What’s next for oil development in Africa?
It’s hard to say.
But it’s safe to say the world’s largest oil company, Shell, has been quietly exploring Africa’s oil sands for years, and recently opened an office in the remote town of Djibouti, where it plans to open a major oil sands production facility.
It also plans to build a pipeline through Niger and Chad to bring oil to Europe.
Shell, which owns a quarter of the oil sands reserves in the region, has had a few rocky times in the past.
The company’s CEO, John Stroeve, faced charges in 2014 that he paid bribes to a Nigerian official to secure favorable treatment for a project.
The Nigerian government eventually suspended Shell’s permit to drill in Niger, but Shell has been trying to restart production in the country since then.
And Shell has spent $1 billion to open its new Niger-based facility, a massive expansion of its existing plant in Algeria, in 2017.
Shell also hopes to tap the energy riches of a newly discovered oil field in Nigeria’s Bambari, which lies some 800 miles to the west.
It’s also building new projects in countries that have not yet been exposed to the massive potential of oil, including Brazil and Venezuela, according to The Wall Street Journal.
What to Know Shell’s Bancor is a $50 billion energy project in which it will drill in two countries in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Basin, and in Africa, and the company has a deal with the governments of the two countries to build an offshore oil platform.
Shell is also exploring for oil in Africa’s Bimini and Mato Grosso provinces, and is also pursuing a contract to drill for oil at a new field off the coast of Tanzania.
What’s the point?
Shell is in a unique position to drill into the vast reserves of the Biminis and Matos Grosso.
The two countries are separated by the Atlantic Ocean, but they are connected by land.
Shell plans to drill beneath the Bima Gulf, an area that is home to more than 300 oil and gas reserves, and it is working with the African Development Bank to develop the project.
It has a pipeline that carries Bakken crude oil from the Bakken formation in North Dakota to the Bama, which is the largest oil field on the African continent.
Shell hopes to use the Bimbis to pump its Bakken and Methane, two key components of oil.
Shell has also been exploring for shale gas in Nigeria, which could potentially provide another source of energy.
But Shell is likely to face major resistance from the Nigerian government, which considers the Bambaris oil an illegal export.
The Nigerian government is worried about Shell’s expansion plans and has banned Shell from drilling in the Bemba, a region that has been known to host the largest number of oil spills in the world.
It will be up to Shell to convince the Nigerian authorities that its oil sands projects will be economically viable.