Africa's energy: east is east, west is ...

Author:Sanchez, Pablo
Position:THIS MONTH'S PRIZE LETTER - Letter to the editor

I am an avid reader of your correspondent Neil Ford's excellent energy articles and usually agree with much of what he writes. But I was surprised by what he wrote in his article Interest rises in East African Oil Prospects (African Business November 2006) where he suggests that East Africa is "highly unlikely to possess anything like the same volumes of hydrocarbon reserves [as the Gulf of Guinea]".

Mr Ford may well be right in this assertion, but it could be argued that simply no one knows what lies beneath East Africa's offshore waters. We do know that the geological structures are in place to make it at least probable that hydrocarbon reserves are there to be exploited.

What is distorting opinions over East Africa's oil and gas potential is that West Africa got lucky back in the 1960s with the discovery of quite large off-shore oil fields. That led all the oil companies, displaying the herd instinct that they are so famous...

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