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The O&G Fight for East Africa

Although oil and gas drilling sites have spread all over the world, from Saudi-Arabia to Canada and Russia, the industry can still be reluctant to set up new operations. They are costly, time consuming and require a huge amount of resources. So it may come as a bit of a surprise that big companies are now looking to secure business in East Africa – an area that has previously been overlooked for O&G purposes.

Africa is far from oil and gas free, but the patches are largely focused in the south and west of the continent; countries such as Nigeria and Angola are profiting from their natural resources, leaving their less lucky neighbours in their shadow. Things are, however, starting to change and especially in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania with corporations such as Exxon, Statoil and Shell now investing seeing the potential.

This is a significant show of confidence and commitment to an area that only saw notable O&G discoveries in 2010, and six years later is yet to provide any return on the investment. It has also been drilled into 30 times less than its western counterpart, providing a fresh terrain for new drilling sites.

One project worth mentioning is Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project, known as LNG. It is a proposed processing plant of liquefied natural gas in Tanzania, where there should be a reserve of 57 trillion cubic feet. Costing the investors 30 billion US dollars, it is set to be commissioned in 2022, with Tanzania’s president John Magufuli urging officials to fast track the project. Predictions for financial contributors are being sourced as soon as 2018 – a considerably shorter period of time than the initially thought 5 years.

There are of course countless risks of operating in a location of little to no practical experience. The soil is unfamiliar, there is a lack of skill in local communities and the time line is uncertain as of now. Nevertheless, the prospect of East African natural resources is a promising one, and Dashboard believes it can establish a new direction of research and analytic solutions to aid the O&G companies. Projects in the region will need to adapt to unique environmental and social conditions, which is where Dashboard brings expertise and reassurance to both.

Similar ventures are therefore of interest to us and as we see it, companies won’t let such O&G quantities just lie untouched. So no matter when or how, East Africa is about to be dug into – quite literally.