A $30-billion investment push in logistics, distribution, storage terminals, import facilities and retail marketing in recent years has given greater optimism to the African downstream oil industry.

Speakers at the fourteenth annual conference of the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARA) discussed the increased demand for energy in Africa and the positive effect is it expected to take on the downstream oil industry. Speakers at the conference predicted a four % increase in Africa’s gasoline and diesel demand yearly – above BP’s Global Energy Outlook projection of 1.3 percent yearly. Gas production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production is projected to increase by two percent and one percent, respectively.

“Our expectation is that the onset of LNG production will drive downstream growth,” said Standard Bank head of oil and gas, Paul Eardly-Taylor.

Increased Investment in Refineries:

Despite many challenges facing the refining sector, we are seeing increased investment in Nigeria. The Dangote Refinery, in particular, is receiving increased investment. Egypt’s largest refiner, EGPC has also outlined a massive investment programme for its eight refineries in addition to the imminent start-up of the privately financed $4.5-billion project at the Egyptian Refining Company. Algeria has also been investing heavily in upgrading its refining system, while the Uganda refinery is fast progressing.

About the ARA:

The ARA aims to promote fair economic policies in respect of all downstream oil activities across the African continent. The ARA strives to help its Members to develop with their Governments coordinated pan-African policies on oil supply, refining and distribution in Africa that are consistent with international agreements while promoting local investment, employment, training and development in a safe and clean environment. The ARA is active in promoting the sharing of global best practice amongst its members and other industry stakeholders.

The ARA works with all downstream stakeholders, including car manufacturers, Governments, banks and international financial institutions, in order to attract the necessary investment in the downstream oil sector.

ARA’s new president, Anibor Kragha of Nigeria, said he was “looking forward to strengthening the ARA to assist its members, both refiners and distributors, to respond to the rapid growth in African demand”.

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