Africa has identified natural gas – amounting to 620 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven reserves – as the energy resource of choice to address the continent’s energy poverty, drive socioeconomic development and ensure a just and inclusive energy transition.
In light of this, and in recent years, a number of large-scale projects have kicked off that are set to usher in a new era of energy access and industrialization across the continent.
Mauritania/Senegal: Greater Tortue Ahmeyim FLNG Phase 1
The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project, located in 2km-deep waters on the maritime border of Mauritania and Senegal, is estimated to hold 15 tcf of natural gas resources which operator bp will produce over an estimated period of 30 years. Following a Final Investment Decision (FID) reached in 2018, the project is expected to help Mauritania and Senegal meet growing electricity and gas demand through gas supply via sub-sea tie-in points while contributing to gross domestic product growth for the two countries through gas exports to Europe and Asia.
With first gas expected in 2023, phase one of the project will see 2.5 million tons per annum (mtpa) of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) produced, with production expected to increase to 5 mtpa in phase two, and up to 10 mtpa in later phases.
Sanha Lean Gas – Angola
Located in Block 0/14, offshore Angola, the Sanha Lean Gas Connection project is a subsea gas pipeline system that will produce 115 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mmboe) which will be delivered as lean gas by Chevron for processing at the Soyo refinery in Luanda. The project targets the delivery of up to 480 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, which will be delivered via a pipeline to meet the anticipated increase in gas demand across the region and the globe through 2025.
The FID for the project was reached in 2020 which saw Chevron partnering with various engineering and consultancy firms such as EDG, Cronus Technology and Subsea 7 to deliver the project. First production is on track for 2023.
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Republic of the Congo: Marine XII Fast LNG Project
The Republic of the Congo is nearing completion of the development of the Marine XII Fast LNG project – a large-scale facility that aims to monetize the country’s 10 tcf of natural gas resources. Developed by Italy’s Eni in partnership with Belgium maritime company, Exmar, and engineering firm, New Fortress Energy, the project targets the production of 1.4 mtpa of LNG utilizing gas from the associated gas field of Nene Marine in Block Marine XII.
LNG produced will be used both for domestic consumption as well as export, enabling the country to shift away from oil while significantly improving revenue generated from gas. In August 2022, Eni announced plans to produce and export 4.5 billion tons of LNG from the country by 2025, with the first phase of the Marine XII Fast LNG project set to come online in 2023, followed shortly by the second phase targeted for 2025.
With Eni having secured a $700 million deal for the purchase of an existing FLNG vessel for deployment this year, the project is on track for first production next year.
Ivory Coast: Baleine Phase 1
Located at water depths of 1,200 meters Block CI-802 offshore Ivory Coast, the Baleine Phase 1 project represented the largest commercial discovery in the country in the last 20 years. Following the initial find in 2021, a second discovery was made in 2022, bringing the fields resources up to an estimated 2.5 billion barrels of oil and 93.4 billion cubic meters of associated gas.
Soon thereafter, and following FID announced in 2022, project developer Eni launched phase one of the Baleine project which would see up to 30 mmboe produced as early as 2023. In September this year, technological and engineering firm, Saipem, was awarded two contracts worth $9.57 million for the development of Phase 1 of the Baleine project, with Saipem set to provide engineering, procurement, construction and installation of subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines as well as the refurbishment, operation and maintenance of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel.