With the exception of Namibia and Mozambique, Africa has ceased to be attractive to US oil companies, which are gradually withdrawing from the market. This strategy is the opposite of that adopted by the Chinese and Russians, which are continuing to push ahead.
Three small non-producing oil states in the Gulf of Guinea are desperately - but so far vainly - trying to develop their offshore blocks. Even amid dwindling investment in exploration, they dream of an oil and gas future like Namibia's.
Shell's success on its first well drilled in the Orange Basin spells good news for the Namibian state, which has reason to believe TotalEnergies' forthcoming announcement of the results of its exploration well on Venus will confirm the area's oil potential as a future money-earner.
Taking advantage of a favourable climate and existing infrastructure in South Africa, Total is looking at the option of speeding up expansion at a reduced cost. This will depend to a large extent on a good working relationship with the state, which owns the pipeline and the GTL plant to which the French major hopes to sell its gas.
Namibia’s offshore, which some experts consider a geological match with the rich sedimentary basin in Brazil’s territorial waters, has only recently seen the influx of a few majors like BP and Petrobras along with some adventurous explorers such as Chariot