With growing interest and investment from India, China and international oil companies operating in Africa, there has been increased competition for exploration acreage in recent years. As some of the traditional multinationals divest from areas in Africa, opportunities for new independents will emerge, causing the trading mix and diversity of the companies trading in Africa to change.
This will cause established energy companies to become more agile in order to respond to greater competition and emerging trends.
African nations and consumers are starting to focus more and more on securing adequate supplies of crude oil and liquid fuels to satisfy growing local demand.
The pressure on governments will cause changes to pricing structures and regulatory frameworks as some countries move to a more deregulated trading environment. Other countries are enacting regulations to increase tax revenue and foreign exchange inflows.
Although this may be achieved in the short term, there is a possibility that such measures will cause a decrease in investment with long-term implications.
Apart from Mozambique joining Egypt, Nigeria Libya, Algeria and Angola as major upstream power houses in Africa, it unlikely that Ghana or the other East African countries will disturb the equilibrium that has existed in Africa for the last two decades.
Exploration and refining capacity in Africa will continue to increase, in contrast to what is happening in the developing world, as countries strive to have a greater security of supply and increase export earnings from the sale of refined products.
At the same time, uncertain regulatory frameworks, political intervention and the nationalisation of resources will be key issues that will affect the oil and gas industry in the coming years.
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