…..Ready to Support Africa on Its Energy Journey

The US has sounded clear of the plan to widen its energy space in Africa working with intending and existing U.S. companies doing business in Africa. The US also said it is willing to work with countries in Africa that want to do business with U.S. companies

The U.S. assistant secretary for Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg, who is attending the ongoing Africa Oil Week in South Africa said his mission is to promote his country’s policies for energy on the continent and to highlight the importance the United States places on fostering relationships with the continent.

Winberg points to the fact that ‘Prosper Africa’ is a cross-government initiative designed to support United States business and energy activities in Africa. “I think we also have the opportunity to counter malign actor influence. And finally, and probably most importantly, ‘Prosper Africa’ provides opportunities for sustainable economic development and economic development with transparency. “We can also assist African enterprise and African countries by introducing them to US companies, and vice versa.

“We also have opportunities for African countries to come over to the United States and work with some of our departments so they can understand how we do business and how we create a transparent business climate. We have 17 National Labs. Numerous countries send representatives to visit those labs. We are going to continue that activity so that we can become a long-term partner with African nations.”

Winberg is clear that he sees Africa as a prime market for US’s shale gas. “I do believe there is going to be increased oil and natural gas production in Africa, but there is an interim period when African countries may want to avail themselves of our LNG exports,” he explains.

He revealed that at present, the United States has the capacity to export seven billion cubic feet per day, which will grow to ten billion cubic feet per day by 2020. “In operation or under construction, we will have 15.5 billion cubic feet per day today coming online over the next several years. The Department of Energy has authorised about 35 billion cubic feet a day,” Winberg adds. “There is a lot of headroom there for countries that want to use LNG imports in the interim period while they are developing their own natural gas production.”

Winberg said the U.S. shale surplus offers another benefit: stabilising the market and providing security of supply. “The fact that we continue to increase the level of oil that we’re producing in the United States and will be a net exporter of energy next year, reduces the impact that those types of attacks (against Saudi Arabia) can have. And if it’s not as impactful as those perpetrators want it to be, then there’s not a lot of value. And I think that’s the real message here.”

Chibisi Ohakah

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