Toward a sustainable development of Africa’s upstream market


…A Tullow Oil perspective

Global energy leaders will gather in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa, at the much-anticipated 2022 Africa Oil Week Conference to discuss various topics in the energy sector.

The Africa Oil Week is the largest annual gathering of energy experts and leaders on the African continent, where critical discussions are held leading to major policy and industry reforms. Over the last few years, the Africa Oil Week has seen major policy discussions that has impacted both national and private energy companies in areas such as energy transition, corporate governance, and regulatory compliance, among others.

Thus, starting from October 3-7, 2022, energy leaders are looking to reach renewed commitments and formulate a blueprint for the progress of Africa’s energy sector.

Of utmost importance will be the subject of the future of fossil fuels, which is carefully captured in the conference agenda titled: ‘Upstream African Market in 2022 and Beyond: Outlook for E&P on the Continent’. It is expected that this conversation will stimulate debate into the prospects of the upstream industry in light of recent global developments and projected trends.

For Tullow, the focus on Africa is not new. As an independent oil and gas exploration and development company focused on Africa, Tullow has taken the lead in highlighting the potential of Africa in the upstream sector. Tullow’s exploratory feat commenced in Africa with notable success and further development into a robust production company largely based in Africa.

Therefore, the outlook of the African upstream sector is one that sits at the heart of its operations and for which its Chief Executive, Rahul Dhir, will be looking to share some remarkable thoughts.

Given the global discussions about energy transition, one can only expect that the conversations surrounding the future of the upstream sector will be nothing shy of incorporating the continent’s readiness for the energy transition. In a few weeks, the world will gather for COP27, for which so much more will be expected of the energy giants in driving global climate change discussions, especially as it relates to the continent. While many energy majors are pulling out of prospective economies, Tullow has taken the huge step of highlighting the prospects inherent in the continent, and the possibility of pursuing sustainable oil and gas development to support the growth of economies within the region.

Its bold energy transition plans, which include the reduction of its scope 1 and 2 emissions through improved efficiency on its assets and the pursuit of carbon offsetting measures, demonstrate a company ready to develop and produce oil in a sustainable way. That gives hope to a continent that still needs, to a large extent, dependence on the oil and gas sector for growth.

Of course, the lessons learnt from Tullow’s operations in West Africa will come in handy in the panel on Spearheading the Way for Development on the Continent. Particularly, Tullow’s success in its Ghana operations, presents much more than the standard blueprint for market penetration and its related nuances, to exceptional success in managing complex stakeholder engagement, challenging and transformational operations and recording industry level achievements as the pioneer commercial oil producer. But even so, beyond its Ghana operations, Tullow’s interest in E&P in Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon are equally reflective of the agility required to be successful in various markets across the region. What more could be an exemplary performance than the ability to navigate complex, multi-faceted markets with success? This is definitely why Tullow’s gains in its West Africa operations stands, at the minimum, as a use case for industry learnings.

Current and changing global trends in workforce management points to the need for companies to adopt new ways of working. The workforce of the future is therefore a prominent topic for discussion at this year’s Africa Oil Week. Here, industry experts will be looking at the requisite skillset, infrastructure, culture and tools needed to retain the dynamic workforce of the future.

The world is fast moving toward agile workplace, and lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic have shown the feasibility of such transition. Tullow has been a pacesetter when it comes to agile working, having introduced and executed flexible working long before the COVID-19 pandemic. There will certainly be lots of lessons to learn from other companies on the way forward. Tullow Ghana’s Deputy Managing Director, Cynthia Lumor, will lead a panel discussion on the topic with a goal to:

  1. Review the changing trends in the workforce of the future – analysing the evolution of the workplace, its people, the culture, and the philosophies underpinning these evolutions; and
  2. Unearthing the requirements for building resilient organisations and what will constitute distinction in the future of work.

Ultimately, the conference is expected to shape conversations about the energy sector in Africa. This will include proposals for making the best of Africa’s energy resources – something that has and will continue to be a priority for various governments, and how the sector can position itself to retain talent for the next evolution cycle of the industry.

As an Africa-focused company, Tullow Oil will be looking to share its experiences based on its track record over the years in its exploration and production activities as well as its aspirations for the future. Whether in transformation initiatives, people development or sustainability, the Africa Oil Week Conference in Cape Town is expected to contribute significantly to the development of the energy sector in Africa.

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