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Africa benefits from global energy consumption surge

The world’s unquenchable thirst for energy is expected to strengthen Africa’s position as an international investment location. This in turn will boost the continent’s economy and benefit ordinary Africans.

“Africa has become an important gas and oil producer and the continent seems to be on everyone’s radar these days,” said Willy Olsen, senior advisor at the Norwegian Oil and Gas Partners (INSTOK).

“Not only does Africa account for 2.5 percent of the world’s oil production, 25 percent of the world’s top 200 top gas projects are situated on this continent. Africa also has the most open gas and oil markets in the world,” he emphasised.

Olsen spoke during the 2010 edition of the African Energy Week. The four-day event kicked off on Monday in Cape Town and is attended by hundreds of oil experts, government officials, and representatives of international oil and gas companies from Africa and elsewhere.

Africa’s importance as a global oil and gas-producing region will grow over the coming years, Olsen highlighted.

“The global energy consumption between now and 2030 will increase by 45 percent to 50 percent, of which fossil fuels will account for 80 percent,” Olsen said.

“Because Africa is rich in oil, gas and other mineral resources, it therefore harbours plenty of investment opportunities,” he said, adding how a total amount of US$140 billion will be invested in Africa’s oil and gas infrastructure between 2011 and 2014.

Various African countries seem to be gearing up for the future, and as a result their oil and gas production is expected to grow over the next years. Equatorial Guinea, since 2004 is the third largest oil producing country in Sub Saharan Africa, for instance expects its oil production to jump with 100 000 barrels a day by 2012.

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