The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, will lead a delegation from OPEC to the Congo for a three-day working visit from August 23-25, 2021, to highlight the potential of the Congo’s hydrocarbon sector and establish sustainable partnerships with key stakeholders.
The visit will mark a watershed event in the country’s oil and gas industry, as it will be the first time OPEC pays a state visit. It will boost Congo’s petroleum sector and strengthen the country’s standing as a worldwide oil and gas exporter and competitor.
Congo is Sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest crude oil producer, with proven reserves of 2.9 billion barrels. It also serves as the headquarters for the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), and it is one of OPEC’s newest members.
International oil corporations such as Total, Chevron, Perenco, Eni, Qatar Petroleum, and Lukoil have stepped up their attempts to expand exploration and production in the country. The present capacity of Congo’s oil output is estimated to be 336,000 barrels per day. The government wants to raise this figure significantly, which is why it has invited more local and foreign stakeholders to participate in the country’s upstream and midstream industries.
H.E. President Dennis Sassou-Nguesso, Prime Minister Anatole Collinet Makosso, Minister of Hydrocarbons, H.E. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua and Secretary General of APPO, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, are among the high-ranking officials Barkindo will meet with during his three-day working visit to the Congo. His itinerary includes stops at the country’s national oil firm, La Sociėtė des Pėtroles du Congo (SNPC), the APPO headquarters, a platform in Pointe-Noire, and discussions with oil companies operating in the country.
According to press statement distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber, support by an organisation such as OPEC will only serve to enhance industry activity, with partnerships and regional collaboration accelerating participation.
The Minister of Hydrocarbons, Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, said: “The Government of Congo-Brazzaville highly values our relationship with both the OPEC, the Secretary General and each one of the organizations member states.”
“We are committed to positioning the country as a regional petroleum hub and international industry competitor and support by an esteemed organization such as OPEC will help us realize this goal. The Congo has significant potential, particularly regarding its oil sector, and through our collaboration with OPEC, we remain committed to driving growth and development.”
The Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk, said: “With its significant resource base, unified stakeholder agenda, and progressive regulatory framework, the Congo is making significant progress in establishing a formidable hydrocarbon market. OPEC’s visit to the Congo will emphasise partnerships and collaboration, as we work hand in hand to drive energy and economic growth in Africa.”
“The Congo has a critical role to play in the global energy industry and we are happy OPEC plans to emphasize and drive this. This is a Big win for the people of Congo and its growing energy sector.”
Also commenting on the SG’s visit, a representative of Afric Energy Ltd., a Nigerian-based regional powerhouse for African petroleum solutions, David Edet, said: “African Nations are beginning to walk the walk. The time is now for investments to be driven by people and the Republic of Congo has a huge role to play.
The visit of H.E. Barkindo to Brazzaville further emphasises the fact that Africa is ready for partnerships and collaboration with international organisations to strengthen energy and economic growth in the continent.”