The Republic of Congo is expected to join Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporting countries by December this year to earn foreign exchange.
This will be the first time in the history of the Central African nation, Minister for Hydrocarbons, H.E Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua has revealed.
Energy News Africa quoted the minister saying “I am pleased to announce that by December 2023, Congo will export its first LNG,” he said while addressing participants at the just-ended African Energy Week 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Congo has natural gas reserves of about 284 billion cubic meters as of 2021.
The Central African nation has embarked on economic diversification by placing a greater emphasis on gas and launching large-scale electrification projects.
Minister Itoua said natural gas would also be vital for the country’s mining industry and petrochemical sector and for energizing the country’s special economic zones.
He said Congo would continue exploiting its hydrocarbons, noting that oil and gas forms the cornerstone of the country’s development.
He said revenue from oil constitutes a pivotal portion of our revenues.
According to Minister Itoua, halting their production would jeopardize their stability and that of many other nations.
“Our exploration initiatives range from onshore oil deposits to the most profound marine depths. We are also in the process of awarding new permits and adopting a renewed approach in managing our oil assets.”
Minister Itoua said this strategy aims to welcome new players, suited to manage mature activities requiring a more streamlined and resilient organizational structure.
Touching on the energy transition, Minister Itoua noted that “the energy challenge we face is monumental,” but added that “with determination, innovation and collaboration, we can mold an energy future that benefits our people, our economies and our planet.”