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Nigeria and Namibia set to partner in oil refinery

May 2014 News

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan recently visited Namibia to discuss and sign off on 11 memoranda of understanding in a bid to strengthen and diversify bilateral cooperation between the two nations. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and with Namibia yet to be classified as an oil and gas frontier the signing of an MoU to build a refinery in Walvis Bay comes at a critical time for both nations.

In an interview with Dr. Emmanuel Enu, executive director of exploration at First E&P (Nigeria), the major challenge sited for the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry was that it is suffering from inadequate funding of projects.

Measures are being taken to deal with this, currently there is a re-organisation taking place within the NNPC’s (National Oil Company) top management positions as internal instability is to blame for slow paced on-going projects and decision making on future project applications.

Comparing the current struggles of Africa’s largest oil producer to that of Namibia, yet to produce a drop of oil, shows why the two countries are interested in strengthening ties in the energy sector. For some time now there has been activity surrounding Namibia’s oil and gas prospects (estimated at 11 billion barrels of oil and proven 1,3tcf of gas). The company HRT & Petrobras has also stated that Namibia has similar geological formations to Brazil which mean that like Brazil there could be highly prospective pre-salt basins.

In a recent interview for Namibia’s Observer newspaper, Nigeria’s high commissioner to Namibia, Dr. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi, made clear the mutual benefits of the refinery. The project is expected to provide a host of different economic benefits to both Nigeria and Namibia. Firstly, the refinery will create jobs in Namibia and as a result will also give birth to a fully functioning downstream industry and all its tributaries. The refinery will allow Namibia to start producing oil products without having to import them and Nigeria will share profits from the investment.

Dr. Enu is scheduled to give a detailed presentation at the Africa Oil & Gas Summit 2014 to be held in Johannesburg alongside the largest oil and gas exhibition in Africa. The event will take place from 9-10 October at the Sandton Convention Centre and will cover investment opportunities, financial perspectives and the latest exploration activity from across the African continent.

For more information contact Eoghan McDonaugh, Oliver Kinross, e.mcdonaugh@oliverkinross.com




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