Thierno Seydou Ly, Director of Hydrocarbons for the Ministry of Petroleum and Energies, Senegal.

Also available in French

The second day of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021 Conference and Exhibition featured a panel discussion under the theme, ‘The Golden Age of Gas in the MSGBC Basin,’ with panelists focusing on topics such as gas-to-power planning; strategies for better regional collaboration on energy matters; the role of Independent Power Producers in powering the region; and understanding the impact of gas discoveries on local industries and economic growth.

With the landmark Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) and Sangomar oil field developments both coming online in 2023, the panel focused on how to best strategize around the sizeable gas reserves available within the MSGBC Basin. Featuring strong participation from key players in the MSGBC Region’s natural gas industry, including Rogers Beall, Chairman for Fortesa; Thierno Seydou Ly, Director of Hydrocarbons for the Ministry of Petroleum and Energies, Senegal; Chemsdine Sow Deina, Exploration Director at SMHPM, Mauritania; and Mohamed Limam VP, Head of Country Mauritania, BP.

“The MSGBC basin has become a basin that matters in the global oil and gas landscape, even if it is still today a frontier area. We have an enormous potential and we must find the right solutions to use these resources for the development of the country, as we are in an ideal position to export to American and European markets,” stated Chemsdine Sow Deina, Exploration Director at SMHPM.

Emphasizing the role that natural gas will play in the global energy transition, the panelists highlighted the need for African countries to increase access to energy in order to fast-track industrialization and economic growth in the region. Recent large-scale gas discoveries made in the offshore waters straddling the maritime border of Senegal and Mauritania have resulted in an influx of foreign direct investment, positioning the west-African region to capitalize on its resources, ushering a golden age for natural gas development in Africa.

“It is clear that these gas projects can have multiple effects on our economy. Naturally, their production capacity far outpaces our domestic needs, so the strategy must be directed at LNG production, but we also explore every other option for gas valorization. However, it is clear that the gas-to-power solutions are truly the ones that wlll have the most profound impact in the economic development of the country,” explained Thierno Seydou Ly, Director of Hydrocarbon, Ministry of Petroleum and Energies, Senegal.

Under the theme, ‘Lessons for Regional Collaboration and Development,’ the panel discussion offered insight into the long-term strategies implemented by the countries that make up the MSGBC Basin – Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea-Conakry – seeking to maximize capitalization through their on-and offshore natural gas resources, developing strategies for regional collaboration that reflect the ever-evolving realities of the oil and gas industry.

“There are a lot of questions in the region to which the answer is gas. Natural gas can respond to all our power generation needs, to open up a petrochemical industry and associated sources of revenue. We have so much gas that it is absolutely mandatory that we use it to produce electricity, instead of burning coal or oil like it happens today. It just wouldn’t make any sense otherwise,” underlined Mohamed Limam VP, Head of Country Mauritania, BP.

Uniting regional and global players to discuss the future of the MSGBC Basin, the conference emphasized the value of international companies and financiers in driving development, with the panel highlighting the critical role companies play in addressing power deficiencies by introducing power generation solutions through the exploration and production of gas, serving to spur economic growth and industrialization.

“The one answer to fill the gap between renewables and coal is natural gas, and the gas is here. Natural gas is the absolute answer to producing reliable affordable power, and with the price of oil going up like it is, it will become unsustainable to produce power from anything else but gas,” Rogers Beal, Chairman of Fortesa, emphasized to the audience.

“I used to say that this was a world class petroleum system. No one believed me. I was wrong. Then I found out it was a super giant petroleum system, and yet again I was wrong, because further studies showed that we have found a super basin, and that is reason enough to come here,” Beal concluded.