Key Takeaways from The 2017 MSGBC Basin Summit & Exhibition
It’s only the beginning…
The level of excitement surrounding the prospects of the basin was palpable throughout the three days of high-level discussions. The MSGBC basin has great potential, however the oil price environment is unforgiving, and therefore projects will need to be developed at low capital and operating cost. This will require development in phases, as potential is assessed, and as players gain an understanding of the risks and rewards involved. The local supply base needs to be developed to serve the industry, and reduce costs. The aim should be to build out a sustainable set of domestic industries, with the resulting employment and social benefits. This will require all stakeholders involved to work together to develop a coherent and sustainable strategy. Beyond the supply base, there is great potential to use the gas produced to develop downstream industries onshore. Governments will need to define their aspirations, and then work with project owners and contractors to deliver this potential. So much is yet to come for the MSGBC basin, “watch this space”.
The evolving role of the independent operators in the MSGBC basin
Recent discoveries dotted along the basin have elevated its status to world-class, consequently drawing in interest from an increasing number of IOCs. The independent operators present in the area are welcoming the arrival of majors in the MSGBC basin, but many fear at the same time that this will increase the difficulty in the near future to gather more blocks for themselves. Nonetheless, collaboration and JV’s between the IOCs and independent operators are on the rise, all working toward bringing the region into the next stage of industry development. Furthermore, operators in-region believe that onshore and shallow water exploration may be an interesting future niche for them in MSGBC basin.
Developing a sustainable and efficient local content framework
The importance of taking the right first steps towards creating an efficient local content framework was highlighted both throughout the MSGBC Local Content Forum, and the Summit. Discussions underlined the need to manage public expectations when it comes to future employment, training and the timeline of development. Oil companies have a long term strategy for the region, and see a commitment ahead over many years, as the industry grows. This illustrates the aim to develop a sustainable solution, which will also allow dissemination to all sectors that can consequently benefit from growth. Promoting transparency, managing public relations, listening and responding to local requirements with a bottom-up approach, are all factors that need to be combined in order to establish a sustainable, long-term solution. Speakers also emphasised the real value in building on the experience from existing operators in the region as well as from neighbouring countries (such as Nigeria and Ghana) and internationally.
An increasingly positive finance and investment climate in-region
Despite the global oil and gas price downturn and increased financial regulations and restrictions, equity and debt markets in longer-term projects are picking up pace. The regional WAEMU market is mature and ready to supply development and production aspects at scale. Development finance institutions will also have a crucial role to play in partnering up with local and regional financial banks and investors. However, it’s not all smooth sailing. There are some challenges ahead for the regional stakeholders. Governments and regulators must strike a balance between attracting investments and ensuring that the right regulation and control tools are in place. Regional development banks, DFIs and local investors are ready to explore solutions, but this will require a general willingness from international players to join in these discussions.
“The summit provided an opportunity to meet key partners and potential investors for the first time, which led to fruitful discussions and clarifications on most very pertinent issues. "
Roheyatou Kah, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy The Gambia
"We fully enjoyed the conference; it was well attended and well organized. We are now looking forward to establishing some fruitful business relationships with some of the companies."
Carine Noukpo, Director, OMA Group
“Thank you very much for a very good conference. It was high energy and nicely focussed on a specific region, which, I think helped a lot. I appreciated the focus on content and ideas coming from the facilitators and chairpersons. Time keeping was remarkably good given the context of a networking conference. Attendance seemed very high and all important stakeholders were represented."
Dr Geoffrey Jackson, NW Africa Exploration, Tullow Oil
"The attendance in the audience / delegates present seemed to be very relevant from Government bodies, Operators and Suppliers. Hence, I’m pleased by the way it turned out and I have recommended my home organization that we also participate next year."
Tor Smestad, Business Development Manager, Aker Solutions
"The MSGBC Summit is a great place to meet people that matter in the hydrocarbon development of the basin."
Eric Schmid, Research Manager, IHS Markit
"The conference was very well organised and managed. Congratulations. A strong improvement compared to the first year. All the speakers were good, management of the schedule was excellent (no delays, everything - more or less - in time)"
Jean-Pierre Favennec, President, ADEA
"It was a pleasure being part of the local content discussions: a great idea to emphasize this major topic, a very well received initiative."
Guillaume Arditti, Founding Partner, Belvedere Advisory
Fall N'GuissalyManaging DirectorSMHPM
Honorio BuscardiniGeneral DirectorPetroguin
Jerreh BarrowCommissioner for PetroleumMinistry of Petroleum and Energy, Gambia
Mamadou Fall KaneDeputy Permanent SecretaryCOS-PETROGAZ
Mambury NijeManaging DirectorGNPC
Ousmane NdiayePermanent SecretaryCOS-PETROGAZ
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