Magazine article New African

Expansion of the Big Guns. (Spotlight: Oil & Gas)

Magazine article New African

Expansion of the Big Guns. (Spotlight: Oil & Gas)

Article excerpt

Algeria is seeking to develop its plentiful gas reserves in order to make the most of the European Union's (EU) liberalising gas and power markets. And both Nigeria and Angola are expected to double crude oil production within a decade, partly on the back of deepwater developments.

One side effect of the US desire to source more of its oil imports from Africa could be the withdrawal of Nigeria from OPEC. US demand and Nigerian exploration success could combine to enable Nigeria to reach its target of doubling production to 4 million b/d by 2010, something that would be incompatible within Nigeria's OPEC quota. Despite recent modest across the board quota increases by OPEC, Nigeria's new allocation of 2.018 million b/d is still less than production levels of 2.1 million b/d at the start of 2003.

Moreover, world oil demand increased by only 14% between 1991 and 2001, so it is unlikely that OPEC quotas could be doubled over the next seven years.

Rumours of Nigeria's withdrawal from OPEC have surfaced on several occasions over the past 18 months, but membership of the carrel provides the country with an international platform which it would be loathe to lose.

While Nigeria is keen to encourage as much exploration as possible and to boost production as quickly as it can, Angola has had so much success in developing deepwater fields that it plans to slow down the release of deepwater prospects in order to extend their reserves life.

Angola's deepwater output from the Kuito and Girassol fields of around 200,000 b/d in 2002 was only a fraction of its total output, which is approaching 1 million b/d. However, all commentators are agreed that this figure is going to rise rapidly over the next few years.

Infield Systems, the London-based analyst, predicts that Angola will possess producing deepwater reserves of 5. …

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