The African Energy Chamber (AEC) (www.EnergyChamber.org), led by Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk, met with H.E. Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in Luanda during the 8th African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition to discuss strategies to secure more investment in the country. With the DRC representing a frontier market for oil and gas exploration, and opportunities across the entire value chain providing for a lucrative investment environment, both the ministry and the AEC are committed to driving the development of the burgeoning DRC energy sector.
During the meeting, both parties agreed to work together to attract more investment into the DRC, with the AEC pledging a working visit to the country over the next couple of months. Representing the voice of the African energy sector, the AEC has and continues to be instrumental in driving investment across the entire African energy sector. For the DRC, the agreement will be critical, while for the AEC, which has set an ambitious target of making energy poverty history by 2030, the DRC could be a major player in achieving this objective. Accordingly, by working closely to strengthen the DRC's energy market, Africa's energy landscape is set to transform.
"The AEC is both excited and proud to work with an emerging hydrocarbon giant such as the DRC. The country has significant potential across the entire energy spectrum and value chain and the AEC is committed to helping the country realize its full potential. In order to make energy poverty history by 2030, Africa needs to capitalize and monetize on all of its natural resources and DRC energy will play a major role in this regard. Rich with oil, gas and renewables, the DRC's energy sector is ripe and ready for investment. Through this pledge, and the working visit, we will make energy poverty history on the back of DRC energy development," states Ayuk.
The DRC holds significant opportunities for both regional players and global investors. Despite holding the second largest crude oil reserves in central and southern Africa after Angola, with proven reserves sitting at 180 million barrels while estimated reserves sit at 5 billion barrels, little has been done to develop these resources. Currently, global majors including TotalEnergies, Perenco and DRC parastatal Cohydro are undertaking exploratory campaigns, however, many more opportunities lie in the country's frontier basins. Accordingly, both the AEC and ministry have committed to expanding the participation of regional and international companies, enhancing upstream investment and kickstarting the DRC's hydrocarbon boom.
Meanwhile, with no operating refineries, the DRC holds significant prospects for mid- and downstream investors. Strategically located in close proximity to other producing countries such as Angola and the Congo, by strengthening its refining capacity and improving production, the DRC could position itself as a top producer, processer and distributor. In this regard, significant investments are needed and the ministry's agreement with the AEC aims to address this, promoting the DRC as the premier investment destination in 2022 and beyond.
In addition to oil, the DRC is rich with natural gas, holding approximately 30 billion cubic meters of methane and gas reserves. With little to no development in this field, the ministry is eager to expand this industry, signing agreements with regional players such as Equatorial Guinea to help kickstart the country's gas revolution. With gas representing the fuel of the future in Africa, holding significant potential across the power, industry and economic spectrums, the minister is committed to driving investment and development in this high potential sector and the AEC agreement will only serve to drive this objective.