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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:59, September 28, 2005
India eyes Africa's oil
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India will seek cooperation with oil-rich African countries in the hydrocarbon sector, senior official with the Indian Petroleum Ministry Talwiz Ahmad said in Johannesburg Tuesday.

"Africa presents a huge opportunity for us as it is estimated to hold over 9 percent of the world's reserves, most of which are still undiscovered. We want to participate more in Nigeria, Angola and some of the other west African countries," Ahmad said at India's Country Presentation at the ongoing 18th World Petroleum Congress.

According to the official, most of the oil and gas discoveries are made in Africa and Central Asia in the last five years.

Africa's main oil producing countries lie in the strategically important zone, including Nigeria, Angola, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, with reserves estimated at up to 60 billion barrels of crude oil. However, countries such as Sudan, Angola, Chad and Libya have also reemerged from years of political isolation and are offering access to extensive reserves.

Now on offer are new exploration projects in a number of countries like South Africa, Namibia, Sudan and Madagascar while Mozambique and Tanzania have emerged as first time gas producers.

India's recent experience in Nigeria "has proved that we have to be geared to take economic development projects along with bids for exploration," Ahmad said.

Currently dominated by multinationals, African countries are in the process of bringing about changes in rules to allow for greater opportunities to local entrepreneurs and new global partners to ensure greater development in the region with energy as the main tool.

Over 3,500 petroleum executives, 250 students and 400 journalists worldwide are gathering at Johannesburg to attend the 18th World Petroleum Congress, the first time the World Petroleum Council (WPC) holds its tri-annual event on the African continent in 72-year history.

Founded in London in 1933, the WPC is an international, unbiased, non-political organization that provides a forum for discussing world issues facing the oil and gas industry. It is dedicated to scientific advances in the oil and gas industries, technology transfer and to promote the management of the world's petroleum resources for the benefit of mankind.

The WPC's 62 member countries represent over 90 percent of the world's major oil and gas producing and consuming nations of the world.

Source: Xinhua

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