Following the global growth of renewable energy, African oil producing states in a bid to attract selective foreign investors are now making it easier and cheaper for overseas companies to keep their oil and gas output flowing.
According to Reuters, Ghana and Gabon are currently adjusting terms to attract investors whose main concern is about long-term demand for fossil fuels as renewable energy gains ground.
The shift follows declining oil production in Angola and Cameroon and disappointing bid rounds in Ghana.
It also marks a recognition that the era of $100 per barrel of oil is over.
“Because of increased competition for investment in Africa, we are changing our strategy,” Mohammed Amin Adam, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Petroleum, said at Africa Oil Week in Cape Town.
Also in accordance with Ghana on plans to revise oil and gas licensing laws, ministers from Angola, Cameroon and Gabon also stressed changes to legal and fiscal terms to boost their own production.
“We are aware that oil companies have to spend a lot of money. That is why we are careful in the way we design our (terms) to have it as a win-win,” Gabon’s Petroleum Minister, Noel Mboumba, said at the event.
As renewables and efforts to cut fossil fuel consumption gain ground, there are also growing concerns that the world will not need all of Africa’s oil.
“We don’t know how much new supply we’re going to need. So, obviously, everybody is going to have to be competitive for that,” Andrew Latham, Vice President of Global Exploration at Wood Mackenzie, said.
Ghana is planning to allow companies more leeway in where and when they can drill, while Angola is revising local content laws and privatising oil assets.
Cameroon’s Senate in April approved a reform to replace its 1999 petroleum code, sweetening tax terms for oil and condensate development and allowing companies to recoup “exploration expenses” from production sharing contracts.
Gabon revised its fiscal terms to reduce the government take for shallow and deepwater concessions and increased the cost-recovery limits for companies.
Nigeria, the continent’s largest producer, last week increased the amount oil companies pay the government for offshore production, while an overhaul of its oil and gas terms has languished for more than a decade.