Source: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC
Pointe-Noire, the Republic of the Congo, 25 August 2021–OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, concluded his mission to the Republic of the Congo by visiting the coastal city and port of Pointe-Noire.
The successful mission culminated in a meeting with representatives of international oil companies located in Congo. The meeting was attended by HE Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Congo’s Minister of Hydrocarbons, senior officials from the Ministry and an OPEC delegation, as well as Mayor of Pointe-Noire, Jean François Kando.
Minister Itoua opened the meeting by again welcoming the Secretary General and the accompanying delegation. The Minister also thanked the Secretary General for visiting Congo, OPEC’s newest Member Country.
“At the conclusion of this visit, I want to thank HE Barkindo for the time he has given to visit Congo, which is the first-ever visit to the country by an OPEC Secretary General,” the Minister stated.
The Minister also emphasised that the Republic of the Congo was honoured to become a Member Country of OPEC in 2018.
At the meeting, the Secretary General underscored the vital role of Congo in the success of the Organization and the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) process.
Barkindo also noted the country’s rising contributions to the energy industry, highlighting the astuteness, diplomacy and technical competence of its leaders and industry figures.
“OPEC is very proud to have Congo as its newest Member Country, having joined in June 2018. It is part of growing African contingent within OPEC, which also includes Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria,” he stated.
The Secretary General commended HE Denis Sassou Nguesso, Congo’s President and Head of State, highlighting that “President Nguesso is a visionary leader.” He also stressed the President’s pivotal role in and support for OPEC and the DoC.
The Secretary General praised the notable advancements in Pointe-Noire, highlighting that the city and its port provide crucial infrastructure for the activities of the oil and gas industries.
On today’s visit, Barkindo said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity of visiting one of the offshore platforms and meeting with some of the oil companies that are working here in Congo in cooperation with the national oil company, Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC).”
The Secretary General also praised the Lianzi offshore project, among others. The project is a joint venture between Congo and fellow OPEC Member Country, Angola, and started production in 2015.
On the energy transition, Barkindo noted that continuous dialogue and cooperation at all levels will be essential in the years ahead. He also highlighted several issues that the energy industry is encountering, such as low levels of investment.
“The global oil and gas industry must provide the right conditions and enabling environment to support adequate industry investment, capital flows and cooperation on high-tech solutions,” he stressed, adding, “Efforts such as these will be imperative to enhance the overall efficiency of the oil sector while also contributing to the development of economies and creating opportunities.”
“OPEC will continue to seek out policies that support a balanced and inclusive energy transition, promote all energy sources and prioritise investment in developing countries, including those in Africa. This will ensure that no one will be left behind in the energy transition,” Barkindo said.
In conclusion, the Secretary General expressed his appreciation to the leaders and officials of Congo for their gracious hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for the mission, adding, “We look forward to building on these excellent meetings to deepen the ties between OPEC and the Republic of the Congo for years to come.”
The Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk, noted Africa’s need for additional investment in the oil and gas sectors. He added that the continent requires more international oil companies to invest in it.
Ayuk also invited all hydrocarbon stakeholders to attend the African Energy Week, which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 9 to 12 November 2021.
The Secretary General and the Minister received presentations by representatives of the international oil companies working in Congo, including TotalEnergies, Eni and Perenco.
A video depicting OPEC’s history since its inception in September1960 in Baghdad, Iraq, up to now was also screened during the meeting.
The Secretary General held a joint press conference with Minister Itoua following the meeting with the international firms.
Earlier today, the Secretary General and accompanying OPEC delegation were received by Minister Itoua and senior officials from the Ministry upon their arrival in Pointe-Noire and together they visited the port’s main oil export terminal.
During the visit, the delegation toured Pointe-Noire and received a detailed presentation on the terminal operations and loading and refining facilities from the site manager.
The trip to Pointe-Noire concludes a four-day visit to Congo, during which the Secretary Genera engaged with a number of high-level officials and industry leaders, including HE Anatole Collinet Makosso, Congo’s Prime Minister; HE Pierre Ngollo, President of the Senate; and HE Isidore Mvouba, President of the National Assembly.