H.E Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), will be attending and participating at Africa’s leading investment platform for the oil and gas sector, African Energy Week (AEW) (www.AECWeek.com), taking place from 18 – 21 October 2022, in Cape Town.
Following his successful participation in 2021, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga is focused on increasing foreign investment and kickstarting development across the DRC’s energy sector.
With hydrocarbons representing a particularly lucrative industry for the DRC to leverage to drive economic growth, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga has prioritized exploration and production, as well as infrastructure developments, in order to accelerate sectoral growth. Policy and market reforms, coupled with the country’s sizable reserves, have already led to significant progress being made regarding exploration, with companies such as TotalEnergies and the DRC energy firm, SONAHYDROC, launching exploration campaigns in the eastern region of the country. However, despite over 180 million barrels of proven oil reserves – the second largest in central and southern Africa after Angola – and five billion barrels of estimated reserves, most of the country’s resources remain unexploited, opening up significant opportunities for regional and international stakeholders alike.
The oil and gas sector could provide the DRC with massive revenues which the government could utilize to fund the development across other sectors while improving GDP growth
Additionally, with the DRC exporting almost all of its oil due a lack of refineries, the government is committed to enhancing mid- and downstream investment in order to ramp up production capacity and reduce imports. Currently, only one company is producing oil in the DRC – Anglo-French firm Perenco – at approximately 23,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2020. Additionally, the government spent an estimated $194 million on refined petroleum products in 2020, emphasizing investment opportunities across the energy infrastructure space. Accordingly, at AEW 2022, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga is focused on addressing these areas, making a strong case for infrastructure investment and development in the DRC.
Meanwhile, in the gas sector, the DRC’s 30 billion cubic meters of estimated methane and natural gas reserves present an opportunity for the government to diversify its energy mix to fuel industrialization while improving electrification across the country. According to the International Trade Organization, the DRC’s electricity access rate currently stands at 19%, emphasizing both a need in the country and opportunity for investors. What’s more, with a lack of adequate and reliable energy crippling various segments of the economy such as health, mining, manufacturing and education, the hydrocarbons sector provides an immense opportunity for the DRC to diversify its power generation for economic growth. If fully developed, the oil and gas sector could provide the DRC with massive revenues which the government could utilize to fund the development across other sectors while improving GDP growth.
“Trends within the DRC’s hydrocarbons sector all point to a massive expansion of the industry. What the DRC requires are more investments, more exploration activities and more commitments to help develop infrastructure. The resources are there and increasing exploration and development will lead to improved oil and gas production as well as monetization and exploitation that will enable the country to address both local and regional energy woes. The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is proud to once again host the minister as we take cooperation on energy development amongst regional leaders and energy stakeholders to the next level,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
While prioritizing attracting international investors and companies to boost the DRC’s oil and gas sector, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga has also placed regional cooperation high on his agenda. Having already partnered with regional countries including Equatorial Guinea to help drive investment and development across the high potential market, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga will be looking to establish other partnerships during AEW 2022, as the minister looks to expand the entire central and southern African energy landscape.
Under the theme, Exploring and Investing in Africa’s Energy Future while Driving an Enabling Environment, AEW 2022 provides the best platform for H.E. Minister Ntubuanga to engage with investors, financial institutions, and private sector executives, driving growth across the country’s burgeoning energy sector. At AEW 2022, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga will participate in panel discussions, high-level meetings and investor and ministerial forums to discuss investment opportunities across the DRC’s oil and gas market as well as negotiate and sign exploration, production and infrastructure development deals.