Africa News Bulletin

Guinea: The State’s Hydrocarbon Potential Shines Bright As SONAP Leads The Way In Exploration And Investment

Under the impetus of the transitional government led by President Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, Guinea-Conakry is actively pursuing the development of its oil and gas sector. Spearheaded by the National Oil Company Société Nationale de Petroles (SONAP), the country is making great strides towards attracting investment in this industry. While the total reserves have not been officially estimated to date, the country’s acreage holds significant promise. Guinea’s importance in the realm of hydrocarbons is grounded in its strategic location within the MSGBC region.

Situated close to countries with notable hydrocarbon discoveries, such as Ivory Coast, Senegal and Mauritania, Guinea is poised for exploratory success. Presently, all 27 offshore blocks and seven onshore basins in Guinea are open for exploration and prospecting.

At the helm of exploration efforts is SONAP, an institution operating under the direct purview of the Presidency. SONAP bears the mantle of upstream petroleum administration and downstream sector regulation and holds the exclusive mandate for oil imports into Guinea. In an interview with Energy Capital & Power, Aida Souaré, Head of Petroleum Promotion at SONAP, elaborated on the government’s strategy to develop the sector.

“The emergence of Guinea as a potential energy hub is not just a vision: it’s a purposeful, calculated move by the government, led by President Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya,” Souaré stated.

The SONAP management, under the stewardship of Director General Amadou Doumbouya, has embarked on an ambitious campaign which seeks to promote Guinea’s hydrocarbon potential not only on the African continent but also globally. As part of these efforts, SONAP recently completed the National Seismic Data Visualization Center, a vital resource that showcases Guinea’s impressive hydrocarbon potential.

“Today, Guinea boasts a seismic data inventory encompassing 15,000 km² of 3D seismic and 45,000 km² of 2D seismic. Additionally, the nation has drilled three wells, each yielding reports that validate the presence of a robust petroleum system,” explained Souaré.

Looking ahead, plans include extensive 3D seismic coverage in Guinea’s offshore regions, gravity and magnetic surveys onshore, and further studies, all aimed at enhancing the nation’s attractiveness to global investors.

Guinea’s government has diligently laid the groundwork for investment. The establishment of APIP Guinea, the private investment promotion agency, and the up-to-date petroleum code demonstrate the nation’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for investors. “These measures are designed to attract foreign direct investment, facilitating the growth of Guinea’s energy sector,” continued Souaré. Guinea’s overarching strategy is clear: intensify seismic campaigns to identify potential leads and subsequently issue comprehensive tender offers across all blocks. This approach aims to attract renowned global oil operators, fostering sustainable development in the nation’s energy sector.

Guinea has long-struggled with retaining value from its resources, specifically, its minerals. While the country is the world’s second-largest bauxite exporter, the majority of its processed aluminum products are imported. The country currently has only one alumina refinery, leading the government to draft laws mandating the building of refineries for all producers.

In the energy sector, Souaré explained that both the Guinean government and SONAP are proactively addressing a similar issue. He explained that SONAP is committed to enhancing value addition “by ensuring equitable distribution, investing in critical infrastructure, upholding contractual obligations with petroleum partners, and creating employment opportunities to drive wealth generation and reduce poverty.”

As Guinea embarks on its journey to harness its energy resources for the benefit of its citizens, the nation is resolute in engaging responsibly with the global energy community. Guinea’s commitment to sustainable development and equitable wealth distribution augurs well for the future of its burgeoning energy sector. With the world’s attention on this promising nation, Guinea is on the path to unlocking significant hydrocarbon potential because “countries may have boundaries, but geology does not,” concluded Souaré.

SONAP and the Guinean Minister of Energy, Hydraulics, and Hydrocarbons Aly Seydouba Soumah will participate in the upcoming MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 conference & exhibition. The event will take place in Nouakchott from November 21-22 under the patronage of the President of Mauritania, Aly Seydouba Soumah.


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