Burgeoning African oil producers stand to learn a great deal from Guyana, a country which prioritized a fast-tracked approach to developing recent oil and gas discoveries. Since 2015, more than 30 offshore oil discoveries were made in Guyana, with over 11 billion barrels of recoverable reserves identified.
This fast-tracked approach to not only discovering but developing oil is both commendable and replicable. By streamlining regulatory processes, introducing attractive fiscal terms and engaging with private players to develop projects quickly, the Government of Guyana has prioritized economic growth and progress.
The same can be said for Namibia’s neighbor South Africa. Faced with environmental opposition across the upstream oil and gas industry, major finds made such as Luiperd and Brulpadda are yet to be developed. Regulatory delays and lack of investment further restrict progress. Unless the country adopts an aggressive approach to developing offshore resources, critical energy will remain undeveloped.
However, Africa’s offshore development is not only a picture of potential. Countries such as Senegal and Mauritania have seen substantial success in recent years, with the removal of red tape, streamlining of regulatory processes and aggressive approach to signing deals driving a number of impactful projects.
During Ayuk’s visit to Guyana, this very topic is a central point of discussion. Ayuk’s call for a ‘sign baby sign’ mindset in Africa’s oil and gas sector serves as a rallying cry for expediting critical energy projects.
One of the AEC’s key messages is the imperative need to cut through bureaucratic red tape. Cumbersome regulatory processes and administrative delays can stifle investment and impede the timely execution of critical projects. By streamlining regulations and ensuring transparency, the AEC envisions a more investor-friendly environment that not only attracts capital but also accelerates project implementation.
Across Africa, Governments are urged to shed their hesitancy and embrace a forward-looking approach to energy development. By adopting policies that promote investment, leaning on partnerships with counterparts such as Guyana and signing deals quickly, African countries can unlock their full energy potential and, in turn, drive economic prosperity.
African Energy Chamber