As the world adapts to the rapidly changing dynamics in the energy industry in an effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has raised concerns about transition implications for Nigeria and other African countries.
According to the cartel, Africa is in a fragile position, adding that the inequalities that were already in place before the pandemic are now in danger of being amplified.
OPEC Secretary-General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, at the 1st high-level meeting of the OPEC-Africa energy dialogue, yesterday, stated that with energy poverty in the continent, COVID-19 also serves as a vivid reminder of the need for deeper cooperation to prioritize energy access, to strengthen community resilience and to be able to use global energy resources to support the continent’s developmental aspirations and economic growth.
“Thus, going forward, OPEC will continue to advocate a balanced and inclusive energy transition that promotes all energy sources and prioritizes the investment needs of Africa”, he said.
Barkindo also noted that one major issue looming in the long-term horizon is the lack of adequate industry investment.
According to OPEC’s latest assessments, upstream capital spending is estimated to have fallen in 2020 by a staggering 30 per cent or more.
“Our 2020 World Oil Outlook estimates that $12.6 trillion will be required between now and 2045 in the upstream, midstream and downstream. We must continue to advocate a turnaround in this very upsetting trend. The very future of our industry is at stake. The fact is that oil and gas will continue to be a vital part of the energy needs to ensure future demand is met, and thus policies must change in this regard.
“Another issue of utmost concern in Africa is the scourge of energy poverty, which continues to impact millions across the continent. According to OPEC data, an estimated 47 per cent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa has no electricity and approximately 85 per cent of people lack access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking. Considering the richness of the continent’s resources, both conventional and renewable, this is simply hard to accept; he said.
“Energy stakeholders must unite on this issue to ensure an equitable distribution of energy that leaves no one behind. OPEC supports the first-ever universal goal related to energy, SDG7, which seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
“Demand in developing regions, including Africa, with its rapidly growing population and dynamic demographical shifts, will be intensified, and all forms of energy will be needed, not only to support the post-pandemic recovery but to satisfy long-term energy requirements”, he added.