Nigeria, others need more oil exploration – Sahara Group

A subsidiary of Sahara Group, Asharami Energy, has said oil and gas businesses in Africa need to intensify exploration efforts to guarantee reserve replacement and enhance capacity to meet growing demand and global competition.

The company’s Managing Director, Olajumoke Ajayi, said operators needed to adopt new technology, explore alternative cost-saving measures, ensure sustainable community relations, and build diverse multidisciplinary teams to ensure successful exploration projects.

According to her, Africa’s large volumes of undiscovered oil and gas make the continent a veritable frontier for investment.

In her presentation at the Oil and Gas Council’s Africa Assembly in Paris, she cited the downturn in global oil prices and the corresponding negative effects on investor funds and returns as factors that had made a good number of exploration and production companies in Africa cut down on investments, delay Final Investment Decision or totally stop embarking on new capital projects.

Ajayi said, “Consequently, producing companies continue to pump oil from operated mature fields, thereby depleting existing reserves with non-corresponding efforts for reserve replacement via new exploration discoveries. The big question remains whether or not E&P players should commit to exploration and how players can justify this commitment in the face of lower oil prices.”

She said the compelling case for the relevance of hydrocarbons in the future, in addition to huge investments on new technology, responsible and intentional community engagement, would play a significant role in creating a stable and conducive environment for exploration and production.

“Sahara Group’s exploration success story is being driven by a combination of technology, innovation and community management expertise. At Sahara, we are intentionally committed to creating a sustainable balance between our projects and host communities to ensure the creation of shared value for all stakeholders,” she added.

According to her, strategic community engagements eliminate community interference in operations of capital projects that may lead to significant downtime; and ensure that the host community understands its role as a project stakeholder and treats projects as commonwealth source for the people, among others.