This was the view of Roger Brown, CEO and executive director at a Nigerian energy company, Seplat Energy Plc, speaking at Africa Oil Week (AOW), running from October 3-7, which drew around 2000 delegates and over 50 African energy ministers, and business delegates.
According to him, the developed nations can guarantee themselves more affordable and reliable energy, through the diversification of their energy suppliers in the face of European instability, while still meeting their environmental responsibilities.
He said, “Africa’s gas sector presents an enormous opportunity for European countries and other developed economies to diversify their supply sources.
“Investment in Africa’s energy industry would help developed nations, improve their energy security at little cost to the environment while complying with all their ESG requirements, he said.
Brown said investing in Africa’s gas assets would help western nations increase energy security and reduce their dependence on states willing to politicise energy supply.
“It would also accelerate development goals in Africa through increased trade and investment, and guide Africa’s energy transition by encouraging lower-carbon energy and ESG compliance.
The Seplat Executive Director, who is in charge of Seplat Energy, a leading provider of gas for power in Nigeria, further noted that gas was significantly less carbon intensive than coal, producing only 202kg of CO2 per megawatt-hour (MWh) compared to 354kg/MWh for coal.
Speaking from a Nigerian perspective, Brown revealed that improved energy partnerships between the country and the West would boost the economy, drive development and create jobs while providing industrialised nations with more affordable and reliable energy.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” he said.
He quoted a statement by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation that, “if the whole of sub-Saharan Africa (minus South Africa) were to triple its electricity consumption using entirely gas, it would only add 0.6% to global carbon emissions.”
Brown’s statements come against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the recent damage to the Nordstream gas pipeline between Russia and Europe.
“We must become independent from Russian oil, coal, and gas,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said earlier this year.
“We need to act now to mitigate the impact of rising energy prices, diversify our gas supply for next winter, and accelerate the clean energy transition.”
“Using gas is also far less damaging than going back to coal, as some European nations are doing.”
“By embracing African gas, developed nations can reduce the impacts of the upheaval in Europe by diversifying their suppliers and sources, while still mitigating the existential threat from climate change,” the Seplat CEO said.