Speaking at the Oil & Gas Africa 2012 conference earlier this month, Anton Botes, Deloitte South Africa's oil and gas leader, highlighted the reasoning behind shifts in exploring fundamentals, stating that high crude prices are an incentive for producers to invest in exploration and production projects. It is becoming more economical for companies to go “deeper and to go riskier.”
According to some analysts, intensified natural gas exploration initiatives are already being undertaken in Ghana as the government seeks new ways to counter diminishing oil production following the discovery of the Jubilee field in the deepwater Tano Block.
Greater focus on natural gas production and refining in recent years has opened new export markets and generated additional revenues for West African economies, according to a recently published market report titled The West African Oil and Gas Market.
Despite this boost, West Africa still poses unique challenges, including low availability of refining capacity, adequate logistical infrastructure, and transportation. It is hoped that with an increase in revenue on the back of this exploration, some of these challenges will be overcome.The report concluded that the development of LNG refining capacity within West African states - particularly Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and Nigeria - is indicative of the future development of the region's natural gas export market. Securities Disclosure: I, Adam Currie, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.