June 22, 2024

GECF Gas Outlook 2050: Nigeria, Mozambique projected to account for 63 percent of Africa’s 585bcm LNG production by 2050

Oredola Adeola

Nigeria and Mozambique have been projected to account for 63 percent of 585 billion cubic meters (bcm) equivalent to 20,650.5 billion cubic feet(bcf) of Africa’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production by 2050, which is predicated on both greenfield and brownfield deep-water development projects.

This was contained in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, GECF, and Gas Outlook for 2050 synopsis, obtained by EnergyDay.

GECF is a 19-member country of the world’s leading natural gas producers consisting of Nigeria, Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and others.

EnergyDay’s check showed that Nigeria’s gas production was expected to have hit 1,780 billion cubic feet (bcf) in 2022, up from 1,450 billion feet in 2021, and Mozambique LNG production was 201,295.50 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas per year (as of 2015).

According to the Outlook 2050, LNG endowment confirmed by a series of major discoveries fits well with Africa’s push for industrial and social development. It stated that Africa will enjoy an LNG export expansion, while resulting revenues will help to drive economic growth and structural transformation.

The outlook also suggested that Africa will experience the second-largest volumetric growth in LNG supply, after gaining more than 11% share by 2050.

It also added that a total upstream investment of US$1.7 trillion will be needed to achieve the continent’s 585 bcm of natural gas projection by 2050.



GCEF said for upstream natural gas sector, the underinvestment has contributed to the current global natural gas shortage, which has supported higher gas and LNG prices.

It said, “Global capital investment in the upstream natural gas sector rose from US$195 billion in 2010 to US$250 billion in 2014, followed by declining spending as companies were navigating the low-price environment from 2014 to 2020.

“Natural gas market tightness in the post-COVID-19 recovery in 2021 has been a major contributor to soaring natural gas prices and improving business profitability, which, as a result, led to increased investment.

“To reach the required natural gas supply level of 5.5 tcm by 2050, the GECF expects the industry to require US$9.7 trillion of upstream capital investment in natural gas over the forecast period.

“The GECF forecasts natural gas supply to increase in 2050 compared to 2021 in all regions except for Europe.

“Investments in Africa will support the continent’s long-term position as a natural gas exporter, increase access to a low-carbon fuel, generate foreign currency, and support African countries in building and modernising their energy systems, ” it said.



GECF Midstream natural gas investment will accelerate to US$775 billion by 2050. Higher global LNG demand growth, particularly in Europe this decade, along with elevated Asia Pacific LNG appetite longer term, will be key drivers.

The major share of investment will be dedicated to the capital-intensive natural gas upstream.  Midstream natural gas investment will accelerate to US$775 billion by 2050.

Mozambique, Australia, Qatar and other are expected to sustain their LNG spending, securing their place as key producers by 2050 – regardless of the green energy transition.

Mozambique, Tanzania and Mauritania, along with Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal, to a lesser extent, will drive African midstream investment.

Spending will top US$115 billion, with roughly 61% of the total expected in the 2030s. US$33 billion will be allocated this decade, 2021-30; about US$70 billion – the next decade, 2031-40; and US$12 billion – in 2041-50.



GECF projected that the global population will grow by 1.8 billion people by 2050. The world was home to 7.9 billion people in 2021, a figure that will grow to 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.4 billion in 2100.

“The Outlook said demographic trends are shaping global economic development, structural productivity growth, living standards, unemployment rate, as well as consumption and investment among many more macroeconomic indicators. They will have profound implications on the national, regional, and global economies.

“Africa’s 54 nations will almost double their population in the next 30 years, from 1.3 billion to 2.5 billion, while Nigeria’s population is set to reach 400 million by 2050, overtaking the US as the world’s third-most-populous nation.

“Natural gas is expected to be Africa’s greatest opportunity as a long-term supply solution to help alleviate energy poverty and enhance quality of life, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

“This region will drive most of the world’s population growth. Some 1.2 billion people, or two-thirds of the global increase to 2050, is attributable to Africa.

“It said that greater use of natural gas should help contain the demographic pressure on forestry resources, by limiting the need for logging and charcoal production.


The Outlook also projected that the LNG demand in Africa will expand by 152% to 415 bcm by 2050, driven by accelerated economic activity and a rising urban population, accompanied by an unprecedented increase in electricity demand. The upbeat outlook for indigenous production offers significant prospects for domestic use.

It said, “The region’s energy demand is projected to increase by 82% from today’s level of 860 Mtoe to 1,565 Mtoe by 2050. Natural gas will make the most significant in-roads, responsible for around 30% of the total energy demand increase in Africa.

“Gas demand growth will be concentrated in the power generation sector. It will become an essential element towards improving electricity access while substituting oil-fired generation and constraining the expansion of coal-fired generation.

GECF noted that Africa is expected to contribute substantially to global gas supply given its massive onshore and offshore reserves on both the continental shelf and in deepwater.

It said, most of these resources have not yet been developed due to a lack of investment, transport and export infrastructure, along with technological issues in deepwater exploration technology and inadequate pipeline network but noted that the outlook is promising.

GECF said Africa is the only region where gas production growth will more than double, from 260 bcm in 2021 to 585 bcm in 2050, adding that the 125% jump is the equivalent of 2.8% annual growth.




The outlook suggested that global natural gas will rise by 36 percent between 2021 and 2050, reaching over 1.7 tcm and accounting for almost one-third of global gas demand. Global LNG trade will accelerate, reaching 1.17 tcm by 2050, overtaking long-distance pipeline trade by 2026.

“Africa could emerge as a key LNG production region, ramping up its liquefaction capacity three-fold from 71 mtpa to 200 mtpa by 2050.”

GECF said if these projects materialise,  new exporters sub-Saharan African countries such as Mozambique, Mauritania, and Senegal, will join as key African LNG exporters.



The outlook revealed that Floating Storage and Regasification Unit, (FSRU) capacity build-up especially in Africa, and Europe and FLNG across the globe, are growing.

It said, “Both are adding flexibility and feasibility to further LNG industry development by reducing costs, construction time, and transportation to markets.

“Demand for FSRUs is booming amid the global LNG trade expansion. For Europe in 2022, FSRUs became a ‘geopolitical’ solution as well. Floating LNG storage and distribution suggest the best and quickest option for Europe to create LNG import infrastructure.

“FSRUs are gaining momentum and growing share of global regasification terminal capacity. The fleet consisted of 48 units in 2021, with a capacity of around 7.1mtpa. Five vessels were under construction, one of which was set for 2022 delivery.

“LNG infrastructure will see a much faster build-up than pipelines as it circumvents intergovernmental negotiations and geopolitical tensions.

“New projects in Mozambique, Tanzania and Mauritania, along with Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal, to a lesser extent, will drive African midstream investment.

“Spending will top US$115 billion, with roughly 61% of the total expected in the 2030s. US$33 billion will be allocated this decade, 2021-30; about US$70 billion – the next decade, 2031-40; and US$12 billion – in 2041-50.


As the worldwide trend toward greater climate ambition, the report said that the projection for the primary energy mix in Africa is centered on natural gas, with a growing contribution of renewables due to the continent’s enormous gas reserves.

It said, “Many African countries have developed energy strategies based on natural gas and renewables.

“Natural gas will benefit from the policy push for access to clean energy in Africa which is key requirement for sustainable development in the continent, with government policy focused on encouraging investment.

“Environmental and Social Sustainability, electrification through natural gas use is a key enabler in climate change mitigation (SDG 13).

“The positive impact of natural gas use for electricity generation and cooking in the SSA region is equally as important as battling environmental issues, such as deforestation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.

African countries cannot meaningfully boost power supply without additional investments in gas backup systems.

For Africa to increase its average income to US$5,000 per capita, natural gas and renewables use will be required to increase. Their combined share is expected to reach 51% of the energy mix.

“The continent’s ambitious economic and social objectives need quick progress in boosting energy capacity. This can be accomplished by investments in clean energy sources and the rapid adoption of natural gas as a clean transition fuel.

“Accordingly, in line with relevant SDGs, such as SDG 7, SDG 8, SDG 9, and SDG 13, our proposed ESS aims to demonstrate that sustainable growth would necessitate an increase in gas supply and consumption in Africa’s energy mix.



GECF further said that the monetisation of the continent’s natural resources will ensure the availability of investment for energy and social development projects, increase energy access, and accelerate economic progress.

It said, “Natural gas exports are expected to eventually provide governments with the financial means to develop their broader energy sector, including renewables, which should undergo a rapid growth this decade, especially in rural areas via off-grid systems.

“Oil and gas exports are a major source of revenue for many African countries, accounting for 50% to 80% of total government revenue in some countries. Most of the gas produced in Africa is exported.

“On a broader scale, Africa is also set for producing large supplies of metal and mineral commodities such as bauxite, diamond, gold, iron ore, platinum group metals, lithium, rare earth metals and zinc.

“Higher commodity prices for energy as well as metal and mineral commodities are expected to support extractive sector recoveries and boost export and fiscal revenues,” it said.



GCEF said primary energy demand in Africa is projected to increase by 82% from 860 Mtoe in 2021 to 1,565 Mtoe by 2050. Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries are expected to account for 84% of this growth amid higher living standards and better access to energy.

“Natural gas demand will be met by the continent’s own production, allowing African nations to intensify intra-regional integration. Recent announcements indicate that regional gas infrastructure will expand rapidly and become more diverse.

“Countries without direct access to large gas resources are exploring prospects for LNG deliveries. For example, Ghana plans to become West Africa’s gas hub, developing the Tema LNG import project to supply the domestic market and sell fuel to nearby countries.

“There is also strong impetus for long-distance pipeline development. Algeria, Niger, and Nigeria signed agreements to build the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline with a capacity of 30 bcm, linking Nigeria to Europe through the Algerian gas transport system, a pipeline that gained recently renewed importance.

“In September 2022, Central African countries signed an agreement to create a Central Africa Pipeline System, a new 6,500-km oil and gas network linking 11 countries with hubs, terminals, and storage facilities.

“In October 2022, Kenya and Tanzania agreed to accelerate the realisation of cross-border natural gas pipeline. There has also been movement on the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline.

“Rising gas availability will also encourage demand in gas-based industries such as petrochemicals, methanol, and fertilisers.

“Many industrial projects proposed for several sub-Saharan countries provide strong commercial cases for domestic gas market development. The transport sector will emerge as a new area as well,” it said.



GECF outlook revealed that African countries exported around 82 bcm of natural gas to other regions in 2021. Some 41 million tonnes (57 bcm) were exported as LNG, mostly from GECF countries, including Algeria, Angola, Egypt and Nigeria. Algeria and Libya supply gas by pipeline to Europe.

It said, “In addition, there is also some intra-regional trade by pipelines such as from Algeria to Tunisia, from Mozambique to South Africa, and West African Gas Pipeline from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana.

“Global LNG producers are benefiting from the current tight gas markets and high gas prices. Soaring LNG demand – as Europe attempts to tackle the issue of energy security by reducing dependence on Russian gas – is triggering an upsurge in new LNG projects worldwide, including in Africa.

“Africa is expected to raise its LNG export share to Europe from under 45% in 2021 to around 55% in 2022. In the short run, Africa can expand LNG exports by raising the utilisation of its existing plants and deploying more FSRUs, provided sufficient feed-in gas could be made available.

“The long-term future for LNG exports in Africa is promising, with exports forecast to reach 166 bcm by 2050, of which 157 bcm (114 mt) will be net LNG.

“Currently, Africa has about 71 mtpa of liquefaction capacity in Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Cameroon. Utilisation reached only 58% in 2021, primarily due to upstream constraints,” it said.