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GECF Secretary General Delivers Keynote Speech at APPO CAPE VII

 Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Today, GECF Secretary General Dr Sentyurin delivered the keynote address on the second day of the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) CAPE VII Congress and Exhibition.

APPO CAPE VII takes place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from April 2 to April 5. Organized by Africa Oil & Power, the event is a high-level gathering of APPO ministers, private sector oil and gas leaders, and other prominent industry leaders. The event falls under the umbrella of Equatorial Guinea's ‘Year of Energy 2019' and is Africa's prime meeting of oil and gas ministers.

A testament to the level of the Congress, yesterday's opening ceremony included keynote speeches from Equatorial Guinea's President, HE Teodoro Obiang; as well as HE Mahaman Laouan Gaya, Secretary General of APPO; HE Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC and HE Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea.

After Dr. Sentyurin thanked the host country for the warm welcome and he praised Equatorial Guinea's 2019 Year of Energy Initiative. He mentioned that of the Forum's nineteen members, six are located on the African continent: Algeria, Angola (the GECF's newest member), Egypt, the host country Equatorial Guinea, Libya, and Nigeria. HE Secretary General pointed out that the GECF countries have added substantial shares to total gas production in Africa. Collectively, they contributed 236 bcm to marketed gas production in 2018 and accounted for about 93% of the total gas produced on the African continent. He also made mention of the fact that several key industry players from other Member Countries, such as Gazprom and Equinor, are active in Africa and ready to provide business assistance to local producers.

Initiatives such as the massive LNG2Africa Initiative are crucial to bringing energy, and natural gas in particular, to the power systems of the continent, he said. Dr. Sentyurin also remarked that these projects have been figured into the GECF's Global Gas Outlook projections.

An important point he raised during his speech was that natural gas will be the only hydrocarbon resource to increase its share in the global energy mix, from 22% today to 26% in 2040 and that it is a destination fuel that will prove to be key to achieving a lower carbon energy system.

He went on to state that Africa's progress in natural gas development will be a triumph against energy poverty, where approximately 80% of people still rely on biomass and waste to meet their energy needs. Given the numerous health and air quality concerns associated with biomass burning, improving energy accessibility on the continent is not only a necessity for fighting energy poverty, but for fulfilling climate change objectives, and UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Dr. Sentyurin declared that Africa has tremendous prospects for natural gas production. And that according to the 2018 GECF Global Gas Outlook, Africa's marketed gas production can contribute as much as 9.2% to the global total by 2040, corresponding to an expansion of 255 bcm to more than 505 bcm by 2040 (Note: Africa's gas production in 2018 – 253 bcm), and a compound average annual growth rate of 3.4% over the forecast period — meaning that Africa is expected to more than double its production. He also stressed the importance of cooperation with APPO in the light of Africa's growing role in the field of energy.

In his concluding remarks, he expressed the hope that this landmark platform would pave the way for future collaborative accomplishments.

APPO CAPE VII, which goes into its final day tomorrow, is a crucial event for the GECF. Not only due to the high-level attendance and the fact that it takes place in a Member Country, but also because the GECF's flagship gathering of heads of state, the 5th GECF Summit will take place in Malabo in November of this year, during which HE Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima will act as Chairman of the GECF Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting. The Summit will be a chance to exchange views on developments in international gas markets, as well as the policies, technologies, and investments that are most critical to the long-term sustainability of gas resources.

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