment”. As Minister and current President of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), HE Itoua will discuss the organization’s efforts to ensure market stability, while promoting Congolese oil and gas, African investments and a collaborative approach for a just energy transition.
Since taking office as Minister of Hydrocarbons in 2015, HE Itoua has helped the country establish an attractive capital regime that has boosted the oil and gas market through increased participation by international companies such as Eni, TotalEnergies, Kosmos Energy and Perenco. In the oil sector, the establishment of favorable policies such as the Hydrocarbons Code – which was introduced in 2016 – has played a key role in reviving oil production in the Republic of Congo. As a result, the Congo, with its 2.9 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, has become one of the leading oil producers in Africa and the third in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Angola, with a capacity of production reaching 336,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2019 due to increased production from projects such as the N’Kossa Marine fields, TotalEnergies’ Moho Bilondo Phase 1 and Chevron’s Lianzi project. Under HE Itoua, Congo joined OPEC – a consortium of major hydrocarbon producers – in 2018, increased crude oil exports to 240,000 bpd in 2020, with the minister named chairman of the OPEC in 2022.
Meanwhile, increased exploration activity in the country’s gas sector has pushed Congo’s proven gas reserves from 90 billion cubic meters in 2019 to around 284 billion cubic feet in 2020. The launch of the plan Chief Gas Officer (GMP) at AEW 2021 further strengthened the country’s position to exploit its gas reserves to meet domestic energy needs as well as to maximize hydrocarbon monetization. As gas demand is expected to increase, the Ministry of Hydrocarbons plans to increase its domestic production by awarding exploration licenses for five blocks in the Congo’s interior basin under the Congo Cuvette licensing round in 2022. In addition, the GMP paved the way for enhanced dialogue. and gas-related collaborations in the sector. Recently, liquefied natural gas (LNG) company New Fortress Energy (NFE) signed an agreement with global major Eni for the deployment of NFE’s Fast LNG liquefaction technology on offshore assets in Congo. The 20-year agreement will see NFE deploy its technology to produce up to 1.4 million tonnes per year of LNG. With first production expected by the second quarter of 2023, the agreement marks an important step towards better monetizing gas in Congo.
“With Congo’s energy mix comprising 59% natural gas, 28% oil and a significant share of hydropower and other renewables, the country provides an important case study of how African countries can leverage take advantage of their hydrocarbon resources and combine them with renewable energy to fight energy poverty while ensuring economic growth,” says Tomás C. Gerbasio, Director of Strategy and Business Development at AEW 2022, adding that “Representing both the Minister of Energy and the President of OPEC for 2022, HE Itoua is well placed to lead the dialogue, drive the debates and make a strong case for African oil and gas investments in 2022 and We once again salute HE Itoua’s participation in this year’s edition of AEW after a successful 2021 summit where the ministry launched its Gas Master Plan and look forward to s looking forward to the minister announcing further agreements.
Meanwhile, the deployment of renewable energy is also a key objective for HE Itoua and his ministry, as the country seeks investments to boost wind, solar and hydropower capacity to ensure energy security and decarbonization. Recognizing the role that renewable energy and natural gas will play in the transition to a clean energy future, HE Itoua, in collaboration with the AEC, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of Senegal and the office of German Chancellor Merkel’s Special Representative in Africa, launched the Green Energy Dialogue Initiative at AEW 2021 with a focus on creating new opportunities for dialogue on green energy, led by African stakeholders.
At AEW 2022, HE Itoua will participate in panel discussions where he will discuss the role of hydrocarbons in helping Africa fight energy poverty and achieve energy transition goals. In addition, he will participate in ministerial forums and high-level meetings where he will discuss opportunities in the Republic of Congo’s oil, gas and renewable energy markets.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the African Energy Chamber.AEW 2022 is the annual conference, exhibition and networking event of the AEC. AEW 2022 brings together African energy players with international investors and partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as an energy investment destination. Key organizations such as the African Petroleum Producers Organization, as well as African heavyweights including Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, have partnered with AEW, furthering the role the event will play in the future. energy of Africa.