Middle Africa’s gas production for 2013 will amount to roughly 2.4 trillion cubic feet a day with the most production deriving from West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea region, likely to account for 79% of production in 2013.
New production from Nigeria, Angola and Ghana are also expected to boost the region’s gas output. Middle Africa’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports currently lie in the region of 60 million metric tonnes a year. Gas exploration intensified along the West African coast in 2012 with major discoveries reported in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea. These discoveries are expected to spur major gas developments in these countries and even Nigeria in 2013. New gas plants planned under the Nigeria Independent Power Projects (NIPP) scheme have been under-utilized primarily due to lack of adequate gas supply.
In Ghana, efforts to increase power supply have suffered the most from a decline in supply from the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP). The success of the project in 2013 is likely to hinge on the direction of gas policy in Middle Africa’s largest gas producer, Nigeria.
Gas production grew by 31% in Central Africa in 2012. The growth in production was largely attributable to new production in Cameroon. In Gabon, a new fertilizer plant off the country’s coast will produce an estimated 2200 tons of ammonia and 3850 tons of urea per day.
Estimates of possible gas reserves off the coast of East and south-eastern Africa are in the region of 441 trillion cubic feet according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). East Africa’s main gas market is Tanzania, the only gas producing country in the region. The country became the toast of explorers in 2012 following gas discoveries in the Rovuma basin, which have tripled its gas reserves to 28.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
Gas production in the region is forecast to grow steadily over the next few years, predicated on rising demand for power. Explorers believe the Mozambique’s gas reserves can support up to 6 LNG trains and are set to stake as much as $5 to $8 billion over the next five years in projects.