Government highlights opportunities for UK oil and gas companies in Africa

The Government in the UK has long been the largest external investor in Kenya and trade relationship is booming. Total trade between the UK and Kenya is in excess of £1 billion. A number of the top UK companies have made an entry into the Kenyan market and continue to tap local talent.

cable 1But at the UK Trade and Investment’s oil and gas seminar in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games it was highlighted that support was available to help UK business access export opportunities in East and West Africa and not just Kenya. For example Nigeria is by far Africa’s largest oil producer and has been a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since 1971.

It has large reserves of natural resources, and many UK companies are already active in the market. UKTI is targeting the major investment projects and smaller and shallow water fields at the moment. The focus is on local independent companies that have recently acquired major Independent Oil Company (IOC) assets. These companies could benefit from UK technologies, capabilities and experience such as:

  • the upgrade and extension of existing producing assets
  • major deep water development
  • Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO)
  • subsurface
  • new wells
  • component supply
  • specialist services

The oil and gas sector in East Africa remains underdeveloped. New opportunities are arising in Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda and in these countries, untapped basins and reserves are becoming more accessible as infrastructure improves.

Opportunities exist for UK companies to get involved at a very early stage and develop these openings. Local supply chains in many areas can’t provide all the assets, equipment or services needed to fully realise the potential of the region. There are numerous opportunities for UK companies, for example, in:

  • training and development
  • exploration
  • supply chains

The seminar was chaired by the Rt Hon Brian Wilson, UKTI Business Ambassador and Chairman of Britain’s Energy Coast Board. A keynote speech was given by Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

VinceCable2Vince Cable said:

“UK oil and gas is organised, ambitious and working well with government to maintain long term competitiveness via the industrial strategy to maximise production of UK oil and gas resources and sustain and promote the UK supply chain here and overseas.”

Other panellists and speakers included:

  • Andy Brown, Director of the upstream international business at Shell
  • Dr Paddy O’Brien, Chief Executive of Industry Technology Facilitator
  • Ernest Nwapa, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board
  • David Mooney, Group Supply Chain Director, Tullow Oil
  • Sue Whitbread, UKTI Oil and Gas Business Specialist

UKTI is now working closely with overseas governments, UK and overseas academia and business to realise sustainable and profitable opportunities. The UK has a great deal to share with the countries we work with. UK companies work closely with the local community and local businesses then become a real and sustainable part of the supply chain.

Contact your local International Trade Team to find out more about developing your oil and gas business overseas.


Pictured are (left to right) Rt Hon Brian Wilson, Rt Hon Vince Cable, BIS Secretary of State, Andy Brown (Shell), Professor Paul de Leeuw (International Institute for Oil & Gas, Robert Gordon University), Ernest Nwapa (Nigerian Local Development Board), Sue Whitbread (UKTI HVO Specialist), David Mooney (Tullow Oil) and (r) Vincent Cable MP Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills   

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