, pub-3787448768440954, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 [google-translator]

Spirited defence of African oil and gas at opening of energy conference

he African oil and especially gas sector received a spirited defence from African Energy Chamber chairperson NJ Ayuk on Tuesday. He was giving the opening address at Africa Energy Week 2022, in Cape Town.

He highlighted that energy drove civilization, but that the energy industry was the one that now suffered the most criticism, the most attacks. But those working in the energy sector “should be proud”. He cited how energy workers and companies had “stood up” during the Covid-19 pandemic and had ensured that the energy the world needed was provided, including the fuels needed to transport vaccines.

In Africa, he affirmed, oil and gas were not yet finished. “It is time for us to get back to it and to get building. We don’t need to apologise for using our natural resources,” he said. “Energy poverty and climate change are two sides of the same coin.” They had to be addressed together.

He also referred to African coal mining and coal miners. “They are normal people. We’re not going to leave them behind.”

African governments had to create enabling environments, to allow investment to flow into oil and gas projects across the continent.

“We have seen licensing rounds across the continent. … Please close those deals,” he urged. We’re not going to apologise for ‘drill, baby, drill’. … We need to explore more, we need to produce more. … [E]specially gas opportunities.”

Faced by energy supply crises, developed countries had stepped up their exploitation and use of oil and gas, and even, in a couple of cases, coal. Yet, he stated, they told African countries not to exploit their hydrocarbon resources.

“We need to go to COP [climate conference] defending this industry,” he asserted. “This is no time to back down.”

“The wealthy nations need to decarbonise and African nations need to industrialise. That’s the deal.”

Ayuk objected to the use of the courts to block oil and gas exploration in Africa. He expressed incredulity that seismic surveys could cause environmental damage.

“Let’s go change Africa,” be concluded. “Let our voices be known. Let us sign some deals!” – (Mining Weekly)

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