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Extremely Deep Oil and Gas Fields Offshore of the West and East Coasts of Africa, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Africa continues to be one of the most prolific and promising offshore oil and gas regions in the world.  Immense amounts of production flow from deepwater fields near nations including Nigeria, Angola, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  An International Energy Agency (IEA) report dated October 2014 stated that nearly 30% of oil and gas discoveries worldwide over the previous five years had been made in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Development and investment continue.  These fields are so massive and have such potential that that world’s major oil and gas firms are maintaining an interest in exploration and development.

For example, Total SA, the French oil firm, has a huge oil field in the development phase offshore Nigeria, called Egina, along with its partners CNOOC, Petrobras and South Atlantic Petroleum.  It is slated to begin production as early as 2017.  Despite the enthusiasm, deep water wells in Africa remain expensive to drill, while political and security risks remain high.  In many cases, oil companies also must deal with challenging geologic formations.

Significant discoveries have also been made offshore of East Africa recently, particularly in natural gas.  This includes the massive Mamba and Prosperidade fields offshore of Mozambique as well as a field in Tanzania.  Also, the first major oil find offshore Kenya has been announced by Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL.  According to BP, Africa accounted for 9.1% of the world’s oil production in 2015.



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