Welcome to the June edition of Addleshaw Goddard's Africa Business Group's newsletter.


The war in Ukraine has brought hydrocarbons back into sharp new focus. No sooner had COP 26 emboldened most industrialised nations in the quest toward Net Zero, than the war reminded us that the world today remains dependent on oil and gas. European nations are looking to replace Russian oil and gas imports with other sources – to achieve this, investment in new projects is required. African nations hold vast, undeveloped oil and gas reserves. Many African nations desire a 'just transition' in which they are able to industrialise as the world transitions to Net Zero. The opportunity for Africa to replace Russian oil and gas is clear. But implementation is much easier said than done.

News Articles

How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine will Impact Africa’s Energy Transition

Russia’s assault on Ukraine has roiled global energy markets and turned the climate policy conversation upside down. To date, most of the attention has focused on European energy security and how the crisis might shape (for good and bad) that region’s decarbonisation plans. But the energy sector impacts of this war will reverberate across every corner of the globe. Here are seven ways it could impact Africa’s energy transition.

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Ukraine Crisis: Can Africa Replace Russian Gas Supplies to Europe?

African countries are among those hoping to increase their exports of gas to the European Union, after the EU committed to reduce its reliance on Russian supplies following the invasion of Ukraine.

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Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Possible Impact On Upstream Activities in Africa

As of early 2022, four Russian oil companies were present in different onshore and offshore locations in several African markets. Overall, Russian players tend to act as operators in North Africa (Libya, Algeria, Tunisia), while they mainly act as partners in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo and Mozambique). Exceptions include Lukoil's operatorship in Equatorial Guinea and Congo.

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Europe abandons Russia's energy - can Africa become reliable alternative supplier?

With the never-ending Russia-Ukraine crisis, energy-stricken Europe now turns to Africa. Notwithstanding the distance, European Union members have set their eyes on African oil and gas producing countries that could be potential alternative suppliers. EU is heavily dependent on Russian energy. Russia is the largest supplier of gas to Europe. Russia, with the largest gas reserve in the world produces about 17% of global natural gas and supplies about 30-40% of the gas consumed in Europe through a network of pipelines to Europe.

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Can African Oil and Gas Replace Russia’s?

The continent’s major energy producers are ready to help meet European demand, but they lack the capacity and investment.

African Oil and Gas Producers Look to Secure European Markets

European leaders have set a target to end their reliance on Russian oil and gas “well before 2030,” which could lead to new market gains for Nigeria, Angola, Libya, and Algeria on liquified natural gas.

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Europe's quest to replace Russian gas faces plenty of hurdles

Climate concerns, investor reticence and political disputes complicate a shift to supplies from the United States, North Africa and the Mediterranean.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the unit of measure for natural gas imports by European countries. They import over 150 billion cubic meters, not cubic feet, of natural gas from Russia, with plans to import an additional 50 billion cubic meters, not cubic feet, of liquefied natural gas. The Biden administration has pledged to increase L.N.G. exports to the European Union by 15 billion cubic meters, not cubic feet.

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Senegal Sees Opportunity and ‘Hypocrisy’ in Europe’s Search for Gas

As the E.U. ditches Russian energy, West African nations hope to fill the void

DAKAR, Senegal — Only months ago, world leaders pledged to stop financing new fossil fuel projects around the globe in a “historic” move against climate change. Now some of those leaders, desperate for energy as Russian flows dwindle, are turning to African nations with burgeoning reserves of oil and natural gas.

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‘There’s a massive knock-on from the Ukraine crisis in Africa,’ says Chatham house’s Alex Vines

A conversation with Alex Vines

By Dr Desné Masie and Angus Chapman. Published on April 25, 2022

From food price inflation to greater interest in African gas, the Russia-Ukraine war will have big implications for Africa, as the director of Chatham House’s Africa Programme tells us.

African Business: What risks and opportunities do you see for Africa as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war?

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Algeria Struggles to Meet Rising Demand for its Gas After Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Europe looks to north Africa as it tries to reduce its dependence on Moscow’s supply

Algeria is the third-biggest natural gas supplier to Europe, with about 8% market share © Ryad Kramdi/AFP/Getty Images

This could have been Algeria’s moment: Europe’s efforts to wean itself off Russian gas should have provided the north African country with a golden opportunity to maximise exports and carve out a bigger share of the continent’s energy market.

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Russia’s War On Ukraine Is Devastating Africa’s Economy

Russia’s war has sent waves through the global economy, and Sub-Saharan Africa is especially vulnerable to the shock.

According to the IMF, food accounts for about 40% of consumer spending in the region, and food prices are soaring.

Africa is endowed with substantial natural gas production, reserves, and new discoveries in the process of being tapped.

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Will Africa Really Be “Europe’s Next Gas Station”?

While some producers may benefit from Europe’s scramble for non-Russian oil and gas, the reality is unlikely to match the hype.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the attendant horrors have prompted moves by many countries to reduce their dependence on imports of Russian oil and gas. The US, for instance, has imposed an immediate ban. The UK intends to stop oil imports by the end of 2022. The European Union plans to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds by the end of 2022 and fully eliminate oil and gas imports by 2030. This European plan is particularly significant given that Russia is responsible for 25% of the EU’s oil imports and 45% of its gas imports.

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Can Africa Supply Europe's Energy Demand?

As the war in Ukraine rages on, the European Union is desperately searching for alternative energy sources. Africa has abundant reserves, but experts say the continent's energy sector needs urgent reforms and help.

EU nations have considered cutting off import of Russia's oil and gas following President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.

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Key Contacts

Rory Connor

Rory Connor

Partner, Infrastructure Projects & Energy
London, UK

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Eleanor Morris

Eleanor Morris

Associate, Finance
UAE

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Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor

Head of UK M&A and Africa
London, UK

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Nick Ashcroft

Nick Ashcroft

Partner, Dispute Resolution
United Kingdom

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