The Africa Energy and Technology Conference Kicks off in Nairobi

The Africa Energy and Technology Conference organized by the Society for petroleum engineers and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists kicked off today with the assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S department of energy Christopher Smith offering the keynote address on Powering Africa through Natural Gas & LNG options with emphasis on public private sector partnerships.

Panelists who included the principal secretary in the ministry of energy Andrew Kamau and representatives from National Oil Corporation of Kenya, Africa Oil and Oildata provided presentations on the opportunities and challenges in the Kenyan upstream sector and discussed topics ranging from economics, intra-regional co-operation, energy mix, pressure points, sustainability among others.

In particular the PS halted the petroleum bill yet to be assented by the president terming it as revolutionary as it allows transparency as well as development of skills and enterprises.

The PS also said that the country is preparing it gas market in anticipation of discoveries of natural gas  especially at the Lamu basin, where several discoveries dating decades had been abandoned citing the lack of infrastructure and a gas market in the past, a process that will take six years.

Other speakers emphasized on the need for legal stability that would allow investors to make decisions certain of contract stability as well as the need for quicker infrastructure upgrades to attract more investments.

The conference that closes its doors on Wednesday will also focus on basins in other East African countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Somalia. On Tuesday topics will be around social responsibility, technology applications to maximize field recoveries while on Wednesday panelists will discuss Petroleum Regulation and Contract Sanctity.

On Thursday the delegates will also visit the geothermal projects in the Kenyan Rift valley.

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