Natural gas can help Africa bring power to the people. It just has to be harnessed appropriately and not wasted or exported.
That is the premise of Chapter 5 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy, the new book by leading African energy attorney, NJ Ayuk. And it is a message that Jeff Goodrich, former CEO of OneLNG, supports.
OneLNG was a joint venture between liquified natural gas (LNG) shipping company, Golar LNG, and Schlumberger, the global oilfield services giant. While financing issues hampered OneLNG’s attempts to develop Africa’s first deep-water floating liquid natural gas (FLING) project with London-based Ophir Energy, the project principals, including Goodrich, recognized LNG’s potential to monetize Africa’s offshore natural gas reserves.
“In the chapter entitled Abundant, Accessible, Affordable: The “Golden Age” of Natural Gas Shines in Africa, Ayuk correctly identifies the benefits of natural gas, especially as the world looks for ways to lower CO2 emissions,” Goodrich said. “He also takes aim at some of the issues the African natural gas industry has to confront, namely flaring and the export of product that could be well-used at home.”
Despite advances in electrification, much of Africa is still plunged into darkness each evening. Using natural gas as a reliable source to generate electricity would change that. It would also reduce the reliance on sources like animal dung for cooking—a method that is linked to respiratory diseases.
“It is incredible to think that in this day and age, there are nearly a billion people in sub-Saharan Africa without access to electricity, but that is a reality Ayuk does not shy away from,” Goodrich said. “Rather than running from the problem, he puts forth a number of realistic solutions that anyone who cares about making Africa more self-sufficient will be eager to hear. I think his ideas will resonate especially with readers who agree with Ayuk that an oversaturated global export market makes this the best time to advance intra-African energy trading and focus on regional markets.