Navigating Energy Geopolitics: Impacts on Oil and Gas Supply Chains in Africa

Oil and Gas Supply Chains in Africa

The interplay of geopolitical tensions, maritime security, and energy supply poses an intricate challenge with substantial consequences for global energy dynamics. 

Within the African context, the oil and gas sector holds a pivotal position in driving economic growth and development on the continent.

Nevertheless, geopolitical events and disruptions in the supply chain have the potential to redirect resources away from investments in transitioning to clean energy.

Instances of such disruptions are observable in geopolitical occurrences such as the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Geopolitical tensions have the potential to interfere with the transportation of oil, as evidenced by the conflict in the Middle East. 

This conflict heightened worries about possible disruptions in oil supply, causing fluctuating oil prices due to the region’s substantial portion of the global seaborne oil trade.

These disruptions have broader implications for global and regional energy diversification efforts, prompting a reevaluation of energy policies and priorities. 

The crisis also raises questions about the reliability of natural gas, potentially impacting its role as a lower-emission “bridge” fuel and influencing decisions in energy trade and infrastructure.

Attacks on maritime infrastructure, piracy and theft contribute to the complexity of challenges faced by the energy sector in ensuring the reliability and security of its supply chains.

In recent years, the Middle East has become a focal point for case studies on security risks impacting energy transportation. 

Notably, since 2019, the region has experienced various incidents involving the use of marine mines to target tankers at sea and drones attacking oil infrastructure and ships. 


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These real-world occurrences serve as valuable case studies, illustrating the direct impact of security threats on the safety and reliability of energy transportation in the Middle East.

Disruptions in energy supply chains, particularly electricity, can have substantial societal impacts, necessitating proactive planning and preparedness. 

Enhancing system and societal resilience involves preventing, containing, and recovering from disruptions. 

The evolving landscape of energy resilience is shaped by factors such as new technologies and emerging risks like climate-induced extreme weather and potential cyber-attacks.

Energy resilience has the ability to minimize outage duration, scope, and impact while swiftly restoring power after disruptions occur.

Strategies to enhance resilience in the energy sector include diversifying supply chains, strengthening system planning, and relocating vulnerable facilities.

 The sector is adapting gas infrastructure, employing integrated planning, innovative technologies, and partnerships to address climate change impacts. 

The IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust supports countries in building resilience to external shocks and ensuring long-term balance of payments stability.

The impact on gas shipments to African nations is influenced by the continent’s growing domestic demand for oil and gas, which constitutes about two-thirds of total consumption.

This necessitates a focus on developing robust infrastructure within Africa, including storage and distribution facilities, to meet the increasing demand for transport fuels and LPG. 

Additionally, the discovery of substantial natural gas resources in Africa, exceeding 5,000 billion cubic meters, holds the potential to contribute an extra 90 billion cubic meters annually by 2030.

As the world shifts towards cleaner energy, African nations heavily reliant on oil and gas revenues face the challenge of diversifying their economies while balancing short-term needs with long-term goals.

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