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March 2, 2024

How Africa can unlock energy potential for development – Shell

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THE Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, said that Africa can unlock the potential of the energy sector and drive energy security, transition and economic prosperity by embracing partnerships, technological innovation and sustainable financing.

Speaking at a ministerial panel session on “Navigating the new energy world order: Security, Transition and Finance” at the just-concluded 7th Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja, Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC)and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, said advancing energy security, transition and economic prosperity in Africa required “a holistic approach that addresses efficiencies in the development of conventional energy sources which Africa has abundance of, and will depend on for now and in the nearest future.”

Okunbor, who was represented by the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd (SNEPCo), Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said international partnerships and collaborations could help in accessing best practices, advanced technologies and innovations to optimise operations and drive down emissions, citing the example of the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP), which SPDC and SNEPCo have deployed to facilitate the monitoring and mitigation of methane emissions from their operations.

According to Okunbor, sustainable financing mechanisms, like impact investing and public-private partnerships, can also provide the capital to develop clean energy projects, enhance infrastructure and support local capabilities.

He said energy security, transition and finance “are at the heart of the dilemma that the world and senior executives in the energy sector are grappling with,” stressing that secure and uninterrupted access to energy at affordable prices was key for economic growth and development for every country, and more so for emerging economies like those in Africa.

On Shell’s role in the development of the energy sector in Africa, Okunbor spoke of its “longstanding presence” in Nigeria, Egypt, Namibia, Ghana, South Africa and Tunisia among many other countries. He gave the example of Nigeria, where Shell is working closely with government, partners and other stakeholders, to help harness gas as a transition fuel, promote Nigerian content development and deploy renewables as an off-grid energy source for millions of households.

“By and large we are seeing significant progress in collaboration and more opportunities going forward,” Okunbor said.