Cape Town, 12 October 2019: Centurion Law animated and moderated an industry discussion on Africa’s downstream sector and the continent’s shifting trade routes at the Africa Oil & Power Conference in Cape Town today. Led by Senior Associate Zion Adeoye, the discussion centred on ways to make energy access more reliable and affordable for Africans and how to better balance supply and demand for key commodities such as oil, natural gas and petroleum products.
The conversation was joined by leading African energy executives such as Mohsin Seedat, interim CEO at iGas, Eghosa Oriaikni Mabhena, Head of Africa at Puma Energy, Muzi W. Mkhize, Regulator Member for Petroleum Pipelines at the South African National Energy Regulator, SAR Managing Director Serigne Mboup, and Igho Charles Sanomi, CEO at the Taleveras Group.
Reminding the audience that Africa’s downstream sector is marked by outdated refineries and lack of refining capacities, Zion Adeoye led the participants to provide a detailed assessment of the continent’s current supply and demand scenario. “The market reach is diversifying,” declared Mohin Seedat. “Oil & gas is becoming more accessible and the retail segment is also evolving.”
Most African oil nations are either revamping and expanding their existing refineries, or building and planning new ones. Such additional capacity will be transforming current industry dynamics, and the panel highlighted the opportunities that will be coming in terms of rebalancing fiscal deficits for big importers of petroleum products, and of further diversifying into petrochemicals and value-added products. “Maintaining the balancing of demand and supply for traders is key to shifting Africa’s trade routes,” said Eghosa Oriaikhi Mabhena.
Concluding the discussion, the panelists were all in agreement that a downstream master plan for the whole of Africa is urgently needed to ensure that infrastructure efforts are not inefficiently duplicated, especially on a regional basis.