27 April 2018
What do you see as the key challenges facing the industry and in the region over the coming 5-10 years?
While O&G demand will continue to grow, the industry will have to face two challenges:
– Transforming itself from a pioneer mentality to a lean-manufacturing, standardized and cost conscious industry / This has started since the 2014 crisis with amazing results but it is only a beginning. By the way, the big data / AI revolution is just a part of this momentum, not the ultimate goal or panacea.
– Developing lateral kow-how & collaboration with renewables to participate actively in addressing Global Warming and sharing experience and technology, rather than working in silos and pretending to ignore the tsunami that is coming our way…
Where do you see the opportunities for growth within the industry in the next 5 years and how is your company positioned to support these opportunities?
As specialised investors in the Energy space, we see these transformations coming and keep an ear on the ground with all the companies we meet to identify those who are ready to ride the wave.
In particular, we are exposed to digital & mathematical offers for the oil industry, to service companies that embrace disruptive opportunities, but also to upstream opportunities that are less capital intensive and make more sense locally than white elephant hunting in ultra-deep waters…
What are your main considerations currently when you look at investment opportunities in Africa? What makes Africa attractive for your business and what limits your appetite for investment in the African market?
We are experienced in Africa and have done many project financings in various countries. What is interesting now is the development of the African economies and how the energy industry can participate and deliver solutions. SO domestic rather than export projects make economic sense.
But one needs a deep experience of the business environment, of the people and of the way to do business, and Western templates do not apply.
When these factors are not met, our appetite is nil. And there are more countries today where that is a challenge than where that is offered.
How important is the Africa Assembly as a meeting platform for the industry and what are you most looking forward to at the Assembly?
Since we helped put together the first Africa Assembly in Paris, we have always been impressed by the fact that delegates from 5 continents (or so) are showing up to exchange about Africa, so it is as different as possible from a bilateral forum (happens all the time). This has only intensified with time and with the big discoveries in East and West Africa in the past few years.
More than government or international institutions showcases, what one is expecting is to meet real people from the various African countries and people interested in participating in domestic or regional projects, opening the door to otherwise unidentified opportunities.
What game-changing discovery/ project/ technology is currently making waves?
Senegal has become the postcode of new oil & gas discoveries.
Name one interesting fact about you that no one would suspect?
I play the drums and my PhD & Doctorate ès Science were about (hydrocarbons in) meteorites.