African Oil Industry Sees Benefits From Western Sanctions on Russia

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday June 6, 2023

Africa's oil industry is expecting to see benefits from the Western restrictions on Russian oil exports in response to the war in Ukraine.

Western moves to exclude Russian oil from their markets since the outbreak of war last February are an opportunity for Africa's oil industry, Stewart Maxwell, technical director at Aquaterra Energy, said in a recent interview with news provider Offshore Africa.

"Africa's energy resources will be paramount in meeting the current energy needs of the world," Maxwell said.

"With the UK and EU phasing out supply from Russia, oil and gas demand is high.

"As a result, there is an urgent imperative to fast-track production of energy supplies from alternative providers and a major opportunity to boost global energy security, reduce energy prices and accelerate economic growth.

"Africa's vast energy resources, including existing pipeline infrastructure to Europe, mean it is ideally positioned to support with current energy import demands."

West Africa's bunker industry in particular is likely to benefit from the Western stance on Russian oil. This market is heavily reliant on tankers transporting the region's oil to Europe and other markets, and any resurgence is likely to bring further marine fuel demand in countries like Ghana and Nigeria.

The recent opening of the 650,000 b/d Dangote refinery near Lagos is likely to bring a significant increase in oil exports on its own. The plant is the largest in Africa, and cost $19 billion in total to build.

Ghana's marine fuels industry is already seeing gains from the recent changes in oil tradeflows, according to local firm AI Energy.

"The bunker market in Ghana has seen some brisk business with this current development," Abigail Harlley, CEO of AI Energy, told Ship & Bunker on Tuesday.

"The Western sanctions have particularly seen an upward surge as a result. 

"We anticipate that this will translate into further bunker procurement by the vessels transporting the region's oil requirement from and to Europe."