• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

TotalEnergies snubs Nigeria again, plans to invest $600m in Congo

Boost for Nigeria as TotalEnergies starts production on Akpo deep-water project

French oil major TotalEnergies is moving to invest $600 million to strengthen exploration and production activities in the Republic of Congo in 2024, snubbing the Nigerian oil and gas sector for the second time in quick succession.

Patrick Pouyanne, TotalEnergies’ CEO, stated last week in Kenya that the company chose to invest $6 billion in Angola over Nigeria due to policy inconsistencies and other issues in the West African country.

Following this development, the company announced a $600 million investment in Congo for oil production and exploration, once again overlooking Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer.

Read also: Nigeria on voicemail as investors answer Angola’s call with $50bn

According to the press statement seen by BusinessDay, the investment will be used to finance exploration and maintain production in the country’s deep offshore Moho Nord field.

“The $600 million investment signals a strong intent by the IOC to develop and monetize Congolese hydrocarbons for the benefit of the country and will unlock a wave of economic opportunities for the broader region,” the statement showed.

“Two drilling rigs arrived at the permit this month, with TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné expressing his optimism that the field will yield a discovery before the end of the year.”

According to the statement, the investment will be used to finance exploration and maintain production in the country’s deep offshore Moho Nord field, which accounts for approximately half of all Congolese oil production, or roughly 140,000 barrels per day (bpd).

“The $600 million investment by TotalEnergies shows that the IOC is in the Republic of Congo to stay. Congo’s oil and gas can play a much greater role in alleviating energy poverty and driving industrialization in Africa, and partnerships with companies to the likes of TotalEnergies will be instrumental in achieving these objectives. We look forward to witnessing new discoveries being made in the coming months,” stated NJ Ayuk, the executive chairman of the AEC.

In addition to TotalEnergies’ investment plan, the Republic of Congo is set to benefit from a new strategic partnership with Algeria in the field of hydrocarbons and energy.

Earlier, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Algeria’s Minister of Energy and Mines Mohamed Arkab and the Republic of Congo’s Minister of Hydrocarbons Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua on May 21 to enable the development of a new roadmap for bilateral relations between the two countries.

The agreement will also facilitate the sharing of expertise between Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach and the SNPC headed by Raoul Ominga in the field of downstream oil. The two countries have also expressed their optimism and support to the development of an African Energy Bank to focus investment in oil and gas projects across the continent.