TotalEnergies strengthens its exploration and production activities in Congo thanks to an investment of 600 million dollars – VivAfrik

TotalEnergies strengthens its exploration and production activities in Congo thanks to an investment of 600 million dollars – VivAfrik
TotalEnergies strengthens its exploration and production activities in Congo thanks to an investment of 600 million dollars – VivAfrik

Oil and gas supermajor TotalEnergies has announced that it will invest $600 million to strengthen exploration and production activities in the Republic of Congo in 2024. This investment will be used to finance exploration and maintain production in the offshore field deep of Moho Nord, which represents around half of Congolese oil production, or some 140,000 barrels per day (bpd).

According to a press release issued in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 23, 2024, as spokesperson for the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) welcomes TotalEnergies’ commitment to the oil and gas future of the Congo. This $600 million investment demonstrates the IOC’s firm intention to develop and monetize Congolese hydrocarbons in the interest of the country and will unlock a wave of economic opportunities for the entire region.

The Moho Nord field, operated by TotalEnergies, brings together four reservoirs which extend over 320 km2 at water depths of between 750 and 1,200 meters. TotalEnergies’ commitment to oil production in the Republic of Congo should ensure additional production of 40,000 bpd, which will be added to the country’s current 267,000 bpd. TotalEnergies also operates the Marine XX permit in deep offshore, which covers an area of ​​3,285.8 km2 in water depths of up to 2,000 meters. Two drilling rigs arrived on the permit this month, and Patrick Pouyanné, chief executive of TotalEnergies, expressed optimism that a deposit would be discovered before the end of the year.

“Last April (2024), TotalEnergies signed an agreement – ​​through its subsidiary TotalEnergies EP Congo – to acquire a 10% stake in the Moho permit from oil and gas company Trident Energy. Following this transaction, TotalEnergies will hold an operational stake of 63.5% in the permit, alongside Trident Energy, which will retain a 21.5% share, and Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC) , which will hold a 15% share,” the text recalled.

Enough for the executive president of the AEC, NJ Ayuk, to declare that “the investment of 600 million dollars from TotalEnergies shows that the International Oil Company is present in the Republic of Congo to stay there. Congo’s oil and gas can play a much larger role in reducing energy poverty and industrializing Africa, and partnerships with companies like TotalEnergies will be instrumental in achieving these goals. We look forward to seeing new discoveries in the months to come.”

In addition to TotalEnergies’ investment plan, the Republic of Congo should benefit from a new strategic partnership with Algeria in the field of hydrocarbons and energy. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab, and the Congolese Minister of Hydrocarbons, Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, on May 21, to enable the development of a new roadmap for bilateral relations between the two countries.

The agreement will also facilitate the sharing of expertise between the Algerian public company Sonatrach and SNPC led by Raoul Ominga in the field of downstream oil. Both countries also expressed optimism and support for the development of an African energy bank to focus investments in oil and gas projects across the continent.

These major developments come after the formation of a new gas master plan in the country was confirmed by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo during the “Invest in African Energy” (IAE) 2024 summit held in Paris this month. Currently in its final phase, the new plan will provide an incentive framework for the development of the national gas sector while serving as a roadmap for the exploitation of gas resources for national consumption and export. This represents a major opportunity for regional and international investors and will promote the use of gas while reducing the country’s dependence on crude oil revenues. The new gas master plan is being developed by SNPC with the support of energy intelligence company Wood Mackenzie. Raoul Ominga, the head of SNPC, is working closely with the ministry to obtain final approval. This plan will pave the way for numerous investments in the gas sector in Congo, added the official text.

In addition to the established fields of the Republic of Congo, the plan opens the door to the negotiation of existing contracts and should result in the establishment of a new gas code in the country. The new code is expected to make it easier to commercialize stranded assets and flared natural gas, while allowing the government to change current tax terms and make smaller projects more economically viable. According to Minister Itoua, approval of the new code by parliament is expected in June this year.

Moctar FICUU / VivAfrik

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