April 16, 2024

Chinese investors make inroads in Africa’s energy ecosystem

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Adebayo Obajemu

The Chinese investors over the past four decades have made footprints in Africa’s economy, and recently they have made giant strides in global south.

Lately in the area of oil and gas explorations they have proved to be frontiersmen, currently China has managed to displace the United States and Europe as Africa’s biggest trading partner, China has been active in harnessing and exploring Africa’s energy resources and putting in place critical infrastructure to date.
China has over the years keyed in to Nigeria’s dream to secure future energy supplies, and has helped build a massive infrastructure of regional diplomacy in the Global South, aside her heavy investments and expansion of stakes in strategic, integrated oil and gas developments all over Africa.

Chinese strategic involvement in building infrastructure, businesses and oil and gas investments will come to the fore as she helps in cementing the unity of global investors, suppliers and service providers from the East and West in The Invest in African Energy (IAE) Forum in Paris come May this year.

The forum promises to highlight Africa’s energy and infrastructure projects, with a view to unfurling further Chinese finance and engagement.

In synergy, China’s state-owned oil firms – China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) – stand together as the fourth-largest energy investors in Africa, following European IOCs bp, Shell and Eni.

These Chinese giants are leading and financing some of Africa’s most innovative energy projects , from deepwater exploration to enhanced oil recovery to regional pipelines that connect new resources to underserved markets.

The coming forum is put together by Energy Capital & Power, IAE 2024 (https://apo-opa.co/3UMOOtQ) it is an exclusive gathering billed to facilitate investments between African energy markets and global investors.
The forum will hold between May 14-15, 2024 in Paris, and it affords delegates two days of intensive engagement with industry experts, project developers, investors and policymakers.

In Tanzania, CNOOC is partnering with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation to explore deep-sea Blocks 4/1B and 4/1C – located in close proximity to existing gas discoveries – for offshore oil and gas. The company launched wildcat drilling in Gabon’s Blocks BC-9 and BCD-10 at the start of 2023, with its Tigre prospect holding up to 1.4 billion barrels of potential recoverable resources. Last May, CNOOC renewed its production sharing contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and TotalEnergies for OML 130 – home to the producing Akpo and Egina fields and Preowei discovery – which could enable a future FID to be made on the new discovery. In terms of production, South Sudan has been in talks with CNPC to boost output from Blocks 3 and 7 in the Paloch fields in Upper Nile, which the Chinese firm operates in partnership with Malaysia’s Petronas and Sinopec.

In addition to upstream investments, Chinese players are leading the construction of critical midstream infrastructure across the continent. In Mozambique, CNPC holds a 20% stake in the Coral Sul LNG project, which has transformed Mozambique into a global LNG exporter after delivering first cargo in November 2022. In East Africa, CNOOC holds an 8% stake in the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), while CNPC subsidiary China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering is responsible for the construction and supply of the project’s line pipes.
Transporting Uganda’s crude oil to the Port of Tanga in Tanzania, EACOP will facilitate crude exports to global markets, as well as stimulate economic activity, new infrastructure and improved logistics in the central trade corridor between the two countries. In Niger, CNPC is leading the development of the Niger-Benin Export Pipeline, set to increase the country’s oil output from 2

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