Investment in Africa’s oil and gas market a key focus for SPE London conference and exhibition

Industry experts to tackle challenges and opportunities in both East and West Africa in two specialist conference sessions

London, UK, 4 March 2013 – The Society of Petroleum Engineers London Section (SPE London) today announced that Africa’s oil and gas market is a key focus for its upcoming conference and exhibition, which takes place on 22-23May at Savoy Place in central London (UK). Africa in general has seen renewed interest in its energy sector from both investors and oil and gas companies in recent years. This conference will explore the specific challenges and opportunities for investors and operators interested in the region and will include two dedicated sessions looking specifically at East and West Africa.

East Africa is currently largely unexplored, but large Independents, Majors and Super Majors are discovering significant quantities of gas on an increasingly regular basis. As the legal and physical infrastructure is still taking shape in East Africa, a dedicated session on the region will focus on the principles of oil and gas taxation, as well as legal due diligence challenges. Robert Hodges, Tax Director, Ernst & Young, and Nick Davies, Partner, Memery Crystal, will talk on these issues respectively. Nick Cooper, CEO, Ophir Energy will also give a firsthand account of the challenges of offshore exploration in East Africa.

Although the oil and gas industry is more developed in West Africa when compared with the more mature basins such as the North Sea, it remains relatively underexplored. However, this is changing rapidly. This session will compare and contrast the two key countries in West Africa, namely Angola and Nigeria, and will look at how recent increased activity in these countries has thrown up numerous challenges around regulatory, human resources and logistical factors during technical trials. Fausta Alakwe, Deputy COO of Seplat will discuss the success of his company in increasing production from their Nigerian assets.

“The African oil and gas industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented growth, with laws, regulations and infrastructure struggling to keep up,” said Ramin Lakani, Projects Manager, EMEA Gaffney, Cline & Associates, and a member of the conference programme committee. “There are undoubtedly many opportunities for investors, but also many concerns about the risks. The conference sessions are being hosted by some of the leading experts in the region, and will shed light on some of these issues and answer many of the important questions that investors and oil and gas companies have.”

For more information on the SPE London conference and exhibition, and to register as a delegate or participate as a speaker or sponsor, please visit

About SPE London Conference

Situated at the heart of the global financial sector, London’s prime location and investor profile attracts international oil and gas companies seeking to raise capital to fund North Sea and global opportunities and portfolios. The SPE London Section launched its first two-day annual conference in June 2012 with the purpose of bringing together key members of the oil & gas and financial community. Following the overwhelming success of the inaugural conference, SPE London Section is now organising its second event titled ‘Managing Oil & Gas Portfolios in Uncertain Markets’, to be held on 22-23 May at Savoy Place. The conference programme targets senior industry and City professionals working in sectors including corporate finance, asset acquisitions and divestitures, corporate mergers and acquisitions, investment analysis, equity research, portfolio management, business development, and valuation of oil and gas assets. For more information go to or follow the conference on Twitter: @SPElondonconf 

About SPE London

SPE London Section is part of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), a not-for-profit organisation devoted to the safe and efficient exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas resources. With more than 104,000 members worldwide, it is one of the largest industry organisations globally, and works closely with government, institutes and academia to advance the learning of its members in all aspects of the industryincluding offshore and onshore, nationally and internationally. SPE plays a pivotal role in setting out standards and guidelines for the estimation and auditing of reserves and resources for statutory reporting and financial purposes. Our members are active in all walks of life within our industry and hold cross-disciplinary seminars with our many colleagues across many institutes and organisations. SPE London Section has more than 2,500 members, several student chapters, and a very strong board, and aims to enhance the industry experience and help people achieve their true potential. For more information go to

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